Remembering Sningo

The four seasons in Minnesota are spring, summer, fall, and hyperbole.

The first winter storm is hitting the state today and the media world has team coverage to remind you that people are buying shovels, car mechanics have ideas for how to get ready, and kids are looking forward to sledding.

We’re not given to repeating Facebook memes and jokes, but we make an exception for the Meanwhile in Wisconsin account’s depiction of the absurdity of it all.


Yesterday, the Star Tribune’s Paul Douglas declared “Only in Minnesota” does the temperature drop from the ’60s to blizzard conditions in 36 hours. That assertion, of course, is absurd.

We so suspect, however, that Minnesota is the only place where the traffic slows to a crawl because of a weather forecast.

We’re reminded that the debut of NewsCut almost nine years ago was rushed into production because of a snowstorm. I wanted to debut Sningo!

It never gets old.

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And here’s the original Sningo, from the very first public NewsCut post, which I stupidly started filling in.

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  • Rob

    Totally fun reminder of how lame TV coverage of snow events is. Gotta go – need to catch the TV morning shows and satisfy my snowmania…

  • Gary F

    So glad I can just look at my phone and get the weather forecast so I can turn the radio and TV off.

    • tboom

      I’m so rarely in agreement with Gary!

      Let’s look for a point of departure. I use NOAA Weather, accurate and no hype (and a government agency). 🙂

      • Gary F

        Weather Bug app. No radio or TV today or tomorrow. Then as always, Bill DeVille Sunday morning, the best two hours of radio ever. That is, if he can make it in with the 2 inches of snow we might get.

        • tboom

          I’ve used Weather Bug, a good choice. You may have no time on Sunday morning, no doubt you’ll still be digging out.

          • BJ

            Bluetooth headphones under the ski cap with stream will do the trick!

          • Gary F

            Raining hard and even hailed this morning. Are the reporters broadcasting from the overpasses yet? Have the “winter report news vehicles” hit the streets yet? Have they reported from MN Dot yet showing a plow throwing a huge amount of snow? Grocery store lines of people buying enough food to get them through Thanksgiving? Has Governor Goofy closed down government offices yet?

  • Anna

    When I first moved to the Upper Midwest with my family 27 years ago, my mother was horrified and my other family members were really worried (We lived in South Louisiana before the move.)

    I told my mother, “I’m not moving to the North Pole.”

    Her reply was, “But you might as well be. I’m never going to see you!”

    My immediate family’s experience with snow only happens once every 10-15 years. Two inches of snow down there might as well be a blizzard. Everything shuts down and when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING.

    I reassured my family that I would not be snowed in for the winter. It’s called snow plows and road salt/sand and they use it judiciously.

    Driving in snow was definitely a learning curve but my co-workers and long-time residents of Minnesota gave me pointers like not slamming on your brakes (you squeeze them), steering in the direction of the spin when caught on ice (That one saved my brother when he visited his wife’s relatives at Christmas in Massachusetts one year) and walking like a penguin when you have to cross a slippery sidewalk.

    I pull up the NWS forecast before I head out in snowy weather and the DOT’s website on road conditions and adjust my driving accordingly. I generally don’t watch OTA weather broadcasts.

    When a storm is headed this way, I’m looking at what Paul Huttner is forecasting but even he can get caught flat footed by unusual weather patterns.

    I love your SNINGO. Maybe I’ll break with tradition and watch the local weather folks on air the next time a big weather maker is headed this way.

  • Mike Worcester

    The hyperbole gets me also. The raised voices. The extended metaphors. The rush to panic when sometimes all that is needed is a little calm.

    As I sat late last night and watched the closing announcements roll in there was, of course, the chorus of grumbling on my news feed of “when I was a kid, we soldiered forward no matter what the conditions” or similar. Maybe, just maybe, we are better off now because we have improved greatly our ability to forecast snow events and can prepare better for them. And in the end, it’s just a day off from school that can easily be made up.

    So what do we win if we get a Sningo?

    Oh, and I think folks in Denver can easily relate to such extreme swings in conditions (going from the 70s one day to whiteouts the next).

  • Jack Ungerleider

    I believe that all three of the total snowfall boxes are in play this time around. As for hyperbole I will simply remind people that the early forecast for Halloween 1991 was flurries, maybe a dusting on the grassy surfaces before it was done. (At least that’s what I remember. 😉

  • RBHolb

    Don’t forget that the snowstorm video footage will be repurposed next year. When the temperature hits the 90s, it will be “Remember this?” After Labor Day, it will be “Winter is coming soon!”

  • Deborah

    Bob — Put an X on the first box upper left of new SNINGO card: the Updraft blog has a picture of a bicyclist riding in the snow.