If you live in an area with a transportation system that has more than two lanes for its freeway, there's a good chance you've got those big signs used to notify drivers of current road conditions, Amber Alerts, and other warnings. Where I live, sometimes those signs are used in a creative manner. There's a state employee (or employees...) with the job of coming up with those cleaver sayings, mostly to remind drivers to obey traffic laws including wearing seatbelts. Wearing seatbelts is a big one.
I've often wondered who comes up with them. A few days ago, I knew exactly who wrote one of the messages. I knew this because of a contest. A prominent state employee came up with an idea. Whoever came up with the best tweet in anticipation of the Utah Jazz vs Oklahoma City NBA playoff series, that tweet would be seen by millions of drivers.
There were some fantastic entries--the top 10 were tweeted. One was chosen. The first time I saw the sign was going to work. It was dark and my phone camera didn't quite catch the message. But driving home, I was able to get a couple of good pictures. The winning entry, if you can't read it, says,
DRIVE SAFE: ZERO PERCENT CHANCE OF THUNDER
Then the follow-up screen said,
The person who came up with the contest was Utah's Lt. Governor, Spencer Cox. The creator of the tweet and winner of the contest was Allison Croghan. To make the story even sweeter, Allison is a meteorologist for a local TV news station.
Though I don't have all the expensive weather equipment that are at Allison's disposal, I cannot say with certainty that we have been without thunder since that sign went up on April 16th. I know tonight, as I am writing this post, the Oklahoma Thunder are in town and playing the Jazz. Both teams will play again Monday night. If things go well for the home team, that'll be the last time Thunder is reported in the valley--at least until next season.