I’ve called myself a weather junkie for a long time but mostly when I still had cable and could watch The Weather Channel go on endlessly at the first sign of any meteorologic event. Hurricane Katrina was the mother of binge weather reporting, the “big one” that my office colleague and I knew was going to happen sooner or later. So many of us watched it unfold in nearly real time laying the reportage template for all the storms to come. Eventually The-Boy-Who-Cried-‘Wolf’ mode, the tabloid version of weather forecasting fostering serial binge viewership at the slightest possibility of trouble, wore me out along with cable subscription costs hitting the stratosphere. I was done with TV.
Now weather is my daily main event, entertainment in prime and any other time, a front row seat with surround sound and a super duper widescreen. I can watch fronts moving in then receding, rain cascades approaching in sheets of moving shades of gray, lightning bolts jig jagging down into the water. I can watch snow clumps stick to every single window, leaving only peephole opportunities for viewing outside hourly changes.
What is now lacking is the commentary, hyped, informative, or both at the same time. There are radio forecasts of course and blessed NOAA radar in real time, red, green, blue and pink patterns on my electronic screens while the power holds. It’s a bit maddening that many weather apps default to the nearby city often oblivious to close-to-the-water bands of fluctuations and temperature, the outlying microclimates with sharp variations remaining unmeasured, but television weather folk always did annoy me, standing beside urban interstates measuring paltry snowfall amounts when rural inhabitants were up past their knees in snowdrifts. Weather broadcasters never seem to get to places too far from the convenience of airports. Eventually some person in the outlier regions may post on social media when the transformers are replaced and the power comes back on and, if the conditions are sufficiently extreme, they might show up as video proof at the end of a long website scroll a few days later.
Local progress reports don’t come easily either. Neighbors out here on this point of land that juts out into the sea, stick to themselves. It takes trees blocking roads and individuals with chainsaws helping each other to restore mobility, before contact is made. Pretty much, you are on your own with only the roar of generators all around, competing with the sounds of the storm. There is nothing quite like roaring generators powering houses where no one lives in the winter while we poorer folk are in the dark and cold with their generator roar as background.
“There’s so much weather there!” my daughter reminds me, further validating why her weather junkie Mom is living in the right place. It’s harder to live with however when tossing spoiled food for the second time in a particularly rough week after refrigeration failed. Again.