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Texas cops profiling Oklahoma meteorologists…

10:48 AM EDT on May 30, 2023

Earlier this week, KFOR told the harrowing story of Heidi Oberlin – an Oklahoma-based meteorologist and storm chaser – who was profiled and harassed by McKinney, Texas police due to her passion and love for meteorology. 

Or something like that.

I guess Heidi was cruising around McKinney, Texas shopping for barometers or whatever when she was marked as a pesky weather lover by a cop and quickly pulled over. 

The reason? Her ugly and unreadable specialty Oklahoma license plate for the National Weather Center in Norman.

Oklahoma has approximately 275 specialty license plates people can order for their vehicles which feels like about 270 too many. The National Weather Center license plate is apparently one of them.

Geeze, if she’s hurt and stunned for being pulled over by Texas police for simply placing an unreadable license plate in her vehicle, imagine how the people who are pulled over due to their skin color must feel!

Since Heidi obscured most of her license plate in her Twitter post, I did some Googling to see what the plate really looks like. Here’s what I found:

Listen, I’m not one to defend overzealous police, but the asshole cop from McKinney kind of has a point here. Sure, I bet he was simply looking for an excuse to harass an out-of-state motorist and maybe stumble into a DUI or drug bust, but as far as license plates go, that one is pretty difficult to read. 

Plus, it’s ugly!

With all the visual hallmarks and motifs out there that are related to Oklahoma weather – from those terrible twisters to Screaming Eagle Doppler radar graphics – you’d think they’d use a photo of a massive multi-wedge grinder tearing through the countryside, or an ominous dark green wall cloud growing on the horizon.

At the very least, they could have gone with a regular Oklahoma license plate and then slapped a little state map in the lower right corner showing various watches and warnings. That would have been cool! 

Instead, they just used a boring sunset photo that looks like something a creepy KFOR viewer would send to Emily Sutton on Twitter. 

Here are a couple of real-world examples of the plate in action. One is from a 2021 Reddit post that’s literally titled The National Weather Center License Plates are Almost Impossible to Read at a Distance. The other is from a BMW forum.

Once again, not to make excuses for a cop picking on weather folks, but that is pretty difficult to read. In fact, it’s almost as unreadable as the Patriot plate:

Something tells me the cops aren’t harassing people for that one. 

Anyway, I say it’s time for the National Weather Center to form a tribunal of Lacey Swope, Gary England and Rick Smith to develop a new license plate for the facility.

You know, something that meteorologists, storm chasers and other weather lords can slap on the back of their cars, SUVs and Dominators with pride, and not have to worry about getting pulled over by an angry cop in the midst of a storm chase. 

Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised. 

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