“Major Winter Snow Storm”–Redefined

As the afternoon drew on yesterday, the office chatter drifted to the weather.  The forecast called for snow, up to three inches.  After enduring several weeks of record-breaking below-freezing temperatures earlier in the season, Montgomerians didn’t seem happy about this latest wrinkle. 

My iGoogle home page features two weather gadgets, one set to Staten Island and one to Montgomery.  I had grown used to seeing temps in the 30s and snow on the 5-day forecast for New York, and did a double-take when I saw the flakes  floating atop the “Friday” icon for zip code 36104.   But three inches, on roads and ground that had basked in the sun only the day before, didn’t concern me.

It goes almost without saying that the prospect of snow freaked people out, especially as the predictions crept up to seven inches.  I’m really trying to avoid being the typical northerner come south, so I resisted pooh-poohing the reaction, and kept my thoughts to myself.  After all, I well remember being a new driver tackling snow for the first few times, and even after driving for  almost 40 years, I’ve still had some white-knuckle snow experiences in the  last few years.  I don’t blame people for being nervous in a place that doesn’t have plows. 

Twelve hours before the first flake fell the announcements of school closings began.  Our COO emailed with the news that he would make a decision by 5:30 a.m., and to check before heading in.  Home, I turned on the local  news, where I learned that it was a “major, serious storm.”  State offices, as well as those for the city and county, were closed.  People were urged to stay at home and off  the roads.   

I found odd comfort in the familiar news tropes.  There  were the scenes at the supermarkets, and the interviews with folks  stocking up on milk.  Another crew visited the home improvement stores to report that the inventory of salt and shovels had long since been exhausted.  Finally I saw the signature snow news piece — the poor reporter bundled in her warmest winter gear, marooned at the side of a usually busy road, waiting for the snow to fall and reporting on the lack of traffic.

The snow was supposed to begin shortly after midnight.  I woke several times and peeked through the blinds — nothing.  But the last time I woke it was 5:40 — the snow had begun and the email on my Blackberry had the news that the offices were closed. 

The snow fell  for a good 12 hours, sometimes heavily.  I’d say the total accumulation — on the grass — was about 3/4 of an inch, maybe a whole inch.  It simply didn’t stick on roads and sidewalks. 

Kids here in the apartment complex were truly excited and ran about trying to build a snowman with about 1/2 inch of snow on the ground.  It was kind of sad.  They didn’t seem  to know about snow angels or snowballs; two of them were riding their bikes.  They had no sleds.  But they seemed to have fun.


2 Responses

  1. Your accumulation documentation photos with captions are so funny!
    In the Keys there are no portable electric heaters for sale, anywhere, although Home Depot promises they’ll get some in by October. The dip to 40˚ last month is responsible. When did weather move to the top of everyone’s consciousness?

  2. Being from the southern most point in New York State, I was always amazed at how less efficient we were at snow removal than places like Vermont and upstate NY. Sitting here in Washington DC since Thursday, I now consider New York City snow removal to be top rate!!!
    Enjoy your Currier & Ives moment in Montgomery.

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