TIM WILDMON: The best prognostications can come to naught



The only thing more of a crapshoot than predicting snow in Mississippi is what kind of pillow will be in your hotel room. You never know.

One of our staff came over to my office Tuesday afternoon about 4 and showed me the weather radar with an announcement from the National Weather Service in Memphis that Northeast Mississippi was under a “winter storm warning.” Those words were in bright red. Bad, nasty weather heading our way and it was only a matter of when it would arrive, not if it would actually happen. So we made a quick decision to close the office on Wednesday. Later that night on the local news the weatherman was putting it on all the line that we were going to get snow with accumulations of up to 2 -4 inches. He even pleaded with God, on the air, to let this prediction come to pass.

Well, we all know what happened. Not four, not three, not two, not even one inch of snow anywhere in Northeast Mississippi that I am aware of. It was clear sailing on the way to lunch at the Olive Garden Wednesday for my lovely and talented wife Alison and me. Now in fairness to the weatherman on TV, he is only reporting what the NWS has announced using their now famous, or infamous, depending on how you look at it, “computer models.”

Alison is a weather mocker. By that I mean the only way she believes in 2-4 inches of snow is when 2-4 inches of snow are actually on the ground. She uses the word “they” a lot in her doubting. “They also said it was going to sunshine Saturday and Sunday,” she told me. “Did that happen? Nope.” The word “they” is used to describe any weather authority. She said schools and businesses should have waited until 5 a.m. to make a call on closing especially with no snow or ice on the ground. I made a feeble attempted to defend “they” but she would have none of it.

I remember trusting the weatherman back in junior high one time and I paid the price. This was 1975 before all the fancy “computer models” were invented. The TV weatherman said on the six o’clock news it was going to snow that night. Said it was already coming down from Memphis, be in Tupelo by midnight. So I had science test the next day. When I was younger my motto was, “Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow.” My parents were not this way at all, but somehow I had got a wild gene and had too much of a laid back approach when it came to my education. So I trusted the weatherman and decided I would skip studying. After all, it was going snow a few inches and school would most certainly me called off. Sometime in the middle of the night I looked outside. No snow. Well, I thought, must be arriving little later than they thought. Then when I got up at 6:30 I went to the window, looked through the blinds and to my utter disbelief – there was no snow. Wow. The betrayal by weatherman I felt at that moment was like a blow to the gut. How…how could this man have lied to me? I took it personal.

I say all that to say this to “they.” What you say about snow falling it taken to heart by children. If you are wrong, it can cause kids to fail science test. Saying it’s going to snow 2-4 inches and then we don’t get squat? That’s wrong, so wrong, on many, many different levels…

Community columnist Tim Wildmon is a Lee County resident. He is president of the American Family Association, but the column represents his personal opinion unless otherwise noted. Contact him at twildmon@afa.net.

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