For days, we had been hearing that 6 to 12 inches of snow would strike the area from the weather terrorists on any television channel. Alerts were everywhere, the supermarkets were jammed, with customers making sure they had enough chipped ham, bread, and milk, not to mention toilet paper, to outlast the disaster that was about to obliterate us.
Pittsburgh’s mayor was presiding over news conferences committing every available resource, including tractors and Mini Coopers with snowplows, if need be. Employees were put on 12-hour shifts. The overtime was ringing up. Gas stations that ran out of regular grade gasoline were selling premium at regular-grade prices. Every bag of salt in all of the big-box and small-box stores was gone. We heard intermittent live reports direct from the salt dumps as to how they were going to manage with dwindling salt reserves. Church services were cancelled, and schools were expected to do likelwise because the following day was supposed to be the bullseye of the storm as told to us by the weather terrorists. Surely, it was a day of reckoning.
What transpired is that the Armageddon of snowstorms that was scheduled for Western Pennsylvania turned out to be flurries. The driveways were cleared, the roads were only wet, the panic abated, and by the following day, order was restored with not a word of the failure from the weather terrorists.
This has occurred countless times. Television stations, vying to increase ratings, are committing larger portions of their programs to weather. The ultimate goal is to scare the public into watching their channel until the public believes they must watch because of approaching disaster. This is what it has come to, all in the pursuit of ratings.