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First you were all like "whoa", and we were like "whoa"
February 7, 2013 11:54 AM   Subscribe

Winter storm "Nemo" is headed for New England, and weather experts are predicting more than two feet of snow in some areas.

According to the National Weather Service in Taunton, Mass., in records dating to 1892, there have been only six snowstorms of 20 inches or more in Boston, topped by the Feb. 17-18, 2003 snowstorm (27.5") and the infamous "Blizzard of '78" (Feb. 6-7; 27.1").

Airlines have preemptively cancelled 900 flights and counting.

Much of the region in Nemo's path, of course, was battered just a few months ago by Hurricane Sandy. Previously.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (381 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
=And= we've had a few "Dry" nor'easters - 60+ mph winds, but little or no precipitation. Been a weird year for weather, and the poor linemen and tree surgeons have been getting a workout.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:58 AM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am laying in supplies.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:59 AM on February 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


Anyone know how far Taunton, Mass is from Bristol CT by Snowspeeder?
posted by butterstick at 12:01 PM on February 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


I have a good friend named Nemo.

He's going to be the butt of so many bad jokes this week. Mostly from me.

(that fish movie was no picnic either )
posted by The Whelk at 12:03 PM on February 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


THANKS A LOT, SNOWBAMA.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:06 PM on February 7, 2013 [60 favorites]


Nemo? Is anyone other than weather.com using that?
posted by Curious Artificer at 12:06 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is the second "winter storm" I've seen with a name, the first being maybe last week or the week before. Is this a relatively new thing? I associate the concept of named storms with tropical storms and hurricanes, not with snow storms. I don't pay much attention to the weather, though, so I'm not sure if it's really new or just that I hadn't noticed it before.
posted by Flunkie at 12:07 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


My department head told us all to work from home tomorrow, but experts are predicting I will play videogames and drink whisky all day.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:07 PM on February 7, 2013 [85 favorites]


Remember: eat the vegetarians first.
posted by ocschwar at 12:08 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh yeah. The Weather Channel can eat a bag of . . .
posted by IvoShandor at 12:08 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is the second "winter storm" I've seen with a name, the first being maybe last week or the week before.

Weather Channel marketing BS. It means nothing.
posted by IvoShandor at 12:09 PM on February 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


The names aren't "official," it's a Weather Channel thing.

Stay safe kids. Remember: bread, milk, and toilet paper!
posted by JoanArkham at 12:09 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait - I remember specifically. The first one was "Winter Storm Khan", which was apparently two weeks ago. I remember this, of course, because KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!
posted by Flunkie at 12:09 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


your "predicting" link goes to the comments part of the page, which is contextually humorous.
posted by boo_radley at 12:10 PM on February 7, 2013


*snore* The bigger the hype, the bigger the dud.

Also, what Admiral Haddock said.
posted by Melismata at 12:10 PM on February 7, 2013


Can we just stop dignifying The Weather Channel and their utterly idiotic winter storm names already? We have a wonderful public agency that provides us with data, forecasting, and analysis that is never trumped or preempted by lame reality television shows.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 12:10 PM on February 7, 2013 [33 favorites]


I was living in Area 1, Cambridge in 2003. I remember walking to work on the perfectly-snowblown sidewalk, surrounded on both sides by a wall of snow high enough that I couldn't see the street. It was surreal.

I'm on LI now, where I just got an email from my local meteorologist predicting that it will still be bitter cold and windy on Saturday, but that Sunday will be an "awesome sledding day."
posted by uncleozzy at 12:10 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Our company always puts out a memo that says, "We're going to remain open, but you can decide for yourselves if this is a good idea to come in. Not that we're giving you permission to stay home, because we're not."
posted by xingcat at 12:11 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


And really, this one should have been "Noonien" anyway.
posted by Flunkie at 12:14 PM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


For you folks who have been dealing with the exact. same. Boston media storm coverage since 1978, here's a drinking game for you.
posted by Melismata at 12:16 PM on February 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Right now I have the exact same facial expression my dog did when I took this photo.
posted by griphus at 12:20 PM on February 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


THANKS A LOT, SNOWBAMA.

snowbama.com (slow load - give it a sec)

better than a yule log at christmas.
posted by lampshade at 12:21 PM on February 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


One might say that the meteorologists tracking this storm are . . .

