Weather watchers



Interest in winter weather has increased exponentially since last month’s unheralded winter storm. The proof was visible Monday in the Emergency Management Agency’s courthouse basement operations center, when a crowd of 30-odd officials assembled for the National Weather Service’s morning briefing. ‘It was the biggest crowd I can ever remember for a weather briefing,’ said EMA director Max Armstrong. Included in the standing-roomonly crowd were school superintendents, city and county law enforcement officers, department of transportation representatives, commissioners, maintenance department workers, fire department and street department employees, the county engineer, media people, and assorted other city and county officials. Here Armstrong (left) and EMA deputy director Doug Smith team up to render into common English the weather service briefer’s extravagantly detailed predictions, interpretations, circumlocutions, and caveats concerning the weather to come. Bottom line: more rain, wintry mix, ice, and snow from Tuesday evening late through early Thursday morning, with one to three inches of one or the other – or a combination of all four – beginning with lower amounts in the south, shading into higher amounts with more accumulation in the north of the county. Count on Wednesday to be a bad day, from start to finish. Relief could come with warming temperatures around noon on Thursday. – Ron Gholson