Dear Western New Yorkers Who Think Weather Forecasts Are Fake News
People who live in Buffalo and Western New York are a tough breed of people. Blue-collar, even if they have white-collar jobs. Proud. They always get back up with a smile after getting knocked down and ask, “Is that all ya got?”
The region has seen its share of bad luck lately. We don’t need to revisit them all because you know them. We wear our losses as a badge of honor.
When it comes to weather, people here are unphased by the snow the region gets. It could be a literal blizzard and some people would say it’s not a big deal while driving their all-wheel-drive vehicle to Wegmans. It’s these people that are the focus of this letter.
We get it. You're “super tough.”
Before we get going here, let's make this clear: this is tongue-in-cheek. Relax. Like when Deadspin writes about why your team sucks. It's ribbing at people who do this. Don't take it too seriously.
I’m tired of seeing your cowardly social media posts on the following things:
1. Calling meteorologists stupid and accusing them of having an agenda. You know nothing about predicting the weather. If it were easy we wouldn’t have meteorologists. Having worked with several, I assure you they don’t wake up and think to themselves, “how can I scare people today?” No. They assess the weather and when, say, a foot of snow is coming they warn you. Because not everyone owns a lifted Dodge Ram Truck let alone an all-wheel-drive car or SUV. If you haven't noticed, and I’m being kind here, most people in WNY SUCK at driving. I mean it’s embarrassing. They need a warning to not go out there.
2. Criticizing school districts for closing. So many of you like to point out that back in the day they never canceled school for a foot of snow. You like to say these kids have it easy. Ever occur to you that the teachers, who have a really underappreciated and underpaid job, might not want to drive in on these days? They risk and deal with enough. They don’t need to get their Honda Fit stuck in a snowbank just because it used to be different (Though consider a different vehicle this is WNY). Has it ever occurred to you that maybe a giant school bus carrying children going down an icy snow-filled road, especially out in the burbs and country, might not be the best idea if it can be avoided? No one cares that you went to school in 2 feet of snow uphill both ways. Just like no one cares that you had perfect attendance. Thanks for bringing the flu to school so you could get your literal participation trophy.
3. Saying the roads aren’t even bad. Ya know why they aren’t bad when we get a foot of snow? Because things close, fewer people are on the roads, and THE PLOWS CAN DO THEIR JOBS. It’s not rocket science. If everyone goes out on the roads during a winter storm there WILL, not might, WILL be accidents that slow EVERYTHING down let alone get people hurt because they are “tough.” This causes traffic jams which cause the plows to be unable to clear the roads, which causes snow to build up while people are waiting. Thus everyone gets stuck. Also, again, not everyone has a Tahoe, though kudos if you do because they cost a small mortgage these days and IMO are very nice. Do you want someone in a 2008 Carolla to t-bone you because “it’s not that bad out there?” No, you don’t.
If for no other reason than because it’s just so lame and predictable. If the weather person gets it wrong and it really isn’t that bad at all, then BE HAPPY instead of a giant curmudgeonly pain in the backside.
When you say things like this it tells me you have never been stuck on Main Street in Buffalo for 12 and half hours after the 190, the 290, the 90, and 33 were all closed because of a bad snowstorm. Happened to me in 2000. Happened to a lot of people during the Christmas Blizzard too. It was an experience I’ll never forget both good and bad, and I never want to relive it again. I ignored the weather reports that day because “it wasn’t that bad and the weather guy is just being dramatic.” I was wrong. I was all talk.
You’re not tough, you’re just talk. Respectfully. And you can't be mad at any of this now because I said respectfully.
Love and kisses, Pat.
PS: but really why can they never predict the weather?