The Central Virginian

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Just what is it about snow?

Posted on Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 9:00 am

It’s winter and, yes, that sometimes means snow, ice and sometimes bitter cold temperatures. But when meteorologists begin the early warning drum beat that snow could possibly be on the way—all of a sudden, it’s the only thing that people talk about.

Internet speeds bog down as more and more people check for the latest forecast, weather models, watches and warnings. Everyone in the house gets quiet when the weather man comes on and kids (and some parents) start praying that they’ll get another day off from school/work.

Grocery store parking lots swell with customers rushing in at the last minute to buy all those things that they will need during their hibernation. The first food items to clear the shelves are bread and milk.

Grocery carts brim over with canned food, bottled water, fresh fruit and yes, the milk, bread, peanut butter and lunch meats and batteries.

It’s interesting to see how the promise of snow sends people into apocalyptic survival mode. It’s almost as if people think it will be a good month or more before they’ll be able to dig out from underneath the “mountain” of snow.

Worse, though, are the looky-loos who go out joy-riding in their four-door rear-wheel-drive sedans as soon as the roads start turning into a frozen grey slush of salt, grit and mud, only to find themselves eventually sliding uncontrollably into the ditch. Really?

Those who don’t have to be out on the roads should just stay home until the roads are passable —usually the next day.