Today we had a freak hailstorm which resulted in about an inch of accumulation in less than 10 minutes.
It was wild to watch. During the storm we put tupperware containers out to catch some (to store them in the freezer for next summer).
Later in the afternoon Everett and I went sledding on the hill behind the house. It turns out that even with the modest accumulation and warm temperatures (about 40F), ice ball bearings make for good sledding! We got in four runs, and one was a record distance that hill.

Afterward Melissa and I joked about how the Storm Team didn’t warn us ahead of time. The Storm Team is the weather portion of the news on one of our local channels, and they have developed a habit of preempting all other broadcasting when there is a possibility of weather other than 70 F and sunny. This involves breaking in with taglines like “Storm Team Severe Weather Update with VIPIR RADAR!!!”, followed by hours of live broadcasts from all over the city. It is difficult to describe how ridiculous this is. We live in Wisconsin. It’s cold. It snows, sometimes a lot. Everyone who lives here is accustomed to it. We have been informed by our neighbors that it was only recently that the weather became such a big news item. Of course, the solution is to not watch it. But the hysteria that they whip up has an interesting side effect: it spills over into almost every other form of print and radio news. Winter storm prediction is now a competition to see who can predict the most snowfall or extreme weather. In some cases these predictions have led to school/business closings for storms that failed to materialize at all. A quick stop on the NOAA website will usually yield predictions of between 2 and 5 times less snow than the local news carnival, although these kinds of sensible forecasts get much lower ratings.

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