Don't Fall Into The Blizzard Hype

by: weatherdude

Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 20:34:44 PM EST



(Also posted to DailyKos)

OH MY GOD. IT'S THE BLIZZARD OF THE CENTURY. IT'LL  BE THE WORST THING TO HAVE EVER HAPPENED IN THE HISTORY OF RECORDED HISTORY. HOLY MOTHER OF JESUS RUN FOR YOUR LIVES. THE WHITE DEATH IS COMING. LOOK AT THIS MODEL. THE MODEL SAYS A BAZILLION INCHES OF SNOW. OH MY GODDDDDD. LIKE AND SHARE TO SPREAD THE WORD.

There. Now you've seen all the hype you need to see about the impending nor'easter in New England. Now here are some facts.

weatherdude :: Don't Fall Into The Blizzard Hype
  • The storm's name is not "Nemo." Winter storms are not named. This is a ratings ploy by The Weather Channel and nothing else.
  • Don't follow the weather weenie pages on Facebook. They'll drive you insane. I'm not talking about the pages run by respectable people like Brad Panovich or James Spann (or me, hint hint), but the "Mid-County Tri-Hat Super Weather Forecast 2000" pages that implore you to LIKE AND SHARE AND REC THIS UP!!!!!!!! on every post. They're not in it to help you. They're in it for the popularity. If they can whip people up into a frenzy and share their posts, they get more clicks, more likes, and more "popularity." They're in it for them, not you.
  • Stop following every twist and turn of the weather model. Some models are more accurate than others. The ECMWF, GFS, and NAM models are usually the best, but the high-resolution models aren't bad either. The models will change over the next day as we get closer to the event.
  • Don't focus on the exact snow totals. While there is a big difference between 4 inches of snow and 30 inches of snow, you start splitting hairs when you freak out over whether or not you're going to get 12 inches of snow or 20. There's a point at which it stops mattering how much falls because it's just going to screw up travel anyway.
  • That being said, a lot of snow will fall. There will probably be some snowfall records. One to two feet of snow are likely in the Boston region. Winds will drop visibilities low enough to qualify for blizzard conditions. It will snarl travel in the area starting on Friday and lasting through the weekend.

It's not like this is the first time you've seen snow. Don't act like an idiot. Don't freak out. It's not like you're under the gun of a major tornado outbreak. It's a slow, steady snow that makes everything look pretty. Don't drive if you don't have to. If you have to go out, go slow and try to avoid idiots. Don't overexert yourself shoveling the stuff. Don't fire up your grill and cook brats in your damn living room like someone always tries to do.

It's just snow. People will probably get hurt or killed driving out in it, but the same thing happens on a sunny day. It's not the end of the world. It's just snow. Don't freak out over it.  

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My Orange Comment doubles here (2.00 / 30)
What kind of a winter storm name is that?  I think we need to have a contest.  Winter storm names should be Swedish or Norwegian or Finnish or Danish or German. If they are named at all, which is kind of lame.   Let the games begin!  I nominate Solveig.  Uffda.

And your answer is right.  This is a marketing ploy.  And not only do they look dumb, but the experts are miffed.  

"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be." -Shel Silverstein  


Fuck naming the storms. Really. It is a storm, not a person. (2.00 / 10)


I am for the individual over government, government over big business and the environment over all. -- William O. Douglas

[ Parent ]
Storms should be named (2.00 / 10)
but named only after republican presidents and their first ladies.

[ Parent ]
Heh. (2.00 / 4)
We're still shoveling out from under winter storms Reagan and Dubya.

[ Parent ]
What's next? (2.00 / 6)
Naming earthquakes?  

[ Parent ]
I am wondering why *my* winter storm has no name. (2.00 / 7)
Is naming only for those east coast elites?

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
Thanks for the usual level head... (2.00 / 27)
especially considering the models have been crazy divergent.  If we get significant snow here in NYC, then all I'll hope for is warm temperatures and plenty of rain over the few days that follow.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

Thanks for this, weatherdude (2.00 / 27)
My 87-year-old mom has lived in Massachusetts since the age of 14, and has seen plenty of snow, but the hype for this is freaking her out a bit. Since these predictions now show up days ahead of the apocalypse event, that is an awful lot of angst to be laying on people many of whom don't even WATCH the Weather Channel.

