The Fundamentals of Weather and Traffic Reporting

I was just thinking the other day how people get so fucking excited over the weather report. Sometimes I'll be in the car, driving with my mom, talking about something. Even if the radio is on a pretty low volume, there's like a weather-radar or something. "And now for the weather, brought to you by Jiffy Lube!"

How fucking rude is this? It's like the weather report doesn't come on often enough or something and it's essential in running our lives. Gee, it's going to fucking snow tomorrow. Oh fuck, better bring a sweater or something. Now all my fucking plans are ruined...I was planning on you know mmmm.... not wearing a sweater!

Let me explain to you some little known facts about the weather. Long-term forecasts are a load of bullshit. Believing in them is like believing in astrology. You know: "The moon is in venus, and my thumb is up your ass, so today you will meet the pope, your car will run out of gas." Jesus fucking christ.... I should check my gas tank or something. Wouldn't want to keep the pope waiting with his pointy hat and all! The truth about the weather, though, is that they can "pretty accurately" (whatever that means) predict the weather for tomorrow. Now, I don't know how many times they've predicted a downpour of plague and that never happened, but you know, the predictions are reasonable, kind of like the Farmers' Almanac and a good steak. The accuracy of reporting drops to less than 50% in two days, and then 20% in 3 days. After that, it's almost zero. Of course, this doesn't change the fact that we treat weather reports as literal truth, and base our weekend plans around the long-term forecasts on a Monday. What really gets me is The Weather Channel in the US does these two week forecasts which never end up looking remotely close to the actual truth.

None of this prevents us from checking the weather about 10 times a day, hearing it on the radio, seeing the forecast for the week in the newspaper, or setting it as your homepage. Like it's the end of the fucking world if it rains on Thursday....but good to know!

My second problem with reporting are traffic reports. So we're stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a Saturday night about two weeks ago, which is rather unusual for Ottawa. Of course, my dad's reflex is to say "Eric, try and see if you can find a traffic report on the radio." With nothing better to do, I try and hunt something down out of curiosity, but to no avail. Of course, then I got to thinking, what the fuck is the importance of traffic reports, anyway. We only ever listen to them when we're stuck in traffic and there's little we can do about it. "Oh fuck, they say there's lots of traffic at this interchange....damn it.....let's do something about it!"
"Yeah, Stan....start ramming the Hummer through it."
"Stop it, Tom...I'll give you a Hummer."

Okay, that last part might not happen. But, either way, it illustrates how futile traffic reports really are. 95% of the time there's absolutely nothing to do about it because there are no alternate routes. But it feeds our curiosity for useless information that can't really affect us, much like tabloids and the National Post.

Oh how I enjoyed writing this...


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