LOCATING NEMO
posted by brain_drain at 12:21 PM on February 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


Okay, so the Jules Verne Captain Nemo pun I'm looking was going to end with "Under the Ski" but I've been trapped for a few minutes trying for a Boston-specific rhyme for "Twenty Thousand Leagues."

Basically, I'm on board with ignoring the storm naming thing too then.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:25 PM on February 7, 2013


Right now, I'm a little concerned but mostly happy that we're getting some much-needed precipiation. My boss is actually having us work from home tomorrow so we can test our business recovery plan. Now THAT's a first.

Also, I borrowed four books from the library last night and plan to buy a book light and some extra groceries on the way home tonight. Car is all gassed up. If only I had a wood-burning stove, I would truly be all set.

The last NOAA alert I saw is calling for 1-2 feet for my area of MA. Love that NOAA RSS feed.
posted by Currer Belfry at 12:29 PM on February 7, 2013


Nemo covers Twenty Thousand Legal Sea Foods?
posted by Behemoth at 12:30 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love the giant red banner across the top of the Weather Channel's website right now:

ALERT : HISTORIC CRIPPLING BLIZZARD AHEAD

Oh, Weather Channel, I invite you to spend a Canadian winter with me. Then you can get your "aaaah panic!!!" ya-ya's out. I'll even make you a calming drink.
posted by Kitteh at 12:30 PM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


here's a drinking game for you.

A friend of mine is a cameraman for a NY news station, and always gets stuck doing remotes for weather coverage. During hurricane Irene in 2011, we were all drinking and emailing (as you do), and asked him to get his reporter to give us a shout-out.

For some reason, the phrase of the storm was "high-axle vehicles," which the reporter delivered at the end of the broadcast ("The county has vehicles ... high-axle vehicles [chuckle] ... out on the roads right now.")

I poured myself a shot. I expect to do the same tomorrow.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:32 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Scared to death. A tree fell (from the high school property) on our garage during a windstorm last week and destroyed it; the insurance agent already said it's a total loss, but I expect the roof will cave in completely from the weight of the snow. More importantly--there are more trees. They don't look good. I sent certified letters to the high school and the town yesterday, but of course they won't have had time to do anything. I fear for our home and our cars.

I live in eastern CT--they're predicting up to 2 feet for our area.
posted by dlugoczaj at 12:32 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm in Milwaukee and I guess we're getting this now? Is it the same storm? The roads suck but we're only expecting 6 inches here.
posted by desjardins at 12:32 PM on February 7, 2013


This was this morning's status update from the Salem, Massaschusett's Fire Department's Facebook page:

File under "You can't make this stuff up".
Engine 4 responding to Market Basket on Highland Ave. for a report of "over crowding"
posted by zizzle at 12:33 PM on February 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


I was a kid during the Blizzard of 1978. That storm is still the benchmark for all storms in the Boston area. Other storms have come close in terms of snowfall but what made the 1978 storm unique was the long duration of hurricane force winds, extreme coastal flooding over multiple high tide cycles, complete destruction of homes and businesses in coastal towns, and of course the incredible snowfall. 3500 cars were abandoned on interstate 95 just west of Boston and I believe many people died in some of those cars. Here is a link that describes the local impact with lots of great old photos and data. Here is the NWS map of southern New England showing all the current warnings--when the NWS maps get that colorful you know it can't be good.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 12:33 PM on February 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm eagerly anticipating the report from my dad, who likes to go to supermarkets and watch people freak out.
posted by troika at 12:34 PM on February 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


the beginning of it is already here in Chicago. it's snowing really really hard. we had no snow until february and now it's snowing almost daily. so weird.
posted by ninjew at 12:34 PM on February 7, 2013


...and here in Buffalo we're predicted to get only like eight inches, when we're almost 30 inches under where we ought to be.

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:35 PM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


It doesn't count as a real nor'easter unless Shelby Scott is nearly blown out to sea reporting from Scituate.
posted by pentagoet at 12:35 PM on February 7, 2013 [11 favorites]


You know, just as a sidenote, is there anywhere in the U.S. that doesn't have weather? Where there's no precipitation worth talking about and it's just nice most of the time and maybe a little warm or a little chilly?
posted by griphus at 12:36 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


As a New Englander, I always did wonder what the heck the weatherpeople do in places like San Diego or Death Valley.
posted by Melismata at 12:37 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


San Diego?
posted by desjardins at 12:37 PM on February 7, 2013


I'm in Milwaukee and I guess we're getting this now? Is it the same storm? The roads suck but we're only expecting 6 inches here.

