Another Weather Event

Monday was so peaceful—the proverbial “calm before the storm.” Actually, the weather puppets were fear-fogging first thing, but since I was out the door at 4:30 am to go swimming, I paid them no mind.

In our age of social media, things like snow events, major storms, and certainly, blizzards of “historic proportions,” all have a tendency to go viral. I tried to steer clear of Twitter and Facebook, but I couldn’t help taking a peak at the Twitterverse late in the day, as I was wrapping up my workday from home.

Posting about snow and snowstorms is something I’ve done on several occasions. During Snowpocalype 2013, I actually took the JBE on the road and provided live storm reports out in the elements. I won’t be doing that during this storm. Being out on the roads with people who have no sense about how to drive in snow, with whiteout conditions, which are likely to occur, isn’t worth the trouble.

January is considered one of the winter months in Northern New England. It snows in the winter. And sometimes it snows more than a few inches.

According to my new online, go-to, meteorological guide, WEATHER without the hype., at least the snow will be light and fluffy. That’s good, because shoveling 20+ inches of snow makes my back, hips, and knees cranky.

What always baffles me with these weather events is, beyond the initial “okay, we’re going to have a major snowstorm and here are the details” news coverage, is the incessant over-reporting—people standing out in snow drifts with rulers, measuring two inches of snow; the ubiquitous shot of a reporter standing somewhere near a turnpike exit, showing us it’s snowing, telling drivers to stay off the roads; hour-after-hour of sweater-clad talking heads, saying nothing new, for 12, 18, up to 24 hours, and even beyond.

I did make sure to fill the wood box, so I won’t have to dig my fuel out during the blizzard. I have milk and bread, along with other foods, too!

Stay safe, and stay sane!


7:57 am

Wind is howling. Took my first shift behind my snow scoop. Already 5-6 inches on the ground, of fluffy, drifting snow. Of course, 5 minutes after coming in the house, the path is already filling in with new snow, along with the drifting variety.

First shift shoveling.

First shift shoveling.

9:00 am

Snow drifting up against our deck door and winds are picking up. I found this story interesting re: NYC and their less than predicted snow amounts. A meme is developing via social media, “blaming” meteorologists for getting forecast wrong. This why much of the rest of the country hates you, the narcissism and arrogance that is wrapped up in your “it’s not bad here, and we don’t care about you” attitude. Here in New England, it appears to be exactly as forecast.

1:30 pm

Snow continues piling up. The local weather puppets keep talking about “bands of heavy snow,” and that appears to be what we’re experiencing. Right now, I’d estimate that we’re in the 16-18 inch category for snow accumulation.

Snow piling up against our deck door.

Snow piling up against our deck door.

The wind, somewhere in the 35-40 mph range, is piling up drifts everywhere, including up against our deck door, at the back of the house (which faces the south).

I’ve now been out twice to clear a path to the car, and on this last time out, clear off the deck and out cellar entrance. I’m sure I’ll have at least two more sessions of shoveling aerobics to complete. Great exercise, and thank god I’m in shape!

Who is that masked man?

Who is that masked man?

4:45 pm

Darkness is falling on the compound. After a Herculean effort, the third time I’ve been out today, pushing around the snow and piling it higher and higher, it’s impossible to stay ahead of a blizzard and snowfall coming down at a rate of two inches an hour.

For all the hoopla made about social media and weather apps for your phone, there’s no app that clears a path from my house to the cars in my driveway. And as far as I know, Larry Emerson, our plow guy, doesn’t do Twitter. What Emerson does, and there are countless working-class heroes like him, is manage to piece together a fleet of older-model pick-ups and one-ton trucks because he learned how to fix things and do things with his hands.

For 20 years, pretty much as long as we’ve lived here, he’s kept our 300 foot driveway clear, and allowed both Mary and I to get out to jobs that allow us to keep a roof over our heads.

Technology won’t save us. In fact, it helps the fear-foggers, like Todd Guttner, who during the WCSH-6 news at noon, tried to scare the shit out of his viewers with some crap that he was “watching a model” indicating that winds, even inland where we live, were likely to reach speeds in excess of 50 mph, and that this would likely cause widespread power outages. He was the only one passing off lies and fear, masquerading as meteorology. Sarah Long, on WMTW-8, and later, Roger Griswold offered updates on the storm—neither of them parroting the “big wind” meme that was going to huff and puff, and blow our trees down, taking down the power lines with them.

I know what the trees look like, swaying in the distance, at 50+ mph. We never got above 30-35 for sustained wind speeds, and perhaps there were a few gusts in excess of 40.

Miss Mary dressed for the elements.

Miss Mary dressed for the elements.

