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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow job

Does The Weather Channel truly believe that calling an average late-winter snowfall a "megastorm" will make it so?

The worst snow totals around the Northeast on Monday ranged from 8 to 14 inches - a headache to be sure, but a "megastorm"? Please.

"Megastorm" conjures up images of the infamous blizzards of March 1993 or January 1996 - two of the most powerful and devastating winter blasts of the last 50 years; catastrophes that dumped feet of snow and shut down entire cities for days. What happened on Monday (which, by the way, was far less severe than forecast) was a garden variety Nor'easter - the kind that comes along once every year or two, messes things up for a day, moves on and is quickly forgotten.

Are the folks at The Weather Channel so hard up for ratings that they have to resort to ridiculous exaggeration and overstatement to attract attention?

Well, they obviously attracted the attention of school district officials in Ulster County, who, in what has become a laughable streak, canceled classes on a day when a fairly unimpressive storm passed primarily to our south and east and left us with barely a dusting of fresh powder.



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