Taking precaution always the right call, even when there’s no snow

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, January 29, 2019

If you scrolled through social media on Tuesday morning, chances are you saw a lot of disgruntled snow fans complaining about inaccurate forecasts from local meteorologists. It’s a common narrative whenever snow is a possibility but does not come.

Unfortunately — or fortunately, depending on your opinion of snow — the only weather Troup County received on Tuesday was rain, rain and more rain. However, that’s exactly what we were promised by weather forecasters, with a bit of snow potentially mixed in.

The fact is that snow will always be the headliner in the South, sometimes to the chagrin of weathermen. Regardless of the forecast information, if there’s a chance of snow, that’s what we’re going to be talking about. It’s not a given that we’ll get snow even once a year in Georgia, so when there is a possibility, it drives the conversation.

The biggest hazard with Tuesday’s forecast was never actually snow. It was all of the precipitation on roadways as temperatures fell over the course of the day. To their credit, forecasters said that over and over, but snow — understandably so — remained the main topic of conversation.

Schools were canceled or delayed and after-school activities were canceled. Government offices were shut down, just in case conditions deteriorated.

Some have complained on social media about all of the closures, but the truth is that it’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s always the right choice to take precautions instead of potentially putting students, teachers and administrators on treacherous roads.

Five years ago, an inaccurate forecast led to people in Alabama and Georgia spending the night in offices, stranded and unable to get home. That day was a good example of how difficult it can be to project the weather.

In this instance, snow ended up falling short of forecasted amounts.  That’s fair to say. And it’s probably true that the rest of the country may be chuckling a bit at the thought of the South shutting down for some cold and rain. After all, the Chicago area is dealing with wind chills as low as -50 degrees. You read that right — negative 50 degrees. Our situation pales in comparison.

However, that doesn’t mean anyone made the wrong decision in this instance.

Snow or not, it’s always the right call to take extra precaution and to heed weather warnings. Next time the weather may be much worse, so give the meteorologists a break.

Predicting snow in the South is like picking the winner of the Super Bowl before the season. If everything doesn’t fall perfectly into place, it won’t happen.

This time it just didn’t materialize.