When I grew up in Massachusetts, the snow in February would pile up to the windowsills and even then we rarely got a snow day. Now, that same weather would be a national emergency, WTF?!

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.


-- Oscar Wilde


heh (2.00 / 25)
When I grew up in Massachusetts, the snow in February would pile up to the windowsills and even then we rarely got a snow day.

Walked to school in that snow in your bare feet uphill both ways, too?  :)

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
When I grew up in Massachusetts, the snow would pile up to the rooftops! (2.00 / 18)


Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
When we lived in northern Japan it was not uncommon (2.00 / 17)
for a snow storm to come through where you had to go out the upstairs windows to dig your way down to the door.  I remember that all the people had to move their cars to a special parking lot for the winter.  The plows had 10 foot blades on them - big, huge, yellow things that would easily plow through a car in its way.  I remember one year a group of us built up a slide for us to play on - it was a good 6 feet tall.  Then the forts and snow fights!!!

[ Parent ]
When I grew up in New Orleans... (2.00 / 15)
... we didn't even have a snowflake until I was 10 years old.

[ Parent ]
Yep, I grew up in Austin (2.00 / 9)
I saw snow maybe 3 times while growing up and none of that was impressive by any means.

[ Parent ]
in summer, too n/t (2.00 / 18)


Even if the voices aren't real, they have some pretty good ideas. -- Anonymous

[ Parent ]
You had summer? (2.00 / 11)


I am for the individual over government, government over big business and the environment over all. -- William O. Douglas

[ Parent ]
only in (2.00 / 2)
yeasrs that ended in "5."

Even if the voices aren't real, they have some pretty good ideas. -- Anonymous

[ Parent ]
I'm so there with ya on the hype on the weather!! (2.00 / 16)
A Monday, or so, ago the temps got down to around 10 Below for the low.  The weather people were going on and on about how cold it was going to be.  Please.... It's not winter until you hit 15 below!!  It's not uncommon to hit 20 below.  We've gone an entire month with temps below 32F.  It's winter dudes - it's supposed to be like this!!

The amount of snow days and late starts/early dismissals are astounding to me.  During 5 years of college, classes were canceled no more than 4 times.  Now, the grade and high schools would have had a few more closings than that, but not by a huge amount because of the buses having to go out on the more rural routes.

One thing I think that has contributed to this is that cars are getting lighter and don't have the traction that they used to have???  I could be imagining things there though.


[ Parent ]
a friend in Maine (2.00 / 17)
remarked recently that January is the coldest month, and very dry. February has more snow because moisture is returning in the atmosphere. Makes sense to me.

I think some of the hysteria-closing schools stuff is because buses have to travel such long routes, and on New England back roads . . .

Plus, far too many people have absolutely no, zero, nada, zip, zilch of how to drive safely in snow.

Even if the voices aren't real, they have some pretty good ideas. -- Anonymous


[ Parent ]
We never had snow days but we built lots (2.00 / 14)
of great snow men! And we all had sleds and ice skates and lots of hot chocolate. NYC is so tame.

[ Parent ]
When the hell did you grow up in MA? (2.00 / 12)
I only remember the snow piling up to the windowsills during the Blizzard of '78 and we got plenty of snow days. You sound like my Dad. Are you 74? :D

CoB, still in MA, and the only reason anyone is panicking is because my oldest daughter is on the tech crew of a play that is supposed to happen Fri/Sat. She's a little freaked, yes :)


[ Parent ]
All I know is I'm off that day (and every Friday). :) (2.00 / 25)
Although the idea of driving in the snow used to scare the shit out of me; it has been 20+ years since I'd done so and a dusting used to send my blood pressure up.  Now?  Not so much.  But I haven't skidded or anything, either.

