Close To A Bullseye–Thankfully

We were on for two and a half hours this afternoon. I was on… who knows? A lot. Too much. Does it matter?

Amazingly today’s snow is about to come to an end. It’s outta here early, but on target for accumulation–even the little bit of sleet on the coast came as forecast.

This is as close to a bullseye as I get. I can’t let it get me complacent. I haven’t totally mastered Mother Nature yet.

We were on for two and a half hours this afternoon. I was on… who knows? A lot. Every other block. Too much. Does it matter?

In a situation like this there is a rundown. I don’t always see it, but even if I did there are so many hits it’s tough to remember from moment-to-moment. A producer will come and talk to me about the first hit in their show, but still two hits from now. Why bother? I will nod and try my best but I’m up to my eyeballs.

When the station rebuilt our in-studio weather presence they added a working Weather Center and pod area adjacent to the anchors. In both these I can be on-camera while having access to the computers that will be on-the-air. This is an amazing help. I never would have guessed the extent.

I am now exhausted. Isn’t that weird. It’s not like I was stacking boxes or doing something physically tiring. I’m still exhausted.

Glad this came on a Friday and not a Monday.

Bought Off By Cookies

Every year, like clockwork, they arrive for Weatherman’s Day&#185. They are cookies – amazing cookies with zillions of calories and enough butterfat to drive a cardiologist to drink. A local bakery, part of a national chain selling cookie arrangements, sends them.

The bakery hopes the cookies will get on TV, giving them lots of exposure for minimal cost. And, the food slut I am – they get on the air!

I think, after having these cookies the past few years, I understand the incredible temptation an addict faces. There’s just no way for me to resist the cookies. I am powerless.

Even before the first bite, I am tasting them.

For some reason, when the cookies come, I get very popular. People who have no idea where the Weather Center is, amble into the studio nose first. They are an easy giveaway to a grateful staff already hopped up on caffeinated coffee.

This year there’s one small problem. The little sign on the cellophane wrapping said, “Don’t open until Weatherman’s Day, February 2nd.” February 2nd is actually Groundhog Day. Weatherman’s Day doesn’t come until the 5th.

Right – like I’d wait. These puppies are gone.

&#185 – What, you haven’t sent cards! Hey, I hadn’t heard of Weatherman’s Day either. Thank heavens for the Internet. Here’s what they’re saying about it on

National Weatherman’s Day honors weathermen, and woman who work hard to accurately predict the often fickle weather. Despite major technological advances and supercomputers, forecasting the weather is still a tricky, and ever changing business.

Knowing the weather is important in so many ways. It affect how we dress, where we go, and even if we go. Space launches are made or delayed depending upon the weather. And, knowing the weather can save lives. The most obvious example is knowing when and where hurricanes or tornadoes may hit.

According to the Air Force News, Weatherman’s Day “commemorates the birth of John Jeffries, one of America’s first weathermen”. Jeffries was born on Feb 5, 1744. He kept weather records from 1774 to 1816.

If you see a weatherman today, give them your appreciation for a job well done.

Intern Jayne Moves On

The last time I wrote about Intern Jayne Smith was during the summer when she helped out with Emmy award judging. Jayne had been a college intern in meteorology at the TV station and spent a few semesters in the Weather Center.

She’s a very nice girl. We were very happy that she was always available to be Ivy’s companion when we went out of town. She is shy and quiet… maybe too shy and quiet.

It has been very tough for her, a degreed meteorologist, to find her first job. First, you need a tape – which she made at Channel 8. But, without experience her taped work was always a little on the edge (As it should be for a beginner. If it were too easy everyone would do it).

She’ll be great, but she needs to work regularly, under deadline, on camera, show-after-show.

After some very disappointing and drawn out turndowns, and over a year of looking, she has finally been offered a job and will move, sight unseen, to Bismarck, ND. It sounds very scary.

Luckily for Jayne, Bismarck is the perfect place to go. She’ll be working with some stable, nice people, used to working with beginners. There won’t be the same pressure in Bismarck that there might be in a larger market. She’ll have the opportunity to forecast nearly every kind of weather from heat waves to tornadoes to blizzards.

My first job was at WSAR 1480 in Fall River. MA. I remember it like it was yesterday… even though it’s about 35 years ago. It’s likely Jayne will remember this job forever too.

She’ll be great.

Watch by candlelight

At my desk at work, in the studio… suddenly the lights began to change color. I guess that’s what happens with flourescent studio lights. They don’t dim, they shift their color as the voltage withers and then


We were without power for only a few seconds, enough to bring down every computer under my control in the Weather Center. Most started to reboot on their own. Others were a little more recalictrant. One computer, the one that controls our Doppler radar, is totally dead. Luckily, it’s sunny and will be again tomorrow.

It looks like something in Southern Ontario took down most of the Northeast power grid (though they’re blaming Niagara Mohawk Power in NY).

Helaine just called from home. She and Steffie had been at Trumbull Mall when the power went out. It looks like the power never blinked at home.