A little rain must fall

It has been a slow news week, here in Florida.  On Monday, newscasters all over the state began broadcasting pending doom and gloom.  For Tuesday.  SEVERE WEATHER PREDICTED FOR TOMORROW they warned.  

We don’t generally tune into the local news, especially around our high strung children.  They are liable to be privy to a surfer getting their knee cap bitten off by a shark.  Or some other horror story that will ensure that no one in our house sleeps at night.  So we keep our news watching relegated to time when the children are asleep.  If at all.

Florida could break off and become an island, and I would be none the wiser.

But the children are allowed to listen to a Christian radio station, that does not contain news and claims to be “safe for the little ears in the family”.  But even they jumped on the doomsday bandwagon, and commenced with all the SEVERE THUNDERSTORM ALERT AND POSSIBLE TORNADO WARNINGS a full day prior to any storm making landfall.

This is Florida, people.  The land of hurricanes and random out of nowhere lightning strikes.

As you might imagine, my Emme has been on high alert when she first learned of the pending storms.  WHAT IF, MOM, WHAT IF, WHAT IF, WHAT IF????

And if you assumed that she whipped her younger siblings into a frenzy, you would be correct.  So that by the time the storms finally did arrive by Tuesday evening, we had a full compliment of children melting down all over the cheap linoleum.

This may surprise you, but I am cool as a cucumber in an emergency.  And Fiddledaddy is even chillier.  We have carried on throughout the day as though nothing was out of the ordinary, and there was nothing to fear.

The children were not swayed by our calm exterior, as they made out their wills, and made elaborate plans as they prepared to camp in one another’s beds tonight.  Jensen actually had both sisters talked into sleeping with him in his twin size bed.

Until I reminded them that they might want to wear their rain gear, as Jensen still has need of big boy night protection.

When he learned that he would be sleeping alone, there was much gnashing of teeth and wailing.  He finally cried himself to sleep while holding fast to his Blues Clues Blanket and assorted Backyardigans plush toys.

I am comforted by the soft sound of rain beating against my window.  And looking forward to falling asleep to the soothing sounds of a winter rain storm.  

I do not fear the wrath of the weather.  But I am leery of a certain offspring who may decide to sleep wrapped around my head.  Which is why I’ll be wearing a shower cap to bed.

So, my question to you all is, do you think that the newscasters tend to go overboard when reporting pending weather?  Or is it better to be forewarned?

January 26, 2011

23 Responses to A little rain must fall

  • They have yet to get the weather right here as it is. I think they are just throwing darts and a weather wheel to see what to come up with. We hear snow flurries and got a white out blizzard or we hear massive snow and we get barely an inch. IF they could get it right, I would like to know before hand. But that is one huge IF.

  • I agree with Joanna. Yes, science is amazing and the Doppler 5 radar is a nice invention, but it is to me one more reminder that we are dust and that we don’t understand and certainly can’t predict the future. It is our Heavenly Father who sustains our planet. And us humans who like to have something to fret about, evidently- given the hype they put into inaccurate pending doom descriptions of the weather that’s to come…..glad y’all are surviving in “Armpit”. Up here in the Midwest, we long for a burst of Spring!!!!

  • Having lived in Florida twice (military family), I can honestly say that I have never seen weather forecasters go so bazerk (sp?) when it comes to the SLIGHTEST POSSIBILITY THAT WEATHER MIGHT BE CHANGING!!! Sheesh! I remember a few years back when a tropical storm was approaching – just barely a tropical storm even, and they were 99% sure that it was going to veer off to Texas and not even hit Florida… but they closed the schools, told everyone to buy water and for Pete’s sake, save the pets! And you know what? We got .5 inches of rain. Unbelievable.

    Now, up here in the frozen tundra where we live now, it is good to know if a massive snow storm is headed our way so we can plan our wine, i mean, grocery shopping accordingly. 🙂

  • Overboard!!! I was ready for a day of soothing little girls who do NOT like storms and getting soaked taking puppy out on a leash to do his business! It was not bad at all.

    But do they stop there – NO!! They were reporting our weather after it had passed in such dire ways I got a frantic phone call from my mother in law. She was sure we had gone the way of Dorothy n Toto or worse suffered the same fate as the Wicked Witch of the West!

