Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Want Some Peanut Butter To Go With The Jelly?

14,560 square miles. That is the area of widespread power outages across KFVS's viewing area. This just shows how widespread the damage is from the storm.

How do I know this? I just sat down and figured it up. 182 miles west to east. 80 miles north to south across the viewing area.

On that not, I'm fried. Physically I'm exhausted. Mentally, my brain is turning to jelly. I'm glad to be done with the storm. As I told the "newsies" in the newsroom today, I can wash my hands of the storm. It is their "baby".

As a meteorologist I really enjoy the lead up to the storm. The forecasting from days out... The number of hours looking at computer model data... Staying up all night waiting for the next round of data to come out. Then sitting at a desk, with a map and markers in hand, trying to determine where and how much.

Then there is the moment where as a forecaster you realize there is nothing more you can do. Sure, you could look at new data, but often times at that point it is information overload. I tell myself, "Quit trying to fine tune the forecast. Just let it fly the course."

I have been known to make forecasts for big snows when noone else does. I then get nervous before the storm forms/arrives. I will start to pace back and forth through the newsroom or I will pace back and forth in front of my window and my tv. I think... "It better start to develop." "Come on snow, get here all ready!"

Then when it starts to fall and pile up, I'm on cloud 9.

People often ask me why I get excited when I am talking about storms (whether it be spring severe storms or winter storms). I admit, I do get excited. How can you not get excited when something you have worked at for hours and days pay off?

Where is the harm with being enjoying your job? I am lucky to be in a job that doesn't feel like a job.

Wow! I must really be tired if I am having these thoughts... And it is only 8pm...


Anonymous said...

I'm in Joliet Il. near Chicago. My Mom lives in Paducah KY. I have not been able to comunicate with her since last night. I've been searching the net all day and can't get on the channel 6 new channel in Paducah. So I've been watching your live feeds and update videos all day. Your station is my only link to whats going on in Paducah! So please continue to check in there, THANK YOU!!!!

Anonymous said...

John, you are 100% correct. Having a job that you love doesn't feel like a job. After decades in the work force, I found mine a few years ago...actually, it found me. I didn't realize just how much of a difference this makes until I experienced it, and continue to do so. (I still think, "I actually get PAID to have this much fun!!") Even the stress associated with any job, whether it's forecasting or something else, just doesn't seem like stress at all. It's more of an adrenaline rush that leaves you supremely satisfied in the end, despite all internal resources being completely wiped out. You can definitely burn out doing any job, but that's what they make Bobs, Brians, and Lauras for, huh?? We're all in this world together, never more evident than at this time of 14,560 square miles of frozen stress. Let's share that peanut butter and jelly with those in need, and let's remember that this too shall pass. Find some fun, folks. You only go around once...even if it takes the form of an icy slide every winter!

Take care, John, and thanks for all you did during the past few days. Rest, recharge, and take some time to play in the fruits of your forecast (at least until the next storm comes!!)


Anonymous said...

You are not the only one who gets ramped up over weather. Lots of us wanna be's get excited over snow, severe weather, all of it. I have always since I was very small had a keen interest in the weather. Now with access to NOAA we can make our own " forcasts" and see how they stack up against our TV forcasters. It's fun and you learn a lot by digging into the information and seeing how forcasts are made. Thanks for what your doing here on the net and if you set up a group of people to send you info from different sections of the viewing area let me know and I would be glad to send you current info from here on lower Black River 6 miles below Clearwater Dam and 7 miles WSW of Piedmont, Mo and 2 miles N of Mill Spring MO. See ya on the net!

Anonymous said...

I have no power, no water, no internet! I can get online on my phone, and your Dis Hour updates are one of the few ways I can learn what is going on. Since it is on my phone I cannot watch the live feeds or anything. Please keep me and others like myself updated on what is going on with the power repair, road conditions, supplies, water repair, etc. Thanks for everything!

Anonymous said...

John, We love the "NEW at Dis Hour" great name. I to am a "Weather Junky" (that is what my husband calls me). You and your team are my only link to the out side world...

Each and every one of your team deserves a EMMY for a job well done...