January 26th, 2015


Storm Fizzling

Ever since our snow days in November, we've been waiting for the hammer to fall. December had nearly no snow. And despite a snowy start, January has had some icy sloppy driving conditions, but big snow producing storms? Just not on and on and on like last winter.

There's also been a lot of moving the goalposts.

Sunday in Allendale, the temps dropped from 27°F down to 9°F in the wee hours of 3am when I went to bed. Near or sub-zero in the morning, the temps bounced back up. It's 22°F right now, according to The Weather Channel app, and of the ten cities I'm currently tracking, only Bangor ME is colder at 12°F -- everyone else including Oslo, Helsinki and even Bodo, Norway, above the Arctic Circle are warmer.

Sunday and Monday's snow? Gone, never happened. The heavy snow tonight through Tuesday? Nope. Indeed, with sunshine now forecast, I may make Tuesday my office run day. Wednesday clear and 0% chance of anything and even Thursday's snow forecast is questionable.

Amazingly, the latest culprit is that damned nor'easter out east. A huge system, still not fully coalesced, with two big bands of energy coming in from the South, Winter Storm Juno is another Stormpocalypse. New York City expects to break its 26" in a day record or something like that. Boston is about to be sacked by Mother Nature. Much of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor will probably be shut down. Those high speed Acela trains probably suck in a blizzard. On the other hand, Wahington DC last I heard was going to escape all this shit, so there's no reason for Congress not to be busy and solve some actual real world problems, rather than made up shit, ... oh Fuck it. DC is going to escape punishment and they're probably going to be on vacation anyway...

But the Big storm has its tendrils out so far west, that the snow we should have gotten from North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin is either stalled or will spin around us. Hence our non life-threatening forecast changes.

It's possible New England might be without power for the Super Bowl. With the Patriots playing. A friend of Mrs. Dr. Phil's expressed sympathy to New Englanders, saying that a Patriots Super Bowl in the dark, would be "deflating". Ahem. (sn*cker)

January is quickly evaporating. Now we worry whether February, the longest month of the winter, will be our doom this year. Who knows? Gas jumped up 20¢/gallon the other day and we're still under two bucks a gallon. It's all a crap shoot.

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal

And Another Thing Or Several On Juno

My previous post on the non-weather event here and Juno in New England (DW) -- a few more comments.

This morning they were reporting that Michigan utilities were shipping crews to New York State, staging for potential deployment anywhere.

New York City itself, forecast dropping to 16" of snow rather than 26".

Fascinating watching MSNBC tonight. Chris Hayes at 8pm EST was not in the studio, but it looked like he was riding in the back seat of an SUV driving through the pretty neighborhoods of New York -- all lights and snow encrusted poles and trees... Then Rachel Maddow at 9am, why she's standing outside on a street corner, delivering news on the storm.

The MTA in New York has shut down the subways in advance of the storm for the first time ever. Hype? Over protected government mothering? Well, even if the storm in NYC gets the lower level, it's still a blizzard. Most businesses and schools are closed. So who the hell needs to go out? Give the crews a chance to clean without regular traffic getting in the way.

And just to be clear, on Rachel just now they showed a piece of a press conference. "A food delivery bicycle is not an emergency vehicle" and as such is banned after 11pm tonight. So they ran a cat picture which was given the meme text "I Can't Has Take-Out?" That, by itself, is amusing. But some perspective here. In a city like New York, a whole lot more people depend on take-out. Out here, we don't have the choices. And it's easier to get groceries. We got Thai take-out in Allendale on Saturday, simply because we could. Also that Thai lime soup is spectacular.

While eating lunch today, one of the Mikes from the sports show Mike and Mike was on ABC's The Chew and his opinion was you couldn't live in New York without eating take-out at least three times a week. Not exactly scientific statistics, but there's a whole helluva lot of yummy places to pick up or delivery from in NYC. (grin)

Now Rachel is talking about Jane Byrne and her snowplow driven win over Bland Bilandic in 1979 (DW), in a piece about mayors surviving blizzards politically. And I remember the 1969 blizzard in New York. But living in White Plains, it wasn't specifically the Lindsey Blizzard, after Mayor John Lindsey. Frankly, though John was something of an upper crust type, the clip they showed of him patiently explaining that this wet heavy snow couldn't be moved by mere plows -- it needed bulldozers -- seemed perfectly reasonable, not arrogant.

I mention this because it is 2015, and a friend in Brooklyn had said yesterday that he was planning on spending Tuesday updating PlowNYC -- utilizing the GPS in the plows to see where they are. Wow. How cool. Accountability and having some idea when your street will get it. Plowed that is. All without going outside. Or shoveling two minutes before the plow comes by... (evil-grin)

The one computer forecast model shows New Haven getting the peak, over 31". New Haven was once where trains between New York and Boston had to change from electric to diesel (or steam before that). Part of the billion dollar upgrade to the Northeast Corridor some years ago was to finally complete electrification all the way to Boston. Made things easier -- no wrestling with couplers, air hoses and power couplings in the snow and ice, but electric trains have their limitations, too, in storms.

So, is this really a historic storm? Well, it's certainly a meh event in West Michigan, but that's not fair. And frankly, our 24/7 culture has made us so believing that technology can get us through everything, that sometimes a bit of hype and getting slapped upside of the head with a frozen mackerel and be told to stay the hell off the roads, is exactly what some of us needed. Because the plow operators and first responders really could use a little consideration. Don't you think?

If you're in the hit zone, seven states have declared states of emergency, enjoy the day(s) off. Hope you have power/heat/water/sewer.

Oh, and it's 2015. Hope you have Internet. (cold-icy-grin) And don't even think of going to the airport tomorrow. 6900 flights cancelled and counting.

30,000,000 people.

Stay safe.

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal