This is not some lame TV station forecast. This is the official National Weather Service website, and they have a map where you can click your mouse and get a forecast specific to your driveway. Three to five inches.
So the next morning there was indeed a skiff of snow, maybe an inch if I used the short ruler the ski areas measure with, but really more like a half inch or less. The forecast for Wednesday was equally dire, with another four to six of total daytime accumulation predicted. When I took the dogs out for their noon walk, the sun was shining brightly and there was nothing showing on the radar map. That's not an auspicious start to the winter forecasting.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong with a forecast, especially this time of year. The ground is still warm and it might have tried to snow five inches overnight but melted back. The chicken entrails the forecasters read might have given a false reading due to the use of free-range chicken. Or they may have been excited and said three to five inches, followed by another four to six the next day, just because it's that time of year. After an entire summer where there was nothing to report but hot and hotter, dry and drier, the potential for a storm had them all giddy. But the difference between the grass being white if you kind of squinted at it and the forecast was a significant miss. Preseason jitters; maybe they will get more accurate by the playoffs.
It's still time to put the snow tires on.
Anyway, the skiff of snow was the first snow my pup has ever seen, and his reaction was interesting. When I let him out first thing in the morning, he stepped right in it and kind of lifted his feet up to look at them and try to assess the situation. Then he pawed it, sniffed at it, then tasted it, and within a minute or so was doing what every dog I've ever had has done. He stuck his nose right in the snow and started plowing. Of course, by midday when it had all turned to mud -- and instead of the second blast coming in the sun was out -- he celebrated summer's return by rolling in the mud.
I voted on Tuesday, the first day that early voting was open. There had been a pretty good turnout by the time I got there. My theory was that if I voted early, the vicious campaign ads would just bounce off my satellite dish. No such luck. The next week is going to be toxic. Congressman Jim Matheson personally forged Obama's birth certificate and his challenger, Mia Love, will raise your taxes to 100% and fire all the police. The outside money pouring into that race is astounding. The Republicans really want that seat because, well, it's hard to say because Matheson has voted with the Republicans most of the time.
Americans hate Congress. It has a 9 percent approval rating. Plane crashes are more popular than Congress. But if Americans hate Congress so much, why do we keep reelecting them? If we believe the country is going to hell in a hand basket, isn't it possible that Orrin Hatch and Rob Bishop had some role in that after being in Congress for a generation? It's either their fault or they have failed to prevent it. After 36 years, isn't there some level of accountability? But predictions more certain than the weather forecast point to their reelection. I don't get it.
On the local level, I know too many of the candidates personally to publicly pick among friends. We're lucky to have good people in the County Council races. There are some real differences, so pay attention.
I don't know what to think about the legislative races. The state legislature is such a clown show that wanting to be elected and participate in such stupidity is almost an automatic disqualification. Can't we outsource those jobs to India? It couldn't possibly be any worse than what we have now.
The presidential election doesn't matter in Utah. Mitt has Utah's electoral votes. Given the choice, I might extend Obama's contract by a year, under strict probation, but I can't give him another four years based on his performance so far. There are other candidates on the ballot.
Go vote. It's good to get it out of your system.
Tom Clyde practiced law in Park City for many years. He lives on a working ranch in Woodland and has been writing this column since 1986.