By JENNA JOHNSON
The No. 1 thing people are told not to discuss if they are worried about appearing boring is…
If you guessed correctly, congratulations. You could’ve just won a round of “Family Feud.”
Weather is generally accepted as one of the most mundane small-talk topics known to man, reserved to be spoken about only as a last resort.
However, lately weather has been the topic on everyone’s lips and on every news platform.
What causes a boring topic to catapult to the front page of every paper, lead story of television newscasts, and the home page of every news Web site?
The answer is the bizarre factor.
Winter storms in the north and northeast will be mentioned in the local paper, but won’t usually receive so much as a blurb in national news. But when a few inches of snow paralyzes the entire metropolitan area of Atlanta, the weather certainly makes headlines.
Atlanta became a classic example of Murphy’s Law when the storm hit. Traffic stopped resulting in 20-hour commutes, children were held overnight in their schools, citizens were encouraged to stay home and off the roads. The nation’s ninth largest metropolitan city, the headquarters of CNN, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and even the Weather Channel, was unable to respond efficiently.
Reporters went wild. After all, it’s not every day that the south gets snow, and it’s not every day that a city actually shuts down over two-plus inches of it.
The problems caused by the weather were so extensive that reporters continued to follow the story after the icy situation had been resolved, analyzing who was at fault for Atlanta’s inefficient emergency response system. The buzz created even extended into this week. Reporters Wednesday wrote stories spectating on Atlanta’s reaction to another incoming storm before it even hit.
Though this week’s storm was more severe than the one prior, it appears Atlanta learned its lesson from the “Snow-pocolypse.” People have been staying off the roads and government buildings and schools were closed well in advance to avoid the traffic.
Whether the weather-obsessed reporters had to anything to do with Atlanta’s much cleaner response to storm number two is up for interpretation. My guess is that Atlanta didn’t want to be the recipient of northern ridicule again.