Thursday, February 2, 2012

Weather Weenies

As you know, I’m a person who actually makes a living talking and/or writing. As a broadcaster and television anchor, it has been my lot in life to bring you news and information of various degrees of seriousness and importance.

You would think that by now I would have mastered the art of small talk. For the most part, I have, however I lack the patience to discuss what is probably the most talked about topic of conversation on the planet – the weather.

It really doesn’t matter what time of the year it is. Each and every day there will be someone who will start a conversation (and often they are complete strangers) with “hot enough/cold enough/dry enough/wet enough for you?”

Now, to be clear, it’s not that I’m anti-social (although I can be aloof at times); it’s that when most people talk about the weather, they do it from a negative point of view. Frankly, I don’t really care about anyone’s negative views of our meteorological condition. That’s because there is nothing anyone can possibly do about it.

I can categorically state for a fact that, with the exception of my 13th birthday when plans went awry because of climate, I have never complained about the weather. I just simply deal with it. I look at the positive side of things (yes, I’ve matured since I was 13). We live on a planet that has an atmosphere. To our knowledge this is the only heavenly orb that can sustain life as we know it. Shouldn’t that be enough to satisfy us?

And let me pick a bone with my TV anchor brethren. In the world of small talk, weather chatter is usually the segue that gets the discussion turned toward the upcoming forecast. It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard for me when I hear what I like to call “anchor weather whining.” Because for every person in the audience who might not like the current climatic condition, there is always someone else who does. Too much snow for you? Well the skiers would like it. Too much rain for you? Well the farmers might like that. Too hot for you? There are some who like a heatwave. Too cold for you? Dress accordingly!

Some of the people who complain about weather the most say things like “I just can’t stand the idea of going through another winter.” Well unless you have a restraining order from the rest of the planet, there are other places you can choose to live. That’s why I can’t deal with the weather whiners – you can’t change the weather, but you can live somewhere else, so what are you really complaining about?

Here in Montreal, Canada I graciously accept all four seasons. I’m never in a hurry to leave any of them because time is fleeting anyway. But I’m reminded at this time of the year of people’s desire to want to get through climates quickly. We even forgo the accumulated knowledge of meteorological science to put our faith in rodents, just to grasp at the possibility that our weather will change faster.

Each February 2nd we have Groundhog Day. In the U.S. they deal with Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania. Here in Canada with have at least three famous furry prognosticators; Wiarton Willie in Ontario, Balzac Billy in Alberta and Shubenacadie Sam in Nova Scotia, all in our haste to shoo winter away.

I’m in no hurry to see summer. And when summer comes I’m in no hurry to see winter. I just simply enjoy each day for what it is. Another opportunity to be above ground and experience the wonders of what our climate has to offer.

That’s the Stuph – the way I see it.


  1. Exactly. I never complain about the weather. I just deal with it. The only time I complained about the weather was Tropical Storm Irene. Anything under what that did to Vermont... is living easy.

  2. Ok so you live in a country that actually HAS 4 seasons....... there are some countries that have only 2. Rain and more rain. Here in Holland 20 years ago, yes we are going to go down memory lane now, there were two distinct seasons winter ( read rain here ) and summer ( read sun here). But in the last couple of years there has only been rain and every once in a while ( 1 week ) of -10C. So I can understand where you are coming from that you should dress accordingly but after months and months of rain, a rain coat just becomes silly. I keep waiting for the palm trees that scientists have been saying we will get due to global warming..... it is just probably taking the planet a little more time to decide whether we will get another ice age or tropical weather.... my vote? warm weather anytime.... just no more rain PLEASE!

  3. Can't do anything about it so grin and bear it.

  4. well I did what u said.I ran out here to vancouver....not because of the weather and I miss the Snow all it does here is rain rain rain mtl was the greatest city (ndg) to grow up in(THE 70 S)

    1. All that rain you have in Vancouver. It's like living on the set of "Bladerunner!"

  5. Peter-

    As a Weather Anchor for Global,I couldn't agree more with you that it is not something we can change and what might be bad for some is great for others! I'm not a big fan of enduring winter weather but I LOVE learning about forecasting big winter storms. I prefer a summer thunderstorm over anything, even a bright sunny summer day:) There you go, what could be a wedding crasher, a rained out family reunion, could be a great storm chase day for me and my team! Ahh the weather...Canada should continue to chat about it. I love that that we all chat about it-just don't complain about it!!

  6. The weather is what it is. Those who forecast it love tracking the storms and understanding how to accurately determine what's coming next. Glad you're a positive Peter and not a gloomy Gus. Makes watching weather on tv a lot more enjoyable!

  7. Totally agree - weather weenies need to STFU - or MOVE TO FLORIDA

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  9. I looked up the definition of "small talk and it says: "a polite conversation about unimportant or uncontroversial matters." That's what it feels like when talking about the weather. Great aricle BTW!