6 1/2 minutes of hope

Turn on the local news and you will hear terms like closures, drug deals, crashes, murders, and deepening crises. But in the midst of this doomsday broadcast you can cling to a lifeline of hope:  there are six and a half minutes allotted to the weather forecast.


Photo courtesy depositphotos: used with permission

If the world really was going to hell in a hand basket, could they allow that kind of time for something so mundane?

I have a lot of respect for meteorologists who have studied hard and understand the difference between a storm outlook, watch, warning, and advisory. Besides explaining subtle weather terminology how exactly do they fill these riveting 6 1/2 minutes?

  • Reviewing the weather that already happened: Since we lived through it, I can only imagine that this breaking news must be for mindless people or those who work nights.
  • Teaching moment: Surface pressures, colliding fronts, and air movement patterns are painstakingly explained. This is when I  lose my battle to pay attention and start reading Facebook updates.
  • Commercial break: I snap to attention, knowing the promise of prediction is right around the corner.
  • Range of Possibilities: I am hoping for a straight answer but get percentages and ‘what if’ scenarios. “If this northeast front moves in we could have 18 inches of snow. If it shifts eastward then we will have a dusting and heavy snows dumped on Canada.”
  • Five-Day Forecast: For a split second I see each day’s probable weather and temperature. Hopefully I’ve torn my eyes away from my iPad long enough to catch this long-awaited punch line.
  • Wind Chill: For some reason this segment is only included during winter months to show us how our temperatures dip below zero with wind factored in. Frankly I’d like to see this on a 90 degree summer day, so we would know how much that southwest breeze is cooling things off.

I’m feeling pretty good about today. It’s cold but a ‘dry cold,’ and according to the morning weather person due to the height of the sun this time of year it’s not ‘bitterly cold.”  This news along with a fresh new car battery and God’s grace, gives me the confidence to separate myself from my down comforter and face another day.

But another boost to my optimistic outlook is the reality that weather still holds its prominent position in the news line up, keeping bad news in its place.

How do you find hope when catching up on the news?

©2015, Stevens. All rights reserved.

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7 thoughts on “6 1/2 minutes of hope

  1. That’s nothing! Come live in the Ohio Valley, We can go from 90 to snow in less the 48 hours! I don’t even know why we have weather forecasters employed around here because it is a total crapshoot!

    • That can happen in Maine too Gary. When Patrick and I went to Hawaii they didn’t have weather reports. How many times can you say “Mid-70’s, rain shower in the afternoon, otherwise sunny?”

  2. Molly, you nailed it again!! I laughed (and comiserated) all the way through your piece. I too knash my teeth while the weatherman takes half his allotted time to recap the weather we’ve already experienced for the last 24 hours. Been there, done that! Who cares? Weather has come and gone. I want to know what to expect tomorrow – and the next seven days. I rejoice when I hear, “Sunny and warmer on Saturday!” I can now plan my weekend!! Only to hear during Friday night’s weather report that, “Whoops! The wind has shifted in the last hour and now we’re expecting gale winds, 8 inches of snow turning to sleet and freezing rain around daybreak, and everyone is advised to stay off the roads unless in case of an emergency!!!! Just another winter weekend in Aroostook County. No wonder the weatherman has to go into hiding!!

  3. Yes, the weather can definitely be a bright spot even if the forecast is gloomy. I have heard that some meteorologists have resorted to the witness protection program as people have started to blame them for our harsh winter.

  4. Molly, you had me literally laughing out loud once again!!
    I find a glimmer of hope during the 5-day forecast. We are bound to have at least one positive day out of the five. If not, well, then I stuff myself back in my down comforter and dream of sunshine!

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