It All Depends On Your Definition of "Significant"

Being a Certified Weather Geek -- and a girl who had dreams of being a meteorologist until a friend told me a major component of forecasting is math -- I'm delighted to report that Minnesota is under a Winter Storm Watch for this weekend. We're expected to get at least six inches of snow on Saturday, to be followed by strong winds and plummeting temperatures. The National Weather Service is throwing around phrases like "powerful low pressure system" and "significant wintry weather" and "six to 10 inches by Sunday."

Be still my beating heart.

For the record, I don't love winter. Quite the opposite. Winter in these parts tends to be cruel and stinging and indifferent to one's pain. "Fool! You dare to bare your head in December? Let me remind you what wind chill means." It's difficult to love such a tyrant.

It's just that I love
storms. Thunderstorms, snowstorms, hailstorms, brainstorms -- they all give me a buzz that probably isn't healthy.

I'm the weirdo who stands outside during a tornado warning and scans the horizon for funnel clouds. I annoy my husband beyond words by calling him every five minutes during a severe storm to report the latest on the situation. ("OK, now they are saying the center of the cell -- and it's red on the radar, almost up to a magenta, and you know that's bad -- is going to pass just north of us within 20 minutes.") I know the difference between sleet (ice pellets) and freezing rain (glaze ice). I was the go-to girl at the TV station whenever weather made the national news. ("A tornado in Kansas? With home video?!? Sweet! I'll write it for all the newscasts.")

So it goes without saying that this weekend's potential storm -- the first of the season -- has me all a-twitter. I'm sure I'll spend a good chunk of time today tracking the system, reading the latest forecasts and generally acting like a teenager who is expecting Miley Cyrus to come to dinner Saturday night.

And then there's this: A few minutes ago, I logged in to my favorite weather site to get the latest. There was a blinking red box on my home page. "One of your other locations also has alert information."

I click. Turns out, it's San Diego, which is expecting -- wait for it -- rain this weekend.

"Special Weather Statement: Chance of showers tonight through Saturday and gusty west winds.... The best chance for significant rainfall amounts will be Friday evening into early Saturday morning. Rainfall amounts will range from a few hundredths to near one-half inch in the coastal areas and from one-quarter inch to nearly one inch in the mountains."

And me without my ark. I hope my brother and sister-in-law will survive the terror that is ... The Drizzle!

Reminds me of one of my favorite e-mails from a few years back. The subject line said: Severe So Cal Storm Damage. The picture attached showed this:

Of course, having lived in California for almost 10 years, this shouldn't be a startling phenomenon to me. My rear end still bears the marks from the day it was handed to me on a silver platter because I didn't lead the 5PM newscast with The Rain.

Me: "That wasn't rain. That was mist! I didn't even need to turn on my wipers when I ran out for lunch. Why would I lead the news with it?"
News Director: "You've got to quit thinking like a Midwesterner! That was rain! That was dangerous! That was huge! And next time, you lead with it!"

So if you're wanting an update this weekend on the significant weather, be it six inches of snow and ice followed by below-zero wind chills or something resembling spit on your windshield, you know where to turn. I'm here for you.

More at 11.


  1. I just finished reading my accu weather alert that was emailed to me...we have a sorm expected tomorrow too.
    Maybe this weekend you could do some kind of post called 'blogging live from the center of the seasons first major storm' That way we could all get the most up to the minute info form Minnesota and you get to be a bloggy weather person.
    Have fun with all that excitement this weekend!

  2. You have NO idea...I am a weather freak, too!!! I wanted to be a meteorologist!!! I can become so obsessed with any weather phenomenon that I don't sleep for watching the weather channel! Hurricanes can keep me up for days!!! I am very jealous of your upcoming event. Very jealous.

  3. Love my accu weather! and loved this post--funny, witty stuff!

  4. The rain is bad!! It has not let up all day, at times it was so intense I used my back winshield wipers.

  5. I've become so complacent about the weather living in SoCal. I completely ignored the weatherman when he said there was a 60% chance for rain yesterday. Then I woke up to rain slanting loudly onto my windows. It rained all day. Hard.

  6. I'm a weather geek, too. I get weather alerts sent to my blackberry -- both as emails AND text msgs!!!

    First time visiting your blog -- it's great! Can't wait to read more.

  7. So how much did you actually end up getting this weekend? Down here, we only got 3-4 inches, but a layer of ice covered everything so there's no gettin' rid of it! Crunch stuff! And hard on tires!!

    Merry Christmas,

    ~ Leah