Headlines: Northeast Snow May Be Among Worst Ever


Blizzard of 2010

The headlines for this weekend’s snow event grow more ominous by the hour.  Many of the major weather sources are predicting Blizzard conditions.  The words “dangerous” and “life threatening” are being thrown around like thank you’s on Academy Awards night.  Perhaps this storm will be a large, dangerous snowstorm but we have become more enthralled with the melodrama leading up to the event, than with the actual event.  No matter how severe, It can’t possibly live up to all of the hype.  The weather and news agencies would say they are just being prudent; making sure people are taking this storm seriously.  And that is certainly understandable.  But the fact remains that scary stories, dangerous, life threatening storms, make headlines.  It also ties in well with Climate Change as the explanation for what’s coming, when it’s simply a Nor’easter.  This has been one of the more normal winters except for the dearth of snow to this point.  Each news/weather agency tries to one up the other by making the story that much more ominous than the other.  This storm does have the potential to be quite serious and to drop a good deal of snow on New England in particular.  But I can remember chest deep snowstorms while skiing in Stowe Vermont that would be pretty tough to top.  I would poke through the snow with my ski pole just to locate where the car used to be.  If you stay in your home, stay off the roads and prepare for the worst, everything is probably going to be ok.  Will people lose power?  Absolutely!  The same way people living in Wayne, New Jersey will always be flooded during heavy rain storms, those living in rural areas with above ground power lines are going to face power outages.  It has nothing to do with the severity of the storm, it’s simply that any big wind with snow can cause old trees to fall, taking down power lines. As a point of interest, we’ve only been keeping accurate weather records for approximately 150 years.  Weather patterns from 500 years ago in the US are unknown.  So as we wait for the winter weather equivalent of “Sandy” to strike the Northeast, I have one tip; use your legs, not your backs when shoveling.

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