Snow is falling across Washington at the rate of two to three inches per hour, and will continue accumulating at that pace all night. Hopefully, you’ve made it home by now. And if you’re like me, you might not be panicking (though it’s cool if you are), but you’re monitoring the storm’s progress on a local news station.
But if, like me, you’re watching WRC, you probably have the same question I’ve been asking for the past hour: Where the hell is Pat Collins?
While Washington’s NBC affiliate, like every other station, is putting on an otherwise full-court press to welcome the huge winter storm, Collins, our patron saint of weather coverage and local-news-as-performance-art, has been missing. No heavy parka, no ushanka, and no snow stick.
But Collins, who just returned to DC from vacation, filed a story Thursday night reassuring viewers that while he’s not on the Friday shift, he’ll be out there on Saturday to cover the storm he’s deeming a “doozy.”
“He’s getting a little long in the tooth, so he needs to rest for the big day,” WRC’s 74-year-old anchor Jim Vance said.
Saturday can’t come quickly enough. On Friday afternoon, WRC meteorologist Veronica Johnson has been out in the field Friday afternoon with a measuring stick of her own, but it just isn’t the same, especially with the in-studio riffs from weatherman Doug Kammerer and anchor Jim Handly.
“That’s not the Pat Collins snow stick,” Kammerer said.
“We may need to double your stick size for this one,” Handly said. (Johnson then pointed out she was working with a “a 48-inch measuring stick, and it’s mine.”)
UPDATE, January 23, 10:01 AM: As promised, Collins has appeared, snow stick in hand.