Friday, March 14, 2014

How did I Escape Vulcan Unscathed?

I dislike writing about the same themes week after week in my blog. It brings back memories of elementary school and the mind-numbing busy work teachers sometimes gave students to keep them occupied. I would have much preferred that some of those teachers kept their word searches, math worksheets, and color-by-number worksheets to themselves and had simply let me read from the books they had in the room. Reading is a flipping good time, after all.

However, this week I am going to write about the weather, again.

I live in a suburb of Rochester and here we have a saying about the weather, “If you don’t like it, wait a minute.” This week’s weather is a prime example of why we say that. Tuesday was one of those amazing spring days. The sun was bright and hot, and there was just the slightest hint of a breeze. The air smelled like freshly melting snow. I, especially after my commitment last week to immerse myself in the weather, was tempted to pack away my coat, hat, and boots and break out the shorts, especially when the thermometer indicated it was 64 degrees. (For those of you in the civilized world, 64 degrees is around 18 C.)

This was even while the National Weather Service was monitoring a rebellious batch of cold air fleeing Canada and invading the States.

The National Weather Service had issued a Winter Weather Advisory early on and the Weather Channel promptly named it Vulcan. It was strange, talking about the potential for a winter storm when the thermometer said spring was here. By early Tuesday morning, the Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning. The topic of conversation for everyone that Tuesday was whether the storm would really be as bad as all the Precipitation Prognosticators said it would be, or whether it would fizzle into an over-blown snow flurry.

By 8:30 that night, I was overjoyed to announce to my co-workers that the Winter Storm Warning had been cancelled. They were overjoyed and quickly took an “these people are over reacting” stance towards all the Weather Wizards and all the schools and businesses that had closed. Waiting until just the right lull in the conversation, I interjected, “They issued a Blizzard Warning to replace the storm warning.”

The response was immediate and overwhelming; “I TOLD you so, I knew it was going to be bad.”

And it was bad. The Weather Channel sent Mike Seidel in to town to cover the weather. By the way, if you caught the coverage on TV and are not from these parts, Irondequoit, is a suburb to the north east of Rochester and on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. Irondequoit is not pronounced, I ron dee kwat, it is pronounced, Eh ron duh coit.

I awoke around 8 am on Wednesday and immediately reached for my phone. Then I remembered my commitment to eschew technology (at least a little bit) and immerse myself in weather. I took a baby step and peeked out the window; it was just beginning to snow.

By 1:00 pm, the weather had reached blizzard criteria, there was a State of Emergency in place (with no unnecessary travel) and I decided to snow blow the drive way and then go to work. My boss thought it was necessary that I worked. After working a 16 hour shift, shoveling three times, then yet again to get my car out of the prison of snow the plow contractor seemed to gleefully construct around my vehicle, I was finally able to go home. 

What did I do when I got home? Snow blowed the driveway of course.

Photo by Eldest, @pianowoman94

Later that afternoon, I was able to sit back with a cup of coffee and read the news. It appears that there were a fair number of people who actually made the trip to see the Weather Channel live shots.

People watch the Weather Channel’s on the scene reporters to see and hear about the bad weather. Suddenly they were driving on dangerous roads, standing out in the middle of a blizzard, so they could see and hear this reporter tell them about the bad weather.

They went to see and hear someone tell them how bad the weather was...

I give up.

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