    It’s gotten to the point I can’t tell the difference between The National Enquire and the “news”!!!

  • We have BBC newsround which is a very child friendly news program on TV around tea time. It very sensibly has younger reporters and the ‘news pack’ who are children that also do reports. TV tends to want to sensationalise everything to make it ‘newsworthy’ so I can appreciate how frightening it must be if you are only 6 years old an they are talking Tornados.

  • We lived in Puerto Rico for eight years, and we were very thankful for the advance warnings of hurricanes headed our way. Of course we wasted hours preparing for storms that didn’t hit us directly, but when one did (Hurricane Georges in 1998), we were ready for it (although not for the six weeks without electricity that followed!).

  • We don’t pay much attention to the news around here either, but I have been known to turn to the weather channel at 2 AM when I hear loud thunder and see lots of lightning. Tornados strike WITHOUT WARNING you know!

    I grew up in Houston and never made much of hurricanes, but the threat of tornados can find me hiding in a small closet with a flashlight and a mattress.

  • I think we live a bit south of you, in Lakeland, as my email address attests. We were flipping channels last night watching the various reports. I think our ABC weather guy, Dennis someone or other in the silly suspenders all the time, really reaches in his reports, but the others do a reasonable job of portraying the serious possibility of the weather vs the actual condition of a given moment. I’ve lived here nearly all my life, but I still give full attention to severe weather predictions. I have one of those nightmares that repeats on a regular basis where I am standing in at my front door with my children around me, frozen in place-watching a tornado bear down on us. We have tornado/fire drill practice in the house a couple of times a year, I made the girls wear their shoes until the last watch expired, cleared the hallway and their bath (our safe room) of everything, just in case. I don’t panic, but neither do I pooh-pooh the chances. My husband is much more relaxed about it all. I think we balance each other out, just enough caution but not enough for stress.

  • Yeah….. And they HAVE to interrupt scheduled broadcasting to share it. Mr. Tom Terry gets way too excited about his job.

  • Yes, indeed, they completely blow it out of proportion. My husband came home, turned on the news and said, “Oh, no! Tony’s got his jacket off. It’s going to be a bad one!” The drama is actually entertainment rather than warning. Now when the sleeves got rolled up, we knew they were serious! They usually have nothing to do in the winter in Florida, as it’s the dry season. This storm was unusual, and they were going to work it! As they did. By the way, we in the south county were told that central county was treacherous, giving us a play by play as it was happening. We were horrified by what we were hearing. Then this morning it seemed as if it was a typical heavy thunderstorm. Hmmm. I guess that answers your question.

  • I’m one of those who like to always be prepared. I always have a Plan A, Plan B and a Plan C. It’s needed here in East Texas, where the weather changes at the drop of a hat.

    I appreciate the “heads up”, however, I do tend to think they go overboard.

    I have a sister and a nephew who are VERY high strung when it comes to weather warnings. A tornado could be 3 counties away and headed in the opposite direction of us and they both freak out.

    The nephew has gotten better, but not much. Like you, I tend to remain calm. Some say “too calm.”

    For example, one evening we were under severe storm warnings. My Mom and I were playing cards (Yes, we are a multi-generational family. I refer to us as the disfunctional Waltons).. anyway, the lights went out. Mom and I continued to play while the others gathered candles, lanterns and flashlights… there may have even been flare guns knowing them. 🙂

    We are all set up to receive emergency warning on our phones. They all went off at the same time with a warning to take cover because a tornado touched down near us.

    Mom and I put down our cards, calmly went to the hallway and removed frames, etc. from the wall. Everyone got a pillow and sat on the floor. Waiting….and waiting…. I may have laid down for a nap. After about 20 min. we decided the danger must have past. We got up and Mom and I went back to our card game. 🙂

  • The weather men don’t make enough money so they have a in with all the food stores and get a cut of the profit for the day as people run to the store to stock up on bread and milk and peanut butter so that they don’t starve! You should see the lines up here when the weather man says there is a snow storm coming….. Oh my!!!
    Glad you are enjoying the rain – I would like rain right about now, but alass all we are getting is more snow.

