Update, 10 a.m., Thursday: Alright then. The latest NWS advisory, for the period between 7 p.m. tonight and 7 a.m. tomorrow, says: "Total snow accumulations of up to 4 inches expected. Winds gusting as high as 40 mph. ... Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute."
Also, there's a flood warning for the Charles River upriver from, basically, Cutler Park on 128 at the Needham/Dedham line: "Do not allow children to play near swollen rivers, streams or culverts. Swiftly moving water can pose an imminent threat to life."
Update, 5:45 p.m., Wednesday: The latest NWS maps show 2-3 inches of snow even in the Boston area for Thursday night into Friday. It should change to rain by Friday morning, but some areas could also get ice mixed in. We are so not ready for this.
Note: If you look below, you'll see that we've begun changing the warning/hysteria scale, from one based entirely on the old Bush-era color-coded system to one based on the number of slices, from 1 to 5, with 1 meaning no threat of snow (we couldn't go to 0 because, hey, it's always a good time for French Toast) to 5, meaning, run around like a crazy person and buy All the Milks.
But we got lazy and didn't finish all the graphics needed for the new system. But look for it soon (don't worry, we'll still use colors, too)
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.
1 Slice / 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.
2 Slices / 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.
3 Slices / 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.
4 Slices / 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.
5 Slices / 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 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:
Become the alert: Buy an official French Toast Alert T-shirt and run around updating your neighbors:
Toastaphon: Toast image derived from this French Toast sammich photo by Bunchofpants.