Words & Deeds

‘WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!’ Local weatherman sends Boise scrambling

Warning of “extensive power outages,” former local TV weatherman Vin Crosby gave a forecast by candlelight. (Kidding! But seriously, dude, maybe upgrade to 100-watt bulbs?)
Warning of “extensive power outages,” former local TV weatherman Vin Crosby gave a forecast by candlelight. (Kidding! But seriously, dude, maybe upgrade to 100-watt bulbs?) YouTube

If inclement weather can be considered entertainment, former TV meteorologist Vin Crosby deserves an Oscar — or at least a Golden Snow Globe.

A familiar face at Boise stations until 2014, Crosby unleashed a grassroots forecast Jan. 5 on YouTube that grew into a local social-media sensation by the weekend. Titled “One of the most dangerous patterns,” Crosby’s video predicted potential catastrophe in the Treasure Valley — sending paranoid Idahoans onto the snowy streets on a last-minute hunt for survival supplies.

“I do think this is a very dangerous situation that’s developing,” he warned on “The Weather Show with Meteorologist Vin Crosby” clip, which has more than 175,000 views. “On top of all the record snows we have. On top of all the cold air that’s now in place or starting to get in place. I still think the most dangerous part of this overall weather pattern ... is yet to come.”

Dum dum duuuum!

In case you were too busy cowering in your bomb shelter to watch all nine minutes and 17 seconds, the video’s description made things crystal-ball clear: “High probability of casualty and property damage in the Treasure Valley.”

Crosby probably meant well. (I reached out to him unsuccessfully for comment Wednesday, the same day he launched a GoFundMe page with a target of $25,000 for his fledgling YouTube show.)

He advised viewers that, “We’ve got a day, maybe a day and a half, for you to take some actions which could possibly even save some of your lives ... .”

The top YouTube commenter, who claimed to have relocated here from California, was moved to action: “... This is scaring the bajeezies out of me. Going to store right now. Thank you for the info.”

This fearful soul was far from alone. Lines at grocery stores were crazy last weekend. All the bottled water vanished from the shelves at WinCo on State Street.

Was the shopping madness purely because of Crosby? Probably not. But his ominous prognostications certainly helped.

“Thanks for giving the Eagle WinCo their best day ever!” a YouTube commenter chimed under Crosby’s video.

“WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!” cried another.

Grocery and hardware stores across the Treasure Valley were "jam-packed" Saturday as people scrambled to get the essentials before another 5 to 7 inches of snow dumped on our area.

Most of Crosby’s forecast — sub-zero temperatures, more snow, freezing rain, car port and roof collapses — was not unreasonable. You’ve seen the headlines. Heck, Bogus Basin even had a couple of power outages that caused the ski resort to close temporarily this week.

But the way Crosby made everything feel like an oncoming disaster of biblical proportions was, well ...

Let’s put it in Spinal Tap terms. “I think Vin just took this one to 11 and beyond,” says Scott Dorval, chief meteorologist at KIVI Channel 6 News. “If I wasn’t a meteorologist, I would have freaked out if I watched that video.”

Crosby’s PowerPoint-style “Act Now & Prepare” presentation urged us to “Make a plan. Get food, water and medication. Flashlights, matches and candles. Generators if possible. Blankets.”

How about just grab an extra bottle of schnapps and stay inside playing Xbox for a couple of days?

Look, I understand that Boise has endured a blast of climate drama unprecedented in modern times. We had the most snow on the ground at the Boise Airport since 1940. Multiple YouTube commenters expressed gratitude for Crosby’s video.

All I know is that if Idaho’s chief YouTube meteorologist keeps doing forecasts, I’m buying stock in Aquafina and Evian.

Entertainment notes

▪  Guess what the top-selling album of 2016 was at The Record Exchange: Drake? Beyonce? David Bowie?

Try Steve Fulton.

The popular local musician and recording-studio owner’s “Eponym” — credited to his SFM-Steve Fulton Music — was the No. 1 seller of the year. It wasn’t the only local album near the top, either. The No. 2 finish went to “Idaho Ho Ho Vol. 7,” the annual fundraiser from Moxie Java and The Idaho Foodbank. That CD features Idaho musicians performing holiday music.

The rest of The Record Exchange’s top 10, in descending order: The Lumineers, “Cleopatra”; Metallica, “Hardwired... To Self-Destruct”; Twenty One Pilots, “Blurryface”; Sturgill Simpson, “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth”; Rolling Stones, “Blue and Lonesome”; Radiohead, “A Moon Shaped Pool”; David Bowie, “Blackstar.”

▪  Selling all 740 seats each night at the Egyptian Theatre, the 11th annual Xtreme Holiday Xtravaganza was a huge success. The December event, headlined by singer Curtis Stigers, raises money for Interfaith Sanctuary. Counting the two-night concert, its auction, a donor program and year-end fundraising, more than $300,000 was raised for the Boise homeless shelter.

▪  If you listen to the morning show on 94.9 FM The River, you’ve noticed the absence of co-host Misty Taylor. The former Miss Idaho’s last day was Dec. 28. The River plans to hire a replacement.

Michael Deeds: 208-377-6407, @michaeldeeds

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