Perspective, I Suppose

It’s currently 49&#176 at Palm Beach International Airport. I’m sure it’s colder inland (aka – here), probably low 40&#176s.

Weather is the lead on the 10:00 PM news. My friend John Matthews, meteorologist on Channels 29 and 12, is the picture of calm in this faux-tastrophy.

Shelters are open. I just saw a reporter in a coat, wearing gloves, with a scarf around her neck.

In Connecticut, we sometimes see 40&#176s in August.

They are saying everything we said last week, except the temperature was 40&#176 colder and we had a wind chill factor.

I am flabbergasted.

Let’s Talk Weather

I am not home. I am not on TV. I have not been compiling or presenting the forecast. Is that perfectly clear?


FormName: Geoff Fox, Storm Team 8

Name: Gil *****

Subject: nice call

EmailAddress: *******

City: New Hartford

State: CT

Zip Code: 06057

Comments: Great call yesterday on the 60 degrees and windy.

It’s high noon here, 36 degrees, and dead calm.

So, how do you respond to that? I’m not sure myself. It is an interesting part of my job I never expected. Here’s a guy who is p.o.’ed at my for a forecast I never laid my eyes on.

That damn Geoff!

As long as we’re talking weather, Florida has been phenomenal. There have been a few brief sprinkles, and today was mainly cloudy, but it’s been warm with acceptable levels of humidity.

I lived here 35 years ago. Back then people would laugh at the northerners when we’d see their winter weather predicaments. After this past hurricane season there is no more laughing at other people’s climatological misfortunes.

This hurricane season was a rude awakening. There are few who live near here who remember the last time a hurricane actually struck. It’s not the kind of thing you ever forget.

Back when I lived in the West Palm Beach area, I was friendly with another radio disk jockey. His name was John Matthews. He’s a few years older, but our careers were on a similar path.

Back then I was hopping from station to station. John was doing mornings at WEAT, a station owned by eccentric gazillionaire John D. MacArthur&#185. We were both out-of-towners in a strange and, at that time, small southern city. We hung together.

John was neat, organized and mature. I was sloppy, disorganized and immature. In his apartment, everything was in its place. In my apartment everything was all over the place. Little has changed.

I remember John as a talented amateur cartoon artist. He would send letters back home to his family in the suburbs of Detroit. The entire envelope would be a flowing, interconnected cartoon. Sometimes, even the stamp was incorporated into his drawing.

As John grew up, he became a TV weatherman. He did it first, long before I figured out it was a pretty good gig. He left West Palm Beach for a while and headed back to Detroit… and came back.

I told John I was in town and this afternoon headed up to WPEC Channel 12, where he works. They’re the CBS station.

We talked a while. I tried to show him some tricks on his weather graphics computer (it is 2 versions behind the current version, so what I tried didn’t work).

Before long I was showing him pictures of my family and he showed me pictures of his. This one small act would have been so foreign to us in 1970, yet now it is so appropriate. We are family men – me in spite of myself.

I’m glad to see John doing well. Glad to see that just because he’s older, he doesn’t have to look old.

I don’t get to see John every single time I’m here, but I try to. This was a good way to spend the afternoon.

&#185 – If you’ve watched PBS and seen shows underwritten by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation – that’s him. He made his big money owning Bankers Life and Casualty of Des Moines.

Going to Sleep Worried

I have been looking at the computer models as they come and, and watching the radar in between. I’m wondering if this storm is losing some of its potential to produce snow?

A bad forecast will keep me housebound for a while. There is no upside to being wrong.

My friend John Matthews forecasts in West Palm Beach, FL. At this moment, I am incredibly jealous.