Sort of. Huge east coast winter storms like the one tomorrow are created when the northern branch of the jet stream phases with the southern branch. Basically, what this means is that the energy from both is combined into one. This then occurs right off the Mid Atlantic or SE coast where the warmth from the Gulf Stream adds more fuel to the fire. So, the snow you are experiencing in Wisconsin is an impulse riding on the northern jet stream. There is an impulse causing heavy rain in the SE/Gulf Coast area that is riding the southern stream. These two impulses will combine and clobber us.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 12:38 PM on February 7, 2013


desjardins... San Diego
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:38 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


You know, just as a sidenote, is there anywhere in the U.S. that doesn't have weather?
When I lived in Hawaii, we used to joke that there were just two weather report tapes- one for each of the prevailing winds.
posted by pjern at 12:39 PM on February 7, 2013


I have a good friend named Nemo.

He's going to be the butt of so many bad jokes this week. Mostly from me.


Surely no man deserves that.
posted by zamboni at 12:40 PM on February 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


I guess this is as good a time as any to confess my fear of blizzards to metafilter. If you need me, I'll be watching Quantum Leap reruns under six layers of blankets with a flask.

I'm hoping for a dud, hard.
posted by furnace.heart at 12:41 PM on February 7, 2013


is there anywhere in the U.S. that doesn't have weather?

The monthly averages graphs on weather.com are good for that kind of question.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:41 PM on February 7, 2013


> "When I lived in Hawaii, we used to joke that there were just two weather report tapes- one for each of the prevailing winds."

I'm sure I saw reruns in the weather report sometimes when I lived there.
posted by kyrademon at 12:41 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


As a New Englander, I always did wonder what the heck the weatherpeople do in places like San Diego or Death Valley.

It's hot. Oh boy it's hot. I hope you have your air conditioner ready because it's hot. I wouldn't want to be out there today in that heat. It's probably the hottest it's ever been around here and those Santana winds aren't letting up.
posted by Talez at 12:41 PM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Where there's no precipitation worth talking about and it's just nice most of the time and maybe a little warm or a little chilly?

Southern California and desert at high altiude - Taos, NM, for instance.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:43 PM on February 7, 2013


It doesn't count as a real nor'easter unless Shelby Scott is nearly blown out to sea reporting from Scituate.

WOW....I totally forgot about her. She was awesome. As a weather enthusiast, I cringe when the local "journalists" are out and about reporting on weather events. They are just so.....clueless....about anything even remotely science related. I remember one day a few years back when a local Boston meteorologist was explaining a weather event to an anchorperson. The anchorperson responded by saying....."owie, my head hurts".......and I sighed.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 12:43 PM on February 7, 2013


How New Englanders prepare for snowstorms.
posted by ericb at 12:43 PM on February 7, 2013 [10 favorites]



It's hot. Oh boy it's hot. I hope you have your air conditioner ready because it's hot. I wouldn't want to be out there today in that heat. It's probably the hottest it's ever been around here and those Santana winds aren't letting up.

Except a few weeks ago when temps dipped into the 50s....
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:44 PM on February 7, 2013


Santana winds

Nothing compared to the Rob Thomas winds.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:44 PM on February 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


It doesn't count as a real nor'easter unless Shelby Scott is nearly blown out to sea reporting from Scituate.

Ha! Whenever we had a friend who would move away from Boston we would give a gift of a framed and signed headshot of Shelby!
posted by ericb at 12:45 PM on February 7, 2013


As a New Englander, I always did wonder what the heck the weatherpeople do in places like San Diego or Death Valley.

As a kid, I went on a tour of the then-new National Weather Service office in Taunton. The guide mentioned how fortunate New England was to have actual meteorologists on television instead of just weatherpeople. Since then I've always wondered why the rest of the nation not only puts up with clowns like Willard Scott and Al Roker, but seems to hold them in some high regard.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 12:45 PM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


San Diego not only doesn't get bad weather...It essentially doesn't get weather. It's sunny and 70 degrees pretty much all year round, by the coast at least. I have friends who live in San Diego and their comment on the weather variation: "In June it gets cloudy."
posted by dry white toast at 12:46 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Santana winds

Nothing compared to the Rob Thomas winds.


It's a hot one, like seven inches from the midday sun.

