The Weather Rock

Melissa Stagnaro

Last Friday was a picture perfect 60 degree day. I went straight home after work and went for a walk, delighting in the sunshine. It made me wish I knew how to whistle. It was just that kind of afternoon.

I gave winter what I thought was its last hoorah on Saturday, hitting the slopes at Greek Peak with my friend Doreen. A fitting way to spend the last official day of winter. Come Sunday, I was ready to pack away all of my warm weather gear and welcome in the spring. For once, I thought Punxsutawney Phil would be right.

Of course all those fanciful notions came crashing down Monday morning, when I woke to find four inches of heavy wet snow blanketing the world outside my window.

Was that supposed to be a joke, Mother Nature? Because I didn’t really find it all that funny.

My morning commute was treacherous to say the least, but I made it to work safe and sound. (Albeit a little late.) Others had a worse time of it, judging by the sheer volumes of calls over the scanner for cars going off the road.

It was like, just because it was officially spring, everyone forgot how to drive in the wintery conditions we’ve been living with for months. Panic set in.

That’s the only explanation I can find for Wednesday’s premature school closures. According to the forecast we were supposed to get a few inches of snow. But four of our local schools closed for the day before even a single flake had actually fallen.

I’m sure they had the safety of their students in mind when they made the decision, but I’m sure they were kicking themselves when all that snow we were supposed to get never materialized.


I’m not going to beat them up over it, though. I’m sure they’ve already gotten plenty of slack. Particularly since they were already out of snow days (or at least close to it).

Let’s face it: this is upstate New York. The weather is as unpredictable here as anywhere. Probably more so. Half the time there is no use even looking at the forecast. It’ll just be wrong.

I myself use a different method, one recommended to me by my good friend Jim Root. It’s called the weather rock. (There’s rumor he has a patent pending, but that’s unconfirmed.)

The principle behind the weather rock is simple. Rather than relying on notoriously inaccurate forecasts, one simply looks at this sage piece of stone. If it’s wet, grab your umbrella. Snow covered? Better have your boots at the ready. If it happens to be shining brightly in the sunshine, make sure your favorite pair of shades are handy.

Really, you can’t go wrong.

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