It’s Oct. 21, 2012. I’m doing my usual thing: checking out my computer models. (It’s a habit.) I notice a tropical disturbance south of the island of Jamaica. Normally that’s no big deal, but I take a look at some long-range models — and a couple of the more trusted ones seem to be hinting at East Coast trouble.
This is sometimes the case and isn't a huge concern, except I notice some key atmospheric morphing, conditions thousands of miles away that in time could all come together and if everything falls into place has the very early makings of the "perfect storm": the combination of a highly unusual set of atmospheric conditions which has the potential to become a one-of-a-kind monster storm.
My heart starts to race and I get this deep feeling of anxiety. You know, I must save the world and prepare to get folks out of harm's way. I've felt the need to do this ever since I was in the fifth grade. To my daughter, I'm this weather superhero saving people from danger. But no, I'm just little old me -- the hardest-working unemployed chief meteorologist in town. Bingo! I have a thought (this usually leads me to some sort of trouble). I e-mail most of the news directors that are in charge of our local television stations and give them details to what I'm thinking and ask if you need an extra body to cover to what I think might turn out to be a devastating storm. Alas, crickets. It hurts, but they have to do what they think is best for their station and their weather team. I get it, but I don't have to like it. The bottom line: It's a business and I just don't fit in, kind of a misfit. It makes me sad, it's all I really know. I know there are thousands of you just like me who've had your passion in life taken away, the feeling of free falling into an abyss, the unknown.
Back to the good fight: I took to Twitter and tried my best to prepare you all week for the megastorm, then took to the radio waves on WMMR. Next thing I know, I'm heading to New York City to do the first ever five-hour hurricane special for Howard Stern from the center of the storm. It's a bunch of crazy Whack Packers: a so-called over-the-top meteorologist (me), a straight-shooting journalist (radio reporter Jon Lieberman) and the "King of All Media" as your boss. What a wild week it was.
— John Bolaris, one of Philly’s best-known news personalities, will appear every Monday. He’ll give advice on life, weather and any topic in between. So let's start the dialogue. E-mail John at email@example.com
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