French Toast Alert System

French Toast Alert Level: Low. Explanation.

UPDATE, 10/5, 11:30 p.m. With Matthew now increasingly looking like it will head south (and maybe hit Florida a second time), we're going back down to Green/Los.

UPDATE, 10/4, 11:30 p.m. And just like that, we're no longer in the Cone of Probability for Sunday - models now show Matthew missing us to the south and east. Still, as the National Hurricane Center says in its 11 p.m. report, things could change.

UPDATE, 10/4, 11:30 a.m. The Cone of Probability has been extended into New England for Sunday. French-toast stations, everyone! Still just at Guarded, though, because the NHC is still repeated its earlier caveat:

It is too soon to specify what, if any, direct impacts Matthew might have on the remainder of the U.S. east coast farther north. At a minimum, very dangerous beach and boating conditions are likely along much of the U.S. east coast later this week and weekend.

Still, we're going to have to spend some time today considering the proposal to go to a more liquor-based alert system for this storm.

UPDATE, 10/4, 10 a.m. The NWS in Boston reports our weekend forecast is unclear due to the uncertainties of Matthew:

Even a miss or near miss will result in some impacts across southern New England. These include the marine impacts listed above as well as the potential for heavy rainfall either with Matthew or with a Predecessor Rainfall Event (PRE).

Stay tuned to updates throughout the week. For now, it looks like the earliest it would be as far north as southern New England would be Saturday, but could certainly be later in the weekend or into early next week.

Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center's cone of probability now extends to the southernmost tip of New Jersey.

UPDATE, 10/3, 11:10 p.m. The National Hurricane Center keeps us on our toes, all fidgety like:

Tropical storm or hurricane conditions could affect portions of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina later this week or this weekend, even if the center of Matthew remains offshore. It is too soon to specify what, if any, direct impacts Matthew might have on the remainder of the U.S. east coast farther north. At a minimum, very dangerous beach and boating conditions are likely along much of the U.S. east coast later this week and weekend.

UPDATE, 10/3, 1 p.m. Parts of the Carolinas now in Matthew's "cone of probability" for Saturday, still too early to say whether we'd be next.

UPDATE, 10/2, 12:30 p.m. Matt's looking increasingly like it could collide with the East Coast, but it's still too early to say for sure, or where, although Weather Underground is looking at North Carolina. In the meantime, enjoy this hypnotic visualization of the winds swirling around the storm.

UPDATE, 10/1, 10:40 a.m. Matty's back down to merely Category 4; still too early to say if we should be rushing out for plywood and eggs.

UPDATE, 9/30, 6:50 p.m. The National Hurricane Center says Matthew is now a Category 5 storm, and it doesn't get any higher than that.

UPDATE, 9/30, 6:50 p.m. Entire east coast at potential risk later next week. Storm now a Category 4. Inside the eye.

UPDATE, 9/30, 2:20 p.m. A bit early to start thinking about plywood sheets, but Hurricane Matthew is turning into an interesting storm. For one thing, it intensified from a tropical storm to a Level 3 hurricane in less than a day, despite some significant wind shear that normally inhibits hurricane growth. More important, for those of us in the Greater French Toast Region, is that it's expected to turn northward, toward the East Coast. Now, it could still head deeper into the Caribbean, or pull a Hermine and just head out into the middle of the Atlantic. It's just too early to say. But as Eric Fisher wrote a couple days ago, the storm bears watching, especially because of its resemblance to Hurricane Hazel, which rammed into the East Coast in 1954. And so we will, with one eye pointed at the Caribbean, the other looking around for that bottle of maple syrup. Green for now, but with a finger on the button to go higher if need be.

The French Toast Alert System has been developed in consultation with local and federal emergency officials to help you determine when to panic and rush to the store to buy milk, eggs and bread.

Low: No storm predicted. Harvey Leonard sighs and looks dour on the evening news. Go about your daily business but consider buying second refrigerator for basement, diesel generator. Good time to replenish stocks of maple syrup, cinnamon.

Guarded: Light snow predicted. Subtle grin appears on Harvey Leonard's face. Check car fuel gauge, memorize quickest route to emergency supermarket should conditions change.

