Thursday, December 18, 2008

How About Calling It Snowfall?

It is amazing the number of different terms that weather people use to call snowfall, well, snowfall.
I understand the use of terms like"blizzard" or "lake effect snow" due to their differences (high winds and the heavy amount of fast falling snow), but while weather people and meteorologists love to use terms like snow flurries, snow showers, snow squalls and so on, without explaining them often or in depth, do they really help people understanding what is happening? Also, please stop using the term "fresh snowfall." First, if it just fell, obviously it is fresh; second, stop trying to make snow sound like a Hallmark Card or Saturday Evening Post cover.
If there may be 3 inches of snow in a one- or two-hour period, just say that. And please, stop creating lofty sounding terms for snowfall such as "snow event" or "precipitation event." The use of terms such as hail, sleet, icy snow, snow pellets and the like probably deserve to be used, but again, some explanation would help.
And don't get me started on the titanic amounts of snow, at least 99 percent of the time overestimated, some broadcast outlets regularly predict.


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