But strangely, you stay so cool.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:47 PM on February 7, 2013 [8 favorites]


Assuming they can bring the weather, does anyone think San Diego would mind trading places with Staten Island?
posted by griphus at 12:48 PM on February 7, 2013


Except a few weeks ago when temps dipped into the 50s....

Reminds me of that time the UK got to 90 degrees. BLAZING HEATWAVE!

Me, who hadn't had a Christmas below 100 until I moved to California, was looking at it quite quizzically.
posted by Talez at 12:48 PM on February 7, 2013


I love San Diego...but seriously....I could never live there because of the weather. It is just so boring. If you are a weather enthusiast like me the shenanigans committed by the atmosphere in most other places are just too interesting...and often exciting...to me anyway.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 12:49 PM on February 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


...and here in Buffalo we're predicted to get only like eight inches,

Yeah, this one comes with an East wind, so the lake effect snows hit the other end of the Great Lakes. What usually hits Buffalo with a West wind will be hitting Toronto/Hamilton, Toledo/Detroit, and Chicago/Milwaukee.
posted by rocket88 at 12:49 PM on February 7, 2013


Nemo is a surprisingly omenous choice for the name.
posted by jamjam at 12:51 PM on February 7, 2013


This is the second "winter storm" I've seen with a name, the first being maybe last week or the week before.

Weather Channel marketing BS. It means nothing.


They are the ones who started this I think but...isn't it conceptually reasonable to name blizzards? I'm from the south, so maybe it's just that I grew up with hurricanes and not blizzards, but Hugo, Floyd, etc. just seem easier to remember than 1978.
posted by dsfan at 12:51 PM on February 7, 2013


Can we just stop dignifying The Weather Channel and their utterly idiotic winter storm names already? We have a wonderful public agency that provides us with data, forecasting, and analysis that is never trumped or preempted by lame reality television shows.

Hang on. The Weather Channel gets preempted? I thought they were their own channel or something.


Next you'll be telling me TLC isn't about learning!
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 12:52 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Speaking of Toronto, looks like the storm has just arrived and is expected to continue until late tomorrow.
posted by ceribus peribus at 12:54 PM on February 7, 2013


Missed opportunity.
posted by wam at 12:54 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Next you'll be telling me TLC isn't about learning!

Or that the History Channel isn't about history!
posted by Talez at 12:55 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can we just stop dignifying The Weather Channel and their utterly idiotic winter storm names already? We have a wonderful public agency that provides us with data, forecasting, and analysis that is never trumped or preempted by lame reality television shows.

I don't know why, but every single person I know uses weather.com and when I check weather.gov near them, people get all perplexed and agitated. Why am I not using weather.com? What's my problem anyway?
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:00 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I realize the conditions are going to be dangerous, but I am just so excited for a real winter storm. We've been deprived the last few years. I am "working" from home as well because there is no way in hell I am driving out to Marlborough for my meeting tomorrow only to get stuck out there. Fate worse than death, I tells ya.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:01 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


For those in warmer climates who want to watch (gloat?) as we bear the 'wicked' onslaught -- Boston Blizzard LiveCam.

It's a a view of Copley Square from a vantage point between the Old South Church* (left), Trinity Church (center distance) and the Boston Public Library (right) at the intersection of Dartmouth and Boylston Street.

* -- The Old South Church was the subject of Horace Rumpole's recent FFP: The Whole Booke of Psalmes Faithfully Translated into English Metre.
posted by ericb at 1:01 PM on February 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


This time I definitely filling up the car.

And some of us prefer weather underground, if not just for the name, for the better forecasting and site layout.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 1:02 PM on February 7, 2013 [8 favorites]


What usually hits Buffalo with a West wind will be hitting Toronto/Hamilton...

If I don't get my first snow day in three years, Ima gonna be seriously fucking pissed.

And no sick days so far, either? Everywhere, all this talk about how bad the flu is this year, and -- nothing. One day of sleeping in and waking up only in time for The Price Is Right. Is that so much to ask?
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:03 PM on February 7, 2013


Next you'll be telling me TLC isn't about learning!
Or that the History Channel isn't about history!


Of course not, the History Channel used to be about Nazis and now it's about pawnshops, ice road driving and lumberjacks.
posted by Jahaza at 1:03 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


They are the ones who started this I think but...isn't it conceptually reasonable to name blizzards? I'm from the south, so maybe it's just that I grew up with hurricanes and not blizzards, but Hugo, Floyd, etc. just seem easier to remember than 1978.

