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North Hills Monthly

You Know What They Say About the Weather…

Nov 30, 2015 06:13PM ● By Larry Richert
My first recollection of a winter weather forecast came from my mother. At one point, there were four of us, all boys sleeping in one room that resembled a bunkhouse. It was an early winter morning and I can still see her silhouette in the doorway as the hall light backlit her robed-wrapped figure. She seemed almost gleeful as she flung the bedroom door open and announced with the gusto of a town crier, “It’s bitter cold out, and the roads and sidewalks are a sheet of ice!”

Our collective groans indicated that we were not amused and it certainly wasn’t a motivating factor to entice us to get up in the pre-dawn darkness and venture out to the bus stop.

It’s funny how vivid that memory is for me. Many years later, I became the KDKA-TV evening weather anchor. That part of my career lasted 10 years. I was fully immersed in all things weather, and it’s all people wanted to talk to me about everywhere I went. I couldn’t get away from it. In fact, now I joke that the reason I chose morning radio over a higher profile TV gig was global warming.

When I visited the White House on October 1, 1998, and discovered the infancy of then Vice President Al Gore’s growing passion for all things weather, I decided to get out while there was still time. I actually am now in the Weatherman Witness Protection Program. Don’t get me wrong—I still talk about the weather all the time, certainly on-the-air with my day job at KDKA-Radio. Weather is still king, but I am not responsible for the forecast. I can join others in expressing displeasure with whatever ‘they’ say.

So who are they? Great question since I was once one of them. Back to Mom, who took some pleasure in the fact that I was the weatherman. She would say to me, “They say it’s going to rain this weekend.”

I’d answer, “Mom, that was me, I am they…well, not all of they, but definitely one of them, and you heard that from me!”

“Oh my gosh…You’re right, it was you—but I never considered that you were they!” she would acknowledge with a grin.

By the way, the number one question, by far, that I used to get about the weather was, “What’s the difference between partly sunny and partly cloudy?” My answer? “It can’t be partly sunny at night!”

This all leads me to the winter weather predictions that we’ve been hearing about for months. It starts with the Farmer’s Almanac, which since 1818 has been providing two centuries of prognostications. The book predates satellites and computers, yet many people still rely on their forecasts for some touchpoint as to what we can expect this season. For the record, they are calling for a snowy and bitter cold winter this year. Last year started mild and ended with a long stretch of polar air into April, so it looks like some more of the same.

As my late, great, father-in-law Dan Marino Sr. used to say to me often, “I think the next time it snows, I’m going to let it!”

Maybe that’s the best advice about the weather ever. Let it snow!