Tracking the Radar

In 1998, using the iwon web browser, I first began tracking the radar.

Tracking the Radar

I had just started my first job at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and our small annex had just been wired for email and the web. Google was not yet a thing; I was photocopying articles that I cut from real newspapers and printing out memos that I hand-delivered throughout the museum; and my colleagues and I ordered after-lunch cookies from Urban Fetch on a daily basis. I had too-short bangs, tailored frumpy pants (remember the days before stretchy office pants?), and unfortunate sweater sets. Sometimes I’d linger in Arms & Armor, getting lost in the maze, taking my time to meander back to my desk.

It was also the first time I heard the term nor’easter when one headed our way that year.

I soon became the office radar tracker, delighting in the colorful videos that presented the various possibilities that might blast into our area. I provided regular updates to my officemates as I longed for something more exciting than my daily tasks.

These days, I look to Lonnie Quinn on CBS, but I fondly remember my mom and I watching Sam Champion when I was a child. I especially recall his warning that NYC was overdue for the big earthquake. This is why, years later, I ran down 18 flights of stairs in a Times Square skyscraper faster than every person in my office when I felt the building shake; I was determined not to die inside that [miserable] law firm. It was, in fact, an earthquake (it hit DC and we felt the aftershock), but not the one Sam Champion spoke of years back.

So here we are in New York (and the Northeast in general) tonight, poised to welcome in a massive nor’easter. I’ve been tracking since Wednesday. The American and European models differed slightly, but that slight nuance would mean the difference between a dusting and a foot. Have a look:

Tracking the Radar – European Model
Tracking the Radar – American Model

I hoped for the bigger result. Looks like I got my way.

I came across this article from a weather enthusiast blog that lists the seven best apps to track the radar. The author rates them with pros and cons. Without a doubt, I prefer the National Weather Service. I love how slowly the radar video plays, and I adore how the map displays the counties with such precision. All too often these radar videos play far too quickly.

I also subscribe to my small town’s newsletter that’s written by the mayor. Together with the radar, I knew just when to schedule my disaster shopping. I continue to provide regular updates to my family, but they don’t seem as enthused as my MMA colleagues did years ago. That said, my plan is in place. We are prepared.

Thanks for reading! If you liked this post, you might like this one about the winter activities in my head.

Do you track the radar? Do tell!

Brown and red leaves with frost on grass

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