Editor: As on old guy from a small mountain town in New Hampshire where we get pretty used to real “blizzards,” deep snow, icy roads and schools that never close in the winter months, it has been quite an experience watching our Washington DC-area TV weathermen and ladies when a single snowflake can close our schools, sometimes the day before a predicted “blizzard!”
Listening to our local TV folks brings to mind what our New Hampshire Farmer’s Almanac defines as a “blizzard,” which is wind gusts of more than 35 miles per hour, visibility of less than a quarter mile, duration of at least three hours and temperatures of 20 degrees.
Here in our area, a “blizzard” seems to occur any time a single snowflake falls from the sky as our local meteorologists race out onto the streets wearing snow goggles, snorkel jackets, mukluks, mufflers, and stupid-looking hats with ear flaps so they can cause the usual stampede to the grocery stores and hardware stores. Over-amped TV weather people have an exaggerated sense of urgency that is pretty ridiculous to any folks living anywhere in America north of the DC area. Up in my little New Hampshire town located right in the mountains with no level roads, and many of them gravel roads through deep woods, the average snowfall is 144 inches a winter and our three kids never missed a day of school.
The highlight of our annual graduation ceremonies is not the awarding of diplomas but the awarding of perfect attendance prizes. Some students receiving one year prizes and many receiving multi-year prizes. One farm family had eight children with six of them receiving perfect attendance prizes for 12 years and the remaining two students receiving prizes for only missing two days in 12 years. Winter weather is just accepted as part of the calendar and not panic time.
What will 2016 bring to Loudoun County? Will it be days off with one inch of snow and forecasters going wild for hours and hours on TV, repeating the same thing over and over? Or will our good folks just turn off the TV and enjoy what little winter we usually have?
Lou Gros Louis, Lansdowne Woods