Impious Ventosus…taken of course from the Latin Wicked Windy.
Since Tuesday the breathing has shortened, the redundant litany of possibilities have been pitched with the speed of a big pharma commercial disclaimer and with kaleidoscope eyes, viewers never notice the maintenance guy hanging the Severe Weather Center sign over the green board; all this while the supporting cast feigns desire to live anywhere but here at ground zero as if a once in a lifetime event is on our doorstep.
We have 6” – 12” of snow on tap for Saturday. Sounds more reasonable than travelling 55 – 110 mph on the highway no?
A Blizzard Warning is up and unlike the contents of the pocket thesaurus one needs in this brave new world in order to keep up with the impressive weather lingo, this particular term has been around for a long time. In a nutshell, a blizzard means Saturday will be no different than our last two events save for the fact that visibility will be less than ¼ of a mile for three hours sustained.
Born and raised here, many byproducts of snowstorms will never cease to amaze. Old enough to recall the blizzard of 78’, we were without power for over a week. No generators, no unreliable gadgets and gizmos to amplify hysteria but rather a short-term inconvenience. There were no cones of uncertainty because back then, we didn’t have a pile of shameless crisis centers in competition for ratings. In fact, even if one successfully repurposed the tin foil that professed to keep soda cans cool in the school lunch boxes in order to swaddle the rabbit ears on the old black and white to find that frequency sweet spot you were lucky to pick up one or two grainy Boston TV stations and if you did the weather coverage had as much fanfare as today’s traffic correspondent enjoys; no cones of uncertainty. What was certain was shoveling, filling the tub with water in order to flush toilets when the well pump went out and actually enjoying the snow and downtime until the parents ran out of cigarettes at which point it was time to get on with life.
Today we have bombogenesis, thunder snow and my favorite, the bomb cyclone and with the heightened urgency generated comes human curiosity. Two such fascinations start with the grocery store. Hardly different than that of a big screen post-apocalyptic run-on supplies, neighbors slug it out in order to hoard perishables so that they have enough to throw out when the inevitable power outages thwart cooking and food preservation options. Milk and eggs… Next is what happens following the exhaustive prep. After a week of hand wringing while effectively creating conditions that could support living off the grid for months, the next inclination is to go to the beach. To do this correctly, one must fill a travel jug with a favorite cocktail and by all means use a 2-wheel drive vehicle before joining the caravan. This way, the pilgrimage takes far longer than it should which of course fosters the ability to later complain and question as to why the roads are in such bad shape.
As one that loves this weather and no doubt this time of year, save for the summer traffic, there is tremendous upside. A good snowstorm puts the world on pause. Since Tuesday, there has been nary a whimper of war, political backbiting, a celebrity suffering an emotional breakdown having been forced to cancel a show based on pesky COVID conditions or injustice of any stripe.
And now to the weather. “Gusts up to 60…maybe 70 or even 80 mph are possible…Snow totals will depend on how the banding lines up.” These professional projections assure that the cone of uncertainty persists though the common denominator for this corner of the world include the combination of high winds, temps that continue to remain in the teens and 20’s and perhaps most notable, the newcomer in recent weeks, a heavier snow than that forecasted for inland areas. A wet snow will of course contribute to the outage count. That said, the last two rounds of heavy wind resulted in remarkably low outage numbers when compared to recent years which is no doubt based in large part on proactive pruning over the course of the past 6 months by the good folks at big utility.
As constituted, we are as prepared for this round as we were weeks ago and now, we wait to see what the certainty looks like. I will of course circle back Saturday morning. Until then, be well, be safe and eat your eggs.
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