Hey Georgians, there’s an app for the weather!

Gov. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., went before cameras and reporters this afternoon to take the blame for the massive traffic chaos in the Atlanta area that ensued during this week’s winter storm. The more than 2.5 inches of ice that became an urban glacier left motorists stranded, shoppers sleeping in supermarkets and kids spending the night in their schools.

All of the mess that caused a backlash against government officials leads one to ask this question:

Does anyone in Atlanta watch the weather?

Besides the capable TV meteorologists at local stations there is the great Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it being one of the last Cox newspapers — Cox being a company from which I am retired — still standing. And does anyone watch The Weather Channel? It’s based in Atlanta, for heaven’s sake! I mean, I think TWC is a shell of itself these days. I believe its idea of naming winter storms is ridiculous. I guess the channel got some traction with “Super Storm Sandy” but I doubt many people in the areas hardest hit by the baddest snow and ice storms could tell you the “name” of that storm.

Yes, I am sure some of the blame should go to city and state agencies for a lack of preparation. I wouldn’t blame the National Weather Service at all even though I am sure some blame gets stirred up toward them by those who seek to privatize the weather service. Hell, I went through this same winter storm, which hit with a little of the ice that goes a long way, in Beaumont, Texas. And while I’m not the biggest fan of our city government, I do have to praise them for taking steps that I’m sure looked overreaching to some. The city of Beaumont was fortunate to learn from its mistakes, as it has been pretty good at doing at least in the last 8.5 years I’ve lived here. Plus, I lived here in 1997 as well, when a gosh-awful ice storm paralyzed the city for almost a week.

A winter storm hit here last week that was worse that this week’s. The storm resulted in almost 140 traffic accidents in Beaumont and Jefferson County, including one fatality just down the road from where I live. This week’s storm tallied slightly more than two dozen wrecks with no fatalities in the city and county.

I doubt many who will read this would have as an abiding interest as I do in weather. Yes, I am a weather freak. No doubt about it. It, as “they” say is a force of nature. In the old days I would watch “Cowboy John” write the temperatures and cold fronts with a grease pencil on a glass board. Now I can get radar 24/7, on my phone. I can also read the story behind the weather that NWS folks publish on the internet. I may not have a lot of information on things I should have these days, but by God, I know what’s happening with the weather!

Atlanta and Georgia folks, the weather is out there. You need to take a couple of minutes to find out what’s happening with it just as you’d read or watch some report about stock prices, basketball or Justin Bieber.