(And I'll freak out if I want to and you can't stop me.)  ;)

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


Hope for no fatalities but having said that (2.00 / 19)
let it snow, let it snow, let is snow. I love it.  

I've hated snow since the Blizzard of '96... (2.00 / 18)
hit NYC on my 12th birthday.  It's only gotten more pronounced since I started driving.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

[ Parent ]
That one was awful. My part of NJ was the epicenter. (2.00 / 18)
We received 39 inches of snow. I hate snow.

[ Parent ]
I remember it shutting down the city completely... (2.00 / 16)
and for the immortal words that are so infrequently uttered:

New York City public schools will be closed

They're open for pretty much anything.  My mom, a retired public school teacher, often reminds me when we're due for bad weather about how Macchiarola called teachers babysitters.  And I'll joke, with a grain of truth in there, that there could be 3 feet of snow on the ground and Mayor Bloomberg will get on television and announce:

New York City public schools will be open

As it is, I was absolutely convinced that he wanted to keep schools open through Sandy based upon his initial statements.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.


[ Parent ]
Closing the schools messes things up in at least 2 ways (2.00 / 11)
1) Parents need to find child care
2) The schools are required to be open a certain number of days per year. If there are many snow days, then vacations must be shortened. That messes up schedules. Also, since, undler NCLB, schools are partly graded on attendance, shortening vacations can mess up grades if families have plans they can't change.  

"Most people worry about their own bellies and other people's souls when we all ought to worry about our own souls and others' bellies" Israel Salanter

[ Parent ]
Our schools do everything possible to avoid closing. (2.00 / 10)
For many of those reasons. I can't imagine what it would be like to have to find last minute child care. The more likely scenario is that one of the parents stays home and risks being fired or, if they are taking an unpaid sick day, risks not being able to pay the bills at the end of the month.

In our area, if we have another snow day, they will start adding days from spring break back into the instructional calendar. If someone has a vacation already planned for spring break (certainly not an unusual thing), their child will miss that day of school which will cut into the school district's funding (in Wisconsin, state money is based on attendance days).

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
blizzard of '78, anyone? (2.00 / 18)
NYC was shut down for a couple of days. Fun.

Even if the voices aren't real, they have some pretty good ideas. -- Anonymous

[ Parent ]
No, I arrived in NY that fall, but was there for the '83 snowstorm. (2.00 / 13)
There's a story to go with it: My best friend had broken a foot and was on crutches, living in Brooklyn. The storm had been announced, so I offered to have her stay with me in Manhattan because she wouldn't be able to get out for a few days to shop or anything. After work I took the subway to her place (Jay Street station) got her ready and called a cab. It had just started snowing, and we waited and waited - for about two hours! But the cab driver did show up - bless him - and drove to my place, which was quite a feat, because the highways/roads were lined with abandoned and stuck cars by that time. It was rather harrowing, but we made it. It was a miracle.  

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht


[ Parent ]
Same deal as 78, though, no public transportation above ground, (2.00 / 11)
anyway, no garbage removal, etc. and people were skiing down 5th Avenue - fun times.

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht


[ Parent ]
I was a baby during the Great Blizzard of '47 :) (2.00 / 12)
My parents got stuck in it bringing me back to NYC from Philly where they went for a Christmas visit.

I spent my whole life growing up, being told - whenever there was a lot of snow - "you ain't seen nothing....the blizzard of '47...."

The Great Blizzard of 1947 was a record-breaking snowfall that began on Christmas without prediction and brought the northeastern United States to a standstill. The snowstorm was described as the worst blizzard after 1888.[1] The storm was not accompanied by high winds, but the snow fell silently and steadily. By the time it stopped on December 26, measurement of the snowfall reached 26.4 inches (67.1 cm) in Central Park in Manhattan.[2] Meteorological records indicate that warm moisture arising from the Gulf Stream fed the storm's energy when it encountered its cold air and greatly increased the precipitation. Automobiles and buses were stranded in the streets,[3][4] subway service was halted, and parked vehicles initially buried by the snowfall were blocked further by packed mounds created by snow plows once they were able to begin operation. Once trains resumed running, they ran twelve hours late. Seventy-seven deaths are attributed to the blizzard.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N...



