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                   Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - 10:05PM

Winter - the new obsession? NO.

By DAN ROBINSON
Editor/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Observing
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I wanted to clear up this point: I am not a fan of winter. A few years ago, when I was making semi-decent money as a freelancer going out and shooting video of snow flying in Beckley and Charleston, winter was briefly a pretty enjoyable gig. It was something to get me outside and on the road, and keep my ADD mind occupied during the off season. And later, I figured out that there were some nice still photo opportunities afforded by snow that were worth getting out for. Big snowstorms and ice storms are pretty interesting, and I do get some enjoyment out of those more extreme and rare events.

But I have to say it - in general, I do not like winter. I do what I can to make the most out of it, because I can't stop the season. It's either keep busy with it or go crazy with cabin fever and 'SDS' (storm deprivation syndrome, as it is known in the storm observer circles).

I say that because I don't want people to misread my involvement with road icing. The icy road subject has been something consuming my time for the past couple of years. But road icing is not my new obsession, it isn't my passion, it isn't a fascination. I'm involved in this because I feel a burden, an obligation to do it - simply because I've been in a unique position relevant to the issue. Not because I want to, not for notoriety, simply because I feel it has to be done. This issue has been wearing me down from time to time. It's not pleasant to maintain a web site that is about people losing their lives every day, watching those reports constantly stream in, entering them in one-by-one into a database. The only thing keeping me from saying 'to heck with it' is to look at those numbers and know that this headache may be worth something in the future. In fact, I'd probably enjoy winter a lot more if it wasn't for this.

I am always looking forward to spring and the day when the last icy road fatality of the season in the US gets recorded - and I can just forget about it until October. At that point I can go back to the things I truly enjoy - thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes, supercells and the warm breezes of spring and summer.

25 Years of Storm Observing
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