It's been another year, and another April Fools Day has rolled around this week.
And it is always a great temptation to make a fake weather forecast, a fake news story or a fake announcement, that would clearly be a joke.
The problem is that not everyone gets jokes, and if taken seriously, this could backfire in a major way.
Case in point: Gilbert Gottfried would tell you that not everyone shares the same sense of humor these days.
However, in the past, I have been award of radio stations that have "changed their format (music)" overnight on April 1st, so that in the morning, they played almost two hours of Polkas instead of rock music. Everything about the station continued, with theme music, announcements and news tailored to the polka enthusiasts.
Most people recognized immediately that it was a joke, and as a result, tuned away. That spells disaster for a radio station. The hoped for reaction was someone running to breakfast or their coworkers to say "Did you hear that WXYZ Radio has changed to all-polkas all the time?"
Still, it's possible to find a prank news story or two circulating on the web, on You Tube, or elsewhere as a result of a fake news release. Many many years ago, Wally Cox was a guest on the tonight show (or was it Buck Henry?) promoting decency for horses and farm animals. Not everyone got the joke, because NBC's switchboard was flooded with phone calls.
As I recall, Saturday Night Live got into the act on Jan. 1st, 1984, as they abruptly changed their show at midnight... dissolving to static and then coming on the air again as "Big Brother Television"... It's very rare that you'll see that show in reruns because of how specific the stunt was.
And just last week, the state of Ohio had schedule severe weather awareness week with a tornado drill set for Wednesday morning. The problem is that severe weather was expected on that day, and so no drill, no test, nothing was held that day... and the severe weather really blew in that afternoon. Of course, this is a good thing, as state leaders anticipated the severe weather and adjusted the drill accordingly.
So, if you should hear a forecast that suggests snowfall or a return to winter type weather this week, believe it. It's not likely to be a prank or a joke, even if the snow falls on April 1st!