A lot of this has to do with the fact that a hurricane, pretty much by definition, is one storm system with one center; meteorologically speaking, other types of 'storms' are often actually multiple systems, not a single distinct one.

Also, the nomenclature of "tropical depression," "Hurricane," etc, has fixed, specific, and quantitative meaning. What made this particular weather system worthy of being named? Why, the arbitrary decisions of The Weather Channel, a private company driven by TV ratings! How delightful.
posted by Tomorrowful at 1:04 PM on February 7, 2013


That is a great LiveCam. Very tranquil day....no snow on the ground....a little chilly......and then everything will change.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 1:04 PM on February 7, 2013


ROU_Xenophobe - My completely unscientific, going-by-memory vague impression is that for each of at least the last 15 winters New England has had a wayyy bigger winter storm than Buffalo, but Buffalo's rep as Snowstorm Central is too deeply ingrained to ever change.

Also: 8 inches? Pfffft.

Hope everyone stays safe up thayuhhh.
posted by Eyebeams at 1:04 PM on February 7, 2013


NOAA just updated their storm forecast... New York, which previously had 4 to 8 inches, is now 9 to 13.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:05 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Scared to death. A tree fell (from the high school property) on our garage during a windstorm last week and destroyed it; the insurance agent already said it's a total loss, but I expect the roof will cave in completely from the weight of the snow. More importantly--there are more trees. They don't look good. I sent certified letters to the high school and the town yesterday, but of course they won't have had time to do anything. I fear for our home and our cars.

Be scared enough to live. Seriously. I'm pretty sure there was a person killed on their easy boy chair during Sandy who thought that a tree might fall on his house. He worried about it - went to another house - and then decided it was no biggie and went back home. Where a tree fell on his house and killed him.
posted by srboisvert at 1:06 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Growing up in Sarnia, Ontario, I lived a block away from my school so there was only one single, solitary day where they closed the entire school and us non-bus kids got a snow day. But it was a hell of a storm. My dad waded out to the car at six in the morning and gave up on trying to drive it when he couldn't even get the door open because snow was blocking it. My day began when my mom woke me up and told me we'd left the cat out. So all five of us wandered around in this horrible blizzard until my sister somehow heard a meow from under the motor home. I had to tunnel underneath (because my dad wouldn't fit) and drag her out by the collar from her perch atop an axle because she was too freaked out to cooperate. When I took her inside and set her down she just fell over on her side she was so cold, but in the end she was fine. Anyway, that's my Sarnia winter storm story.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:06 PM on February 7, 2013 [13 favorites]


NOAA just updated their storm forecast... New York, which previously had 4 to 8 inches, is now 9 to 13.

Oh, good. I look forward to the three months of slowly-decomposing piles of icy garbage on the sidewalk after they decide to plow my neighborhood 9 to 13 days after the snow actually falls.
posted by griphus at 1:10 PM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm going camping at an unheated cabin in VT, leaving tomorrow morning. I suppose this means I should take my skis.
posted by ellF at 1:11 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hopefully I've gotten all my roof leaks out of the way already this season. After the nearly-record-setting snowfall a couple of years ago, I bought a snowblower. I haven't really had a chance to use it (which is to say, it hasn't been worth breaking out for small amounts of snow). I expect that will change this weekend.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:12 PM on February 7, 2013


The Weather Channel bought Weather Underground last year.
posted by mogget at 1:13 PM on February 7, 2013


NOAA just updated their storm forecast... New York, which previously had 4 to 8 inches, is now 9 to 13.

Oh christ I never got my snow boots' zipper fixed oh god
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:14 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


My completely unscientific, going-by-memory vague impression is that for each of at least the last 15 winters New England has had a wayyy bigger winter storm than Buffalo, but Buffalo's rep as Snowstorm Central is too deeply ingrained to ever change.

Buffalo averages 93.7 inches of snow a year. Boston averages less than half as much at 43.2 inches annually. Just for perspective, the snowiest winter in Boston's history yielded an average amount of snow for a Buffalo winter. In Boston most of the snow generally falls in a small number of big events, and it usually melts pretty fast so the ground is typically bare most of the time in winter. In Buffalo, my impression is that the snowfall is more frequent--caused largely by moderate lake effect events.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 1:14 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't know why, but every single person I know uses weather.com and when I check weather.gov near them, people get all perplexed and agitated.