The power’s still on. Both Mary (who took a turn out in the elements, clearing off the deck and back of the house) and I were able to have a hot shower after our bout with snow and cold, and the lights are now trimmed and burning brightly. I’m typing what will be my final update of the Blizzard of 2015.

It’s still snowing, and the winds are still whipping about, but the worst seems to be behind us. Yes, we’ll have some serious shoveling to do in the morning to get out the door and clear a path out to the cars, not to mention pushing two feet of snow off their roofs, as well as clearing away the deep drifts surrounding them.

Larry Emerson will likely be back at some point during the night, after going home and doing some maintenance to his truck between plows. And at some point on Wednesday, the sun will come out again, and we’ll have survived another major winter snowstorm, just like we have countless times before.

8 thoughts on “Another Weather Event

  1. Hmmm, Belichick leaves town, huge blizzard rolls in.


    No, wait, this is the shitstorm that blew north from NYC, right? Uh-huh. All those humiliated former Jets staffers now the lead investigators for the NFL. Now the storm makes sense. And nothing sticks, either, right?

  2. Yes, let’s blame it on Belichick.

    Too bad they didn’t play the Super Bowl in a snow belt city, like Buffalo, NY, or even Chicago. Back before the NFL became just another corporate tax shelter for uber wealthy white males, championships were played in weather worthy of the machismo that has always been football. Now, they’ve taken it to the desert and Phoenix, or domed stadiums that remove weather from the equation.

  3. Will there be any other weather updates today, as darkness falls upon the land? Glad the “weather without the hype” guy blasted the myth of the GFS model (US) versus ECMWF model (European). The weather professionals who trudged onto Maine Calling were AGAIN lamenting the lack of the “European” model of weather prediction and crying for MOAR WEATHER MONEY to bring us up to par with Europe’s spinning heads of weather prevarication.

    Thanks for covering the blizzard.

    From snowed in Blethen Street…

  4. JB(e)! Fantastic, honest weather coverage! And thank you, also, for not jumping out onto your porch in your bathing trunks, an “adult snow day” activity that was picking up speed, along with the Big Wind Theory.

    Although I’d been able to keep up with my driveway until this storm, Mr. DeeHahn sent over a working-class hero with a plow to clean out this end of Blethen Street. He did lecture me a bit about this being a “three plow” storm and maybe I should have had him over earlier, but he did a great job and I’ll be able to manage things in the morning.

  5. @JAB
    We were definitely in the snow band on this storm. Lewiston won the snowfall jackpot with 30 inches! That’s a lot of snow and the big issue with this one was the speed with which the snow fell, along with the winds.

    Glad you had someone to plow your driveway.

    Thankfully there are still some working-class heroes scattered in the midst of all the “screeners.”

    Today will be about digging out and prepping for what looks like snow on Friday and another possible 8-14 inches on Monday.

    Winter in Maine!

  6. Have a pair of “rock-skis” ole cross-country skis you won’t mind climbing over rock walls with or snow shoes? With a full moon just around the corner -February 3rd, we finally have a great shot at what has to be some of the best night-time outdoor wintah activities Maine has to offer. Perfect snow and free outdoor lighting, things money can’t buy; just dress properly and enjoy the awesome experience of walking on shimmering diamonds while gazing out the window of the universe. That is, should the cloud cover leave us that night.
    Now where’s that snow scoop? Oh, where are your roasty-toasty wood stove photos?

  7. I don’t know American v European weather models, but I know that 90% of Europe’s weather is governed by the oceans while the east coast of America gets its weather from inland, even if it draws moisture and energy from the ocean once it gets there. That’s also why 30″ of snow would bury any town in Europe (perhaps not Finland and Russia), because the oceans are always moderating precipitation and temperature, although probably encouraging winds. Too entirely different problems to solve, it seems to me.

    When I lived way up north in Labrador as a youngun, we learned that the Inuit natives honored the Oopik (or ookpik), a symbol of good luck. Mary looks just like an ookpik.

  8. @LP
    I know little about the Euro vs. America forecasting models. All I know is that we got dumped on. Not surprised that the snowfall jackpot went to Lewiston. We clearly have well over two feet of snow here in the suburbs of L-A—impossible to measure with all the drifting, blowing.

    I spent two hours, along with Miss Ookpik, digging out the cars, walkways, and woodpile, yesterday. I still have to dig out the front of the house, where the snow has drifted up against the windows and front door. At least the wind blew the snow off the roof, so I don’t need to roof rake it.

    @pip-squeek (from Lewis town)
    You were in the snowfall bulls-eye. Love the suggestion for Feb. 3 and a nightfall stroll through the woods. It’s certainly time to dig out the snow shoes and start making paths through the woods and over the rock walls near our house.

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