  • I used to live in Central Fl…I completely feel your pain. I actually complained to the radio station (perhaps the very one you listen to…Last letter of the alphabet in their jingles?) because I felt like the jock who was actually INTERRUPTING SONGS to update us on the severe weather conditions was a wee bit sensationalistic and maybe had missed his calling as an anchor person for Storm Stories on the Weather Channel. The tears and angst that his updates would cause drove me to actually ban the station at the first clap of thunder. Perhaps you could do the same??

  • Here outside DC, we are getting slammed big time with the Winter Wonderland experience, and no, that isn’t a theme park attraction. The carrying on about this on TV, it’s quite something. I’ve decided the forecasters are in league with the grocery store owners. This was the 4th time I’ve stocked up since December, but the first we will apparently need/use the stock pile.

    Nate’s Mom

  • Memphis weather forecasters have been known to hyperventilate and foam at the mouth at the prospect of a SEVERE STORM ALERT! In fact, several years ago they got everyone all worked up about a MASSIVE WINTER STORM that was surely headed our way, and the school systems announced their cancellations for the following day by 6:00 that evening. As it turned out, the system blew north of us and everyone got out of school for a rain day.

  • OVERBOARD!!! We live in the midwest and these impending winter storm warnings are about to drive me nuts. They call for 8-10 inches of snow and we get a dusting. Call for a dusting and we get 8-10 inches……They don’t know

  • I agree with the comments about the weather becoming “entertainment.” I think our forecasts are fairly accurate but man, what a production they put into them! Local radio personalities have started mocking them and calling for the next “snowmageddon” or “snowpocalypse.”

    Of course, the last time they mocked them we got 22 inches of snow . . .

  • I live in Lakeland also and while I have seen some go overboard Steve Jerve on Channel 8 doesn’t. I can tell you had you been sitting at a traffic light in your van with it rocking when the worst part came through you wouldn’t think they were overdoing it either. The thing was rocking so hard I thought it might get picked up any minute. I had a cousin who’s car was knocked by wind into another car one time. There were many witnesses to it who all told the same story that the wind did it. My cousin had major injuries, the woman who’s car he was knocked into, died. These storms generally come from the west so I can understand when they get to the east coast they have died down. I have lived here all of my 48 yrs and can tell you many stories. I would rather be safe than sorry. I was very relieved to get home the other night.

  • Yes, I also live in central Florida and I thought the coverage was a little intense. We got a kick out of one channel’s new toy — the velocity scope!! We decided it sounded like an instrument for an invasive medical procedure. While I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry, after a while you just sort of tune it out.

  • We have Been here in Orlando these past 8 days. I can say that when the rain storm hit, we were shopping in downtown disney, and our shoes are still wet 🙂

  • Another Lakeland-er here. I live northwest of Lakeland. I do think at times the news does go overboard. But my parents have been through a huge hail storm while towing a travel trailer – they won’t forget. We lived in Memphis where tornados touched down a mile from our house, and in a town in Arkansas that had been wiped out 20 years prior by tornados. And was there when the tornados ripped through in 1997. We were at the movies and saw some of the damge on the way home. So, there’s a balance that has to be maintained.

    I think what my parents taught me was good. Prepare. Know what to do if an emergency occurs. Listen to the weather reports, but keep on living. Just like you guys did.

    Knowing that God will take care of me no matter what helps, but I don’t know how you convey that to kids. May God guide you for what is right for them.

    That storm had a wicked front “ribbon”. My mom and I cut our day short and I was glad I was home with my own dear husband when it came through.

  • Our weather men don’t even live here. Or even close to here. They have no idea what our weather is doing or might do. They will say “It’s cloudy and cold” when in fact the sun is shining and we’re without coats..in January.
    Also, storms crop up around here on a moments notice. They have started sounding the siren “just in case there is a tornado.” Freaks my children out.

  • I am of the dramatic sort when it comes to weather, but I attribute part of my frenzied fear to the weather people. Most of the time they do go a bit overboard (and they are usually wrong, so I worried for nothing). I believe in being prepared, but sometimes they forecast impending doom and it was just a little rain shower.

    Love this post!