I don't get that either. Why does anyone even go to weather.com when we have a perfectly good weather.gov right there?

And yes, as a NYC resident I look forward to climbing our filthy mountains of snow-ice.
posted by wondermouse at 1:15 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Buffalo's rep as Snowstorm Central is too deeply ingrained to ever change.

I'd be interested to see the numbers, but I suspect that snowstorms in Buffalo are such a non-story that they just don't make the news (beyond the local list of school closings tucked between the Cellino and Barnes commercials).

[On preview: there are numbers. OK, then.]
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:17 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Damn, I should have ordered my snowshoes last month.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 1:17 PM on February 7, 2013


I have a good friend named Nemo.

He's going to be the butt of so many bad jokes this week. Mostly from me.


My boss is named Nemo. The head of our office sent out an e-mail this morning with the subject "Nemo..." and everybody thought he had been fired.
posted by briank at 1:20 PM on February 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


By the way, the technical term for the formation of these powerful east coast storms is called bombogenesis.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 1:21 PM on February 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


ericb: "For those in warmer climates who want to watch (gloat?) as we bear the 'wicked' onslaught --

Oh come on. We'd never do that. Heh heh heh heh!
posted by Splunge at 1:22 PM on February 7, 2013


I'm locked and loaded, ready for the worst Old Man Winter can provide -- just bought this stunning example of Canadian technological mastercraft.

Fibreglass pole, D-handle for leverage, reinforced sides to reduce slop-over, a deep bucket with ribs to handle the big loads, and a stainless steel wear strip for long life.

I might just put some neon on this bad boy.

BRING IT, NEMO.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:24 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's a a view of Copley Square from a vantage point between the Old South Church* (left), Trinity Church (center distance) and the Boston Public Library (left) at the intersection of Dartmouth and Boylston Street.

Now I'm homesick. Not enough to move back (I am not homesick for blizzards), but still.
posted by rtha at 1:26 PM on February 7, 2013


I wish I was in the mood, it sounds like a fun storm and all the trees around me have mostly come down recently so not too many worries there. Maybe it'll be enough to xcountry ski down mass ave!!
posted by sammyo at 1:29 PM on February 7, 2013


seanmpuckett: your link goes to this thread, but you mean a shovel, right? Or maybe a boat? A coffin? A pole for the dancing complete with a bucket for all the loonie and toonie tips? Or an entire Canadian Tire outlet?
posted by maudlin at 1:30 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Aww, hell.

Here's the stunning example of Canadian technological mastercraft that I am 90 seconds too late from editing back into my comment.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:32 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm homesick for the French Toast Alert, the WBZ Storm Center and Harvey Leonard. I'm hoping we get the maximum 25cm (almost 10 inches) up here but it won't be the same.
posted by zix at 1:32 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


If The Weather Channel is going to name storms "Nemo" and "Gandalf," this one that's dumping 2 feet of white powder on New England should absolutely be called "Tony Montana."
posted by empyrean at 1:33 PM on February 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Getting kind of worried about my aunt and uncle who live on Cape Cod (mid-Cape, I think). Does the proximity of the ocean mean more snow or less? (They aren't actually on the water, which I'm grateful for right now.)
posted by JoanArkham at 1:34 PM on February 7, 2013


A lot of this has to do with the fact that a hurricane, pretty much by definition, is one storm system with one center; meteorologically speaking, other types of 'storms' are often actually multiple systems, not a single distinct one.

Also, the nomenclature of "tropical depression," "Hurricane," etc, has fixed, specific, and quantitative meaning. What made this particular weather system worthy of being named? Why, the arbitrary decisions of The Weather Channel, a private company driven by TV ratings! How delightful.


Yeah, I get the differences. But isn't there value in a single, easy-to-remember yet distinctive term? Like, for example, for twitter hashtags? "Storm" is vague, "blizzard" may actually be wrong even in some severe storms if there isn't strong wind, etc. It seems like people are going to eventually settle on some term to describe major winter storms--people actually refer to a winter storm in DC a couple of years back as "commutageddon" (I actually heard this term pop up last week, oddly enough, although I remembered it before that)--surely "Nemo" isn't any worse than that. Just looking up Governor Cuomo's twitter, he uses "#blizzard" and "#nemo" at different times.