Elevated: Moderate, plowable snow predicted. Harvey Leonard openly smiles during report. Empty your trunk to make room for milk, eggs and bread. Clear space in refrigerator and head to store for an extra gallon of milk, a spare dozen eggs and a new loaf of bread.

High: Heavy snow predicted. Harvey Leonard breaks into huge grin, can't keep his hands off the weather map. Proceed at speed limit before snow starts to nearest supermarket to pick up two gallons of milk, a couple dozen eggs and two loaves of bread - per person in household.

Severe: Nor'easter predicted. This is it, people, THE BIG ONE. Harvey Leonard makes repeated references to the Blizzard of '78. RUSH to emergency supermarket NOW for multiple gallons of milk, cartons of eggs and loaves of bread. IGNORE cries of little old lady you've just trampled in mad rush to get last gallon of milk. Place pets in basement for use as emergency food supply if needed.

Busy person? Follow the French Toast Alert System on Twitter or on Facebook; stay up to the moment with the proper panic level.

Busy developer type person? Use the French Toast Alert data set to build those state-of-the-art iPhone apps.

Put the French Toast Alert System on your site! Copy and paste the following where you want the alert to show up. It's 124 pixels wide by 126 pixels high:

<script src="" type="text/javascript"></script>

Become the alert: Buy an official French Toast Alert T-shirt and run around updating your neighbors:

Boston French Toast Alert System shirt
Get this custom shirt at Zazzle

Toastaphon: Toast image derived from this French Toast sammich photo by Bunchofpants.


Jump to comments

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Will that t-shirt make my butt look bigger?


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I know for SURE your butt will look bigger if you have been eating all that French Toast! What they heck - go for it!!


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The T-Shirt has a red logo that says elevated, but elevated on the chart is yellow. I would want a severe logo on the front with the whole chart explanation on the back.

If I had a million dollars ...

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... I'd hire a copy editor.

Changed on the link above. If you bought one of the "Elevated" shirts and want the real "Severe" shirt, e-mail me and I'll get you the right ones.

Even if you don't have a million bucks...

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Adam Gaffin:

Perhaps, I can help?

I am a proofreader of web pages; checking spelling, grammar, links and anything that looks "strange." I am technically not a copy editor because I don't have the skills to edit hard copy lay-outs.

I do have a reference whose e-mail I will be glad to give you in private email.

On your contact page I couldn't find a way to join without installing MS Outlook which I didn't wish to do.

Diane Lee


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But-but-but... if you have Outlook on your computer, and alot of PCs do, it automatically opens up a Compose screen in Outlook. If you haven't set up Outlook, it'll make you set that up first.

I'm not sure about other web-browsers, but in Chrome, you can right-click and "Copy e-mail address" (even without highlighting the link!). Then paste it in your To field.

And if

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you can't figure out that you can copy a mailto: link rather than clicking through for it to open Outlook, you have no business copy editing web pages!

Fixed it for you

You had all kinds of funny brackets all over the place. What a mess! I just cleaned that all up for you. You should see if you have a few stuck keys on your typewriter.

french toast t's

Oh yes, those are just wonderful! Make 'em Make 'em! I do remember french toast as an evening meal, probably Saturday or Sundays, because Fridays were Beans and Franks (unless we had some extra cash, then we got some steak). Or has it been so long that I've been away and I've got Friday's and Saturday's meals mixed up?

French toast Ts

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Hey Knitnzu - you got em mixed up if you grew up Catholic - no meat on Fridays, remember?

No no no no no

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The beauty of the french toast system is that the three necessary and sufficient ingredients are bread, milk, and eggs: the three perishables that always disappear when snow is announced. If anything, it should somehow also tie-in with toilet paper...the one non-food perishable that disappears just as fast when bad weather is on the way.

As Chris Crocker would tell us:

great minds think alike

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I had the same thought a few days ago.

Sidenote: jeez, Adam's been laid off barely a day and the slacking has already started :) We're currently at "green", but "elevated".

French Toast Alert by email

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I was caught at Roche Bros in W Roxbury during a rush on the French Toast section, so many people that they brought in palettes of eggs and just left them in the middle of the milk area.

Also that Roche Bros in W Roxbury harbors a mysterious virus that makes you age 6 months for every minute you're in there, like that episode of Star Trek, so there were a lot of confused and desperate people in dairy.

So I would really appreciate getting the Alert by email.

No Kidding

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No kidding, needs to cool down a bit!

This is too funny. I'm a

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This is too funny. I'm a retail manager, and you should see the idiots go crazy when snow is predicted. My personal favorite as a drug store manager were: the emergency condoms.

Code Blue?

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I've been seeing snowflakes since around 3 or so.


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We really need a Facebook craplet for French Toast Alert status.

Anyone care to toss one together?


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Yeah, I want this as a FB app, so it can sit as a box on my page.

Sidebar Widget

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So, I use Windows Vista... and Google Desktop. I'd really think it was neat to have a sidebar widget for French Toast alerts...

The French Toast Alert System

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I must say the french toast alert system is funny. I currently live just out side of Washington, DC & trust me when I say, these people don't know how to drive in good weather. When that 4 letter word (snow) is put in the forecast. They go from "green" to "RED ALERT". There is nothing else to consider for these people. Example, this past Dec. we got about 18" of snow. These people that have cars with about 4 to 6" of clearance are out driving & are getting stuck & they can not understand why. DUH!

french toast alert

They say imitation is the sincerest form of a dj of "no repute" on a public station in NJ ( on the web I have been announcing french toast alerts for about 10 years...but i love your t-shirt and am a proud owner of one (gift from my Boston based daughters)

I guess great minds think along the same lines...have a great day...enjoy the french toast this afternoon!

Studebaker Hawk(tm)


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Adam! I mentioned on FB that we've had 7 storms already (per channel 5). A friend of mine (who lives in the Caribbean I might add) suggested that we start naming the storms like they do for hurricanes. Instead of the boy girl names, you could use breakfast dishes (French Toast is obviously already being used). Blueberry Pancakes; Blintzes; Scrambled Eggs. You could make up a new list each fall.

If there's a "Blizzard of '78" type storm, that name can be retired. What do you think?

How large?

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There were a few in there that only dropped a dusting or an inch or two that you don't have listed. I'm guessing they're counting those too.

Speaking of the Blizzard of '78

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This year is very reminiscent of '78, with large January snowfalls leading up to a potential early February biggie.

(click for bigger)

Anybody notice what's wrong with this picture?

Really? Sorry. It does for

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Really? Sorry. It does for me unless I have a zoom level > 100% on my browser. In any case, what I was looking for was the fact that the caption says 128 in Dedham when it's actually Canton looking towards Westwood.


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At first, I thought this was a thread about a new breakfast place. Now that I "get it" I am literally laughing my hiney off. Maybe I've been inside for way too long....

Ignore their 7-day forecast, which seems to lag

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Instead, look at the latest Winter Storm Watch:



Snow blower started, first

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Snow blower started, first pull , didnt have to plug in the electric starter, plenty of firewood, have direct deposit , let it snow !

another storm

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this site has been the absolutely best thing about a rather dreadful Boston winter. I laugh every time I open it up

Reason for mentioning Orange, the mythical town, not so mythical

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I think that the reason the NWS in Taunton likes to highlight Orange is because it is near the northern and western extreme of the WFO Taunton County Watch Area (CWA) and it has an airport that more or less regularly reports weather conditions. The airport in North Adams (Harriman and West) is within the NWS Albany CWA.

They would probably talk more about Keene, but it's Keene, in New Hampshire, and therefore "up there" or "in ski country" so far as most of the WFO Taunton audience is concerned.


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On Gallivan Blvd it is snowing quite hard out right now!

New warning tier

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Adam, why isn't there an 'Extreme' or 'XTREEEEME!' level to this warning system

French Toast Alert

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How many rolls of toilet paper should I buy for each level of alerts?


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I support french toast in the summer!

I love it!!!

I have the alert posted on my desk, and keep it updated during those horrific weather times.

What about using French Toast

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What about using French Toast doneness colors instead of the green, blue, yellow etc colors? So you could have French toast colors from practically raw to practically burnt with golden brown being in the middle? Love this site. Keep it up!