By Alan Pergament
Three cheers for the local weather forecasters.
I can't believe I actually wrote that sentence.
But let's give credit where credit is due: The TV forecasters have done a much better job than usual warning Western New Yorkers what was coming this horrendous winter.
And as a rule, they have made their predictions of doom without scaring people too much.
Yes, Pope Don Paul you are not reading a misprint. I actually am praising you and your competitors, which may be a sign of the Apocalypse.
I was so confident of the local TV forecasts and the National Weather Service forecast Tuesday night warning of today's potential blizzard that I canceled my college courses several hours before Buffalo State College made the rare decision to shutdown.
Told of my praise this morning, Channel 4's Paul cracked: "I'm glad you warned me."
The Channel 4 meteorologist said he began getting computer models a week ago that suggested the storm would be in the vicinity.
Those models remained consistent for the week to the point that Paul did something Tuesday night that he doesn't think he has ever done before.
"On the 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts, I told the school superintendents who hadn't closed yet that they needed to close," said Paul. "This was a real safety issue."
He was concerned that superintendents might wake up this morning at 5 or 6, see nothing on the ground and conclude they didn't have to close school even though the storm was coming later in the day.
Asked if forecasts have been easier to make this winter, Paul didn't go that far.
"I can't say it is easier but we've had a pretty good winter with forecasts," he agreed.
That is the only sentence you will read here with the words "pretty good winter."
Told of my praise for nailing the forecast, Channel 2 weatherman Kevin O'Connell cracked: "As if it is a surprise."
Here's another surprise -- he pretty much said the same thing as Paul about the consistent weather models that forecast the storm.
"Everything started to agree by Monday," said O'Connell. "It was a very easy call."
He added that he and Channel 2 meteorologist Andy Parker were a little bit surprised that the National Weather Service upgraded the storm to a blizzard warning Tuesday night.
"Traffic was slower getting to the station but not impossible," said O'Connell.
He added that getting to work won't be as difficult as getting home because all indications are the storm is going to get worse as the day goes on.
O'Connell also gave some advice Tuesday to a Niagara Falls superintendent who told Channel 2 that the call whether to cancel classes was going to be made at 5 or 6 in the morning. He said that wasn't a good idea because the storm was going to come later when it might be difficult to get students home.
"I said it would be a good idea to call it now," said O'Connell.
Now that you are probably off today, you may want to catch up and watch some new TV shows On Demand that you may have missed.
WNY has seemed to embrace two new network shows that premiered in the last few days.
The premiere of ABC's "Resurrection" had an unusually high 9.9 rating Sunday on Channel 7.
The premiere of NBC's "Believe" had a strong rating of 8.4 on Monday in the "Blacklist" time slot after "The Voice." "Believe" is now moving to Sunday.
I'm sure both networks will soon be running promos calling the shows hits. But we all know that is premature because we first have to see how many people liked what they saw and will come back for their second episodes.
If you have HBO, you also might go On Demand to watch the love-or-hate season finale of "True Detective." The live airing Sunday only had a 1.1 rating here, but that rating should go much higher after the audiences from repeats and On Demand viewing are added.
taggedNew Shows | Television | TV news