"If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition"

Bernice Johnson Reagon


[ Parent ]
The blizzard of '96 (2.00 / 9)
was my older son's -8 month birthday, approximately

We had just found out my wife was pregnant.

A bunch of years later, his birthday was on the day of the big blackout.  

"Most people worry about their own bellies and other people's souls when we all ought to worry about our own souls and others' bellies" Israel Salanter


[ Parent ]
Great diary, weatherdude. (2.00 / 24)
You had me at "the storm's name is not 'Nemo'."

Whenever I am watching the Weather Channel and they start referring to a storm by a name I wonder what the hell they are talking about. To me "here are the latest reports on the nor'easter" is a lot more useful than "here are the latest reports on Nemo". Sheesh.

And as someone who has driven in snow, you are 100% correct that a 12 inch snowfall is the same as a 20 inch snowfall ... you will NOT be able to drive anywhere in either until someone plows that snow off the streets.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


Hubby and I were at the beach one day and I thought I saw (2.00 / 7)
Jim Cantore.  Holy s%#t!  Is there a hurricane coming we didn't hear about?  Before we packed up to run home and batten down the hatches I decided to check him out.  Wasn't him, just someone who looked like him so we stayed.

"Pin your money to your girdle and don't talk to strangers."  My Grandmom's advice when I went away to school.  I don't wear a girdle and have never met a stranger.  Sorry Grandmom!

[ Parent ]
Thanks, weatherdude. (2.00 / 20)
I don't teach on Friday, and I will be working from home. NJ Transit does not run well in the snow, and I do not want to sleep in my lab.

German? heh...name it Adolf. (2.00 / 9)



From my perch on Pikes Peak (2.00 / 19)
all the hysteria is kinda hysterical. People have plenty of time to get in provisions, fluff up the duvets, run by the liquor store, and carry in lots of wood. Being snowed in is a treat!

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu

LOL @ "run by the liquor store," (2.00 / 16)
Nurse Kelley Sez: "Snow??!??? What snow!!!?????"

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
I hate snow in the city (2.00 / 12)
but I'm not freaking out about it.

I just hate all those days of slush puddles and ice. A mess.


"Most people worry about their own bellies and other people's souls when we all ought to worry about our own souls and others' bellies" Israel Salanter


City snow is all wrong. (2.00 / 6)
If you are going to have snow you need to live in the country. We were up where we used to live over new years. We divided the old camp in half and our friends still have their part.

This is what winter is supposed to look like.



John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Blizzard of '78! (2.00 / 11)
I was living in Boston's North End then, and the aftermath was amazing:  Gigantic mounds and drifts of snow everywhere -- pure white brilliantly pristine snow that stayed that way instead of turning dingy from the crud in the air, because most vehicles were banned from the city for several days.  You could walk down the middle of the street, admiring the snow-softened cityscapes, and not get run over.  And it was so quiet, so peaceful.  My brother and his roommate skied over from Cambridge to visit me.

Then the cars were allowed back in and it all returned to the normal winter city.

Other than worrying about losing power in this storm, here in my semi-rural north of Boston home on Cape Ann, the biggest hassle will be not being able to get over to the farm where my two horses board to tend to them.  The farm owner will feed and water them, but it's looking like I'll have two days' worth of stall mucking to do when I can finally get in there, probably Saturday afternoon/evening.

Gotta get everything set up this evening for him to feed them -- both get daily supplements with their tiny grain meals, and the Morgan needs various medications twice a day.

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.


Wicked Stawm Coming!: Safe and snug in NC (2.00 / 6)
To all my Family and friends back in Ma...If you're gonna fight over the parking space you just shoveled, keep your left up.

The real problem will be in the downed power lines due to (2.00 / 3)
accumulated snow on trees in high winds.


Only in the darkness can you see the stars - Martin Luther King, Jr

Meh (2.00 / 2)
my sister spent 6 hours on the Long Island Expressway last night.

I fell for the hype :-)


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