Although "happy talk" TV anchors and Post writers celebrated the District's snow-clearing success, I saw little evidence by Thursday that any streets but major ones such as Connecticut and Wisconsin avenues had been cleared.

In the 20-plus years I've lived on the same block, plows may have come through three or four times. The salt truck's sighting made me think this might be changing but I'm still waiting. The street isn't impassable, but it's close.

Metro hadn't stayed apace with demand, either. Thursday morning, the government reopened; with the side streets unplowed, trains were jammed. Metro still ran lots of short trains and maintained long headways.

If the streets aren't plowed, schools have trouble opening, since many are not on "major thoroughfares." If streets aren't plowed, Metro seems incapable of handling the crowds. Apparently, the Virginia suburbs understand this. We heard that the Virginia Department of Transportation was sending a plow through every street once. But the D.C. streets will only be plowed--all the streets--if we show the mayor that we want more.

RICHARD B. HOFFMAN

Washington

Patrick Michaels, state climatologist for Virginia, and Louis Uccellini, director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, were featured in a front page article ["Blindsided and Snowed Under," Jan. 26] concerning the failure of forecasting of our most recent storm.

More than 30 years ago, I witnessed the introduction of a wild concept by a local Midwestern weather TV forecaster, the late John Coleman, who later did his schtick for one of the network early morning shows. Mr. Coleman introduced the "weather fire escape."

During the evening forecast, if he had called for rain, he would step away from his set, walk to a door, open it, and motion to the camera to follow him as he verified whether it was indeed raining. This technique put him well ahead of his colleagues, one of whom had been infamous for a prediction that resulted in 6 inches of white fluffy "partly cloudy" falling on Chicago.

Thirty years later, this innovative concept was locally reincarnated here as the "weather terrace" with similar effect. Seems to me that Mr. Michaels and Mr. Uccellini would have benefited by believing the observations from their "weather fire escape," otherwise known as the Raleigh weather radar, and re-running the models to allow for such observations.

MARK SEGAL

Rockville