02.06.2011 07:25 AM

In today’s Sun: Snowmageddon was Snowverkill

Snowmageddon? More like Snowverkill.

That’s what my Sun colleague and friend Charles Adler memorably called the media prognostications about this week’s “weather bomb” an overreaction of epic, historic (and histrionic) proportions. Like any sensible Winnipegger, Adler could only shake his head about the media’s dire warnings, the unnecessary school and business closures, and the hysterical TV reports. And watch as a manageable dusting of white stuff covered Eastern Canada.

It’s February! We live in Canada, people! It snows here, remember?


  1. billg says:

    When the Pittsburgh Penguins were winning Stanley Cups with Mario, they had a young superstar named Jaromir Jagr, and, Jaromir could speak very little english, but, regardless, he did the weather reports for a few radio and tv shows, in his broken english he would start off……”this morning will be dark, then….it will get lighter….followed by more light, then, later today it will get dark again”….it was very funny.
    Every time I hear about how bad the weather’s going to be and how we need to find God and beg for mercy over the next 24 hours I remember Jaromir and his always bang on weather forecast.

  2. Scott Tribe says:

    It’s Environment Canada’s job to issue warnings.. and they had fair reason to think this one might be a doozy of a storm. Look what occurred in Oaklahoma and Chicago.. they had justification to have concern that would occur here. It was only because the system moved more quickly east and also gulped in more dry and warm air in this area that accumulations were kept down on the day it occurred here.

    So, I don’t really blame them for getting the word out and warning about this potential. If they hadn’t, and a Chicago had occurred here, they would have been doubly slammed. Look at yesterday’s “surprise” snowfall that ended up giving parts of Ontario 15-20 cm, when a day before there hadn’t been anything said about more then a couple of cm from E.C or its models. People are grumbling more about that around here then the “over-hyped” storm. E.C. has a bit of an apology up on their Special Weather Statements site yesterday due to that. (tho they more or less said “its out weather models fault for missing it”).

    I’d rather they be safe then sorry.

    • Warren says:

      As a parent to four school-age kids, with no nanny/daycare, forgive me for disagreeing!

      • Scott Tribe says:

        Point taken, but if the snowfall we got yesterday had occurred on a school-day with little or no warning from Environment Canada, in the amounts that they did in some areas and the same result happened, you’d be just as annoyed at them, I suspect.

        Moral of the story – predicting (or guessing) weather is still a hard thing to do – worse then political prognosticating, I daresay.

      • James Bow says:

        As a parent of a school age kid myself, I feel I should point out that Wednesday was a PD day in Waterloo Region, so we would have gotten the Snow Day anyway.

        Yes, it’s true that the snow that blasted through southwestern Ontario yesterday was as deep and possibly more intense than the snow that sidled through on Wednesday. And, yes, the fact that this particular storm got almost no coverage (mostly because it was a surprise) shows just how much the media goes in for storm porn (as anybody who has ever watched the CNN’s coverage of any hurricane within spitting distance of the United States, you’ll know what I mean). However, I think it was a wise decision to shut down the schools and certainly the school buses on Wednesday. The fact that the schools were closed and many people were taking time off of work was one reason why we were able to handle Wednesday’s snow as well as we did. There would have been more significant disruption if the streets had been taking a normal load.

        Yes, we live in Canada and it does snow here. But comedian Lorne Elliott said it best: the reason why Canadians seem to deal with snow better than certain Torontonians (as witnessed by the 1999 storm) is because they take snow days. They build in time to get to home and work, and when the conditions get too intense, they stay home.

        • JenS says:

          What amazes me about the school closures is that while they closed in Toronto, the ones in Peterborough, Clarington and Northumberland – where the storm, such as it was, was marginally worse and where there is a huge network of difficult-to-access rural roads – remained open. The buses were cancelled, and reasonably so, but the schools were open.

          If there had been a real safety issue, I would have been OK with the TDSB’s move. But surely Toronto has at least equivalent infrastructure and equipment to deal with snow as, say, Clarington, where the roads were perfectly fine by 8AM?

          • Cath says:

            I attended both elementary and secondary school in Toronto & Mississauga. I don’t remember EVER having a snow day. Maybe one time and only because it was mostly an ice event than snow.
            I’m a parent now in the snow belt and the boards here actually compose their years with a cushion of days just in the case of snow days. One year my kids were off for a week straight because of snow days. It’s a whole other world outside of the GTA in the winter. It was a PD day here as well.

  3. Marc-Andre Chiasson says:

    And here’s what it looks like in Moncton and more falling right now. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2aACH5Gw3A

  4. Aongasha says:

    Perfect example of the National MSM media’s never-ending potential for hyperbole and overkill. No wonder most of us ignore them and read/watch/listen to the locals.

  5. Nastyboy says:

    Storms..With Snow…In Our Streets.

  6. JenS says:

    I mentioned in a previous comment about the TV guy who briefly worked in a print newsroom I worked in, the one for whom snow acted as Viagra. He once said, as a breaking news story was unfolding and he was just pounding any rumor he heard into the breaking news box, “What we need to do is get it out there fast. We’ll get it right later.” We almost came to blows over that one. But it was totally symptomatic of his attitude – worry about being first, don’t worry about being right. Made. Me. Crazy.

  7. allegra fortissima says:

    Dust Of Snow by Robert Frost

    The way a crow
    Shook down on me
    The dust of snow
    From a hemlock tree
    Has given my heart
    A change of mood
    And saved some part
    Of a day I had rued

  8. Namesake says:

    but they’re not part of Stephen Harper’s Canada… due to their culture of snowfeatism.

  9. Roll Tide says:

    Everyone monitors Matt Drudge. Look at Al Gores home page, Drudge is on the desk.
    Drudge is a genius. I know it irritates old liberal media, too bad.

    • Roll Tide says:


      Matt Drudge in the middle

    • Namesake says:

      Puh-leeze. It doesn’t take “genius” to be willing to report stuff that the MSM won’t touch because it hasn’t been verified properly: it just takes a devil-may-care attitude …which isn’t particularly brave when one has nothing to lose, if they’re just a nobody probably working out of their living room, like Drudge was when he broke the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

      The alternative is to flush your whole name, reputation, career, and standard of living down the tube with one rash act, as Dan Rather did in ’04, on whether Bush had skipped out of National Guard service.* Or as Norm Spector came damn close to doing on the state of the PM’s marriage, at Christmas. Not so genius.

      * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killian_documents_controversy

      • jStanton says:

        …you have the wrong end of the stick there.

        The MSM won’t touch the “state of the PM’s marriage” issue because they are no longer in the “journalism” business. They are in the “content” business, and there is lots of fluff out there that they can use as the medium to deliver ads, and its much cheaper than the investigative journalists they have already fired.

        The story, of course, is not another failed marriage – those are as common as Shopper’s Drug Marts, and as such, just as regrettable. The story is the deceit and presentence by Mr. Harper, for political gain, that the contrary is true.

        Silly rabbit. He has so little real self-confidence that he just can’t bear to expose himself, despite the five points, easy, that doing so will bring.

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