Tuesday was a day of panic and worry in the Detroit metro area.
It wasn’t because of bomb threats, the earth’s crust shifting, or alien invasion. No, the reason for the widespread panic had to do with weather.
Mind you, we’ve had a glorious summer that extended into the first part of October. It’s been in the 70 degree and above range for most of the month. Fall color is in full swing. Perhaps we do not want to let go of what has been a pretty good time.
Monday evening, local meteorologists began predicting a terrible wind storm coming from the west for Tuesday. “Gale force winds up to 60 miles an hour,” tornado warnings and the like. They played up the coverage on Tuesday morning, effectively whipping the public up to a frenzy.
By noon, our business began getting telephone calls from all over the state. “Have you canceled classes?” was the common question. Not once, not twice, but probably nine out of ten telephone calls had to do with weather and were we going to postpone everything because of high wind.
Mind you, the sun was shining and while the breeze was brisk, I did not happen to catch any bicycling Kansans flying past me.
Now, I’m a girl who grew up in the Front Range of Colorado, where springtime winds are routinely in the 80 mph range. I can remember walking to school as a child and being pummeled to the ground by a gust. A 60 mph wind gust is nothing in comparison.
I also happen to like tornadoes, having been in several over my lifetime. True, they’ve been baby tornadoes and yes, I do not like the aftermath, especially if the tree lands on MY house, but there is something thrilling about watching the wind lay waste to the land.
Tuesday’s predictions were woefully overblown. There were tornadoes elsewhere, just not here. The worst of the wind hit us last night, on Wednesday.
This is not the first time local TV and radio has overestimated weather. Winter is a Detroit area weather man’s favorite time of year. Local listeners are subjected to a barrage of predictions that are laughably almost always wrong. Eight to ten inches of snow might end up a dusting, or four to six might change hourly to six to eight or ten to twelve.
Perhaps meteorologists and weather men and women should look up from the expensive Doppler radar every once and a while and look out a window.
That’s what I do.