It doesn't matter if we have a mild, practically snowless winter as we did this year, or if we have a season of big dumps (as we did in 2010): You can count on at least one mass panic of our local weathercasters the first time inklings of snow appear on their Doppler radars. These people appear to have no critical faculties when it comes to risk assessment. Doesn't matter if it's two inches or twenty predicted, you can bet they'll each get a teaser spot before the news starts, a brief 'n' edgy bump in the first five minutes of the broadcast in which they'll say "snow" thirteen times, and then — oh, then comes the actual weather segment of your nightly news. Eight hot and heavy minutes of maps, radar projections, cutesy little snowflake graphics, a brief history lesson on the greatest amount of snow that ever fell in St. Louis on this date since 1895 — it's weather porn starring the desperately unappreciated meteorologist. It's even worse the next morning, assuming snow actually does fall. Then its glad-handing all around the morning broadcast, each of them preening as if they alone had carved each flake by hand.