It rained on our parade. Independence Day (or the fourth of July for the learning impaired) was a fizzle. It rained just enough this morning to cancel some parades and just enough tonight to cancel fireworks.
Unless, of course you happen to have run by an out-of-state supplier during the week and you managed to spew some off in your backyard. The glow from the suburbs and the smoke-filled road reminded everyone that a little rain can't spoil the fun of real Americans.
First thing Friday morning, my eyes were focused on the good old Weather Channel for some of their sage wisdom. Sage it was. They run this program called Your Weather Today, which is the TV equivalent of sticking your head out the window. Seriously, if both hosts suddenly retired, my cat could take over and the show wouldn't lose a step. Here I am, like a chump looking for a morning and evening forecast, and Heather Tesch (really) is using words like "hopefully" to let me in on the day's events. "Hopefully, you'll be able to get your fireworks shows in tonight." Hopefully? They're supposed to be meteorologists. Hope is for people like me.
Heather then turned it over to her co-useless-host Marshall Seese, who takes up where she left off. "I hope the folks in Atlanta will see clear skies for their fireworks displays." Give us a clue, Marshall. I hope your next paycheck clears, because you're doing me no good. Between the two of them, they used forms of the word "hope" about a dozen times, which was 12 times more than I wanted to hear their hopeful good wishes.
As it turned out, it rained like Hell for most of the evening and in spite of their hopefulness, the local fireworks displays were cancelled. God forbid the forecasters went out on a limb and gave us a clue.
What a great job. The next time you see your doctor, let me know if he says, "I hope these pills work, because you're screwed otherwise." The local firefighters who tell you, "I hope we can put this thing out, because it's burning like Hell" wouldn't have a job much longer if that's the case. Granted, forecasting the weather isn't life, death or fire, which is probably why they can be so cavalier with their opinions. After all, it's just an opinion, isn't it?
"There's a 30-percent chance of rain," they'll say. What does 30 percent mean? Should I keep 70 percent of my ass indoors? They cover themselves with the "10 pecent chance," so that it can rain and they'll say, "Well, we said..."
It wouldn't bother me so much if the weather wasn't such a big deal. It's usually the top story on the local news and the people who tell us their line of bullshit earn hundreds of thousands of dollars to express their opinions. If they were paid for accuracy, they'd be panhandling on Broad Street.
Tomorrow night's forecast is: Scattered thunderstorms during the evening followed by occasional showers overnight. "Scattered" and "occasional." Can they make a decision? "Chance of rain 50%." 50 percent. Either or. What good is a weather forecast if they can't tell me what the weather is going to be? Get me a magic 8-ball. "Reply hazy, try again."
Chance of an accurate forecast?