- Cullman, Alabama

February 3, 2014

Rage against the weather

The Cullman Times

CULLMAN — A lot of things can be predicted in life. Economic downturn. A sour reaction to a bill in Congress or the president’s State of the Union address.

But the weather? Who can really predict the weather with 100 percent accuracy?

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley was questioned whether the state was prepared or responded properly to the winter storm that pelted the state from Birmingham to the coast. Logically, the governor noted that state officials rely on the National Weather Service to prepare for severe weather. And the truth is that the National Weather Service, with all its experts, were stumped by Mother Nature.

While predicting severe weather is much better than the quality of past years, things can change in a hurry, whether it’s a tornado forming at the worst possible time or a sudden downfall of snow and ice. Things just happen.

Residents in the Birmingham area at first were not expecting major problems from the snow and ice, but the troublesome conditions suddenly shifted to the north and caused problems for thousands of people in the state’s largest metropolitan area.

Bentley cautioned against a blame game where the weather is concerned. A lot of upset parents and commuters took to social media to point fingers about traffic snarls and stranded children. In this case, the government wasn’t at fault. An act of nature is just hard to handle.

What would be more encouraging from the state’s disgruntled weather victims would be an outpouring of ideas and opinions about key issues in the state, such as the economy, budgets and education. The things that could be accomplished by an engaged citizenry would be phenomenal.

Two things are certain: The weather will trick the experts again sometime in the future and government will continue to plod along while people rage about matters beyond their control.