When Warnings Fail

I would want to know this had our name on it.  Photo by tsun.scc.ru
I would want to know this had our name on it. Photo by tsun.scc.ru

I’ve been getting these bizarre Special Weather Statements on my smartphone.  The first one I got – true story – told me a tsunami was on its way.  Then it said it was only a test.  Psych!  I was not amused. I had already started thinking about finding high ground on our property.

After listing specific place names and areas where something *might* happen, this new one cropped up:

Lowland snow is possible in Western Washington this weekend…Once again High pressure over Southwest Canada will Push cold air into Western Washington this weekend through the Fraser River Valley (?).  Meanwhile, an upper Level trough over british Columbia will generate Light precipitation across the region.  The Best Chance of Snow accumulation will once again be in the North part of Western Washington where Snow Levels will be near the surface.  The higher hilltops and areas near the mountains May also see Snow.  The forecast has a great Deal of uncertainty so Stay tuned as the weekend nears.

I typed this verbatim.  The random capitalization adds to the Twilight Zone feeling, I think.

Thanks for nothing.

Essentially, this warning tells me that we might get snow.  And we might not.  So be ready for anything.  It’s so not worth it.  Warnings means nothing unless they give exact instructions.  Like, “Don’t walk in the sun if your head is made of wax”, courtesy of Benjamin Franklin.  Or “Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.”  Also helpful, especially if you love eggs.

This reminds me of the story of the boy who cried wolf.  Anyone remember it?  It’s one of Aesop’s fables.  A wily shepherd boy tricks his neighbors into thinking a wolf is after his sheep.  He calls out “Wolf!” to them, time after time, only to have them run to his aid while he sits back and laughs at their gullibility.  Then one fine day the wolf actually shows up.  The now-desperate boy cries for help only to be ignored.  The wolf gobbles all the sheep.

The moral of the story is:  don’t count your snowflakes/tsunami/wolves until they’re falling/mounting/onsite.  And that’s all I have to say about that.


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