I guess I just don't get being really outraged by it like some people are. If people find it a useful construction, they'll adopt it, if not, it'll wither away. I love NOAA, think it should be well-funded, etc., but they aren't the official arbiters of the English language.
posted by dsfan at 1:38 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Since I'm out of work at the moment, I don't have the stress of feeling like I should go in to the office, and once there, wait just a little too long to head out, stressing about the drive home. Then drive home at a crawl, cursing the cars in front of me for stopping on an uphill to let someone cut in front of them, because now I lost my momentum and am going to slide sideways back down the hill.

I've learned the hard way about not being prepared for these things. When we lose power, we lose it for a minimum of one week. Therefore:

Grocery store - check
wine store - check
ATM for cash - check
Gas tank filled - check

I'm on the Westchester/CT border, just above the general snow line. Just now, an emergency red stripe message came across while we are watching a Bond movie on Reelz. I've never seen that before.
posted by sundrop at 1:38 PM on February 7, 2013


The Cape will have rain during the first part of the storm, so the total snowfall is predicted to be less. Mid-Cape is forecast to get about 1 foot total.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 1:39 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


LOTS of wind on the Cape, though -- like 75mph. I hope they stay safe, joanarkham.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:42 PM on February 7, 2013


But isn't there value in a single, easy-to-remember yet distinctive term? Like, for example, for twitter hashtags?

I haven't been a big fan of the naming of winter storms by The Weather Channel, but you make a good point. Back in January of 1978 there was an historic blizzard that struck the Midwest and Great lakes region. That storm is called "The Great Blizzard of 1978". One week later New England had a blizzard--a totally different storm event--and that one is called "The Blizzard of 1978". It can get confusing. If these storms were named then perhaps there would be less confusion.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 1:44 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


20,000 mili-inches under the snow.
posted by grog at 1:52 PM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't know why, but every single person I know uses weather.com and when I check weather.gov near them, people get all perplexed and agitated. Why am I not using weather.com? What's my problem anyway?

Obviously, you're a socialist. But since, by that definition at least, I am too, I appreciate your recommendation of weather.gov, which I'm angered at myself for not using more often. Clicking between weather.com and weather.gov is like seeing the world as it is and the world as I'd like to see it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:04 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Weather Channel is going to name storms "Nemo" and "Gandalf,"

It was actually Gandolf, for entertaining copyright reasons.
posted by zamboni at 2:10 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's because websites always end in .com ; weird domains are only for foreign sites.

/hamburger

(Up here the debate is CBC vs Environment Canada)
posted by ceribus peribus at 2:10 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


National Weather Service has now extended the blizzard warnings further south to include all of NYC and Long Island.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 2:11 PM on February 7, 2013


It can get confusing. If these storms were named then perhaps there would be less confusion.

Yeah, but not named by those d-bags at The Weather Channel. Everybody who was around for it has these stories about '78, it was this huge shared cultural experience. If the weather channel wants to take that and turn it into a marketing gimmick to promote themselves by slapping a goofy pop culture reference on it, I say fuck 'em.

Besides, one of these days one of their shitty little promotional stunts is going to have a body count, and if this becomes a thing some news anchor is going to have to solemnly into "5 people drowned in the storm surge caused by Gandalf today." And that's some bullshit right there.
posted by Diablevert at 2:11 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Full Screen Weather is the best site because it doesn't have all the annoying stuff. Just a big map.
posted by desjardins at 2:15 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I hear you. I despise the weather channel. I used to love it....like 20-25 years ago....when it was "just the facts" thank you. Now, like so many other cable channels, it offers a seriously degraded product.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 2:16 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had no idea there was a weather.gov - now I have a new weather site!
posted by needlegrrl at 2:17 PM on February 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


Guess I picked the right time to go back to Memphis. You guys will have this all cleared up by March, right?
posted by DiscourseMarker at 2:19 PM on February 7, 2013


furnace.heart: "I guess this is as good a time as any to confess my fear of blizzards to metafilter. If you need me, I'll be watching Quantum Leap reruns under six layers of blankets with a flask. "

YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THE "IT" IN "IT'S SNOWING" IS, BUT IT KNOWS YOU
posted by Rhaomi at 2:23 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


If anyone needs me, I'll be at the top of the lighthouse, howling and throwing bolts into the sky.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 2:24 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here is the NWS map of southern New England showing all the current warnings--when the NWS maps get that colorful you know it can't be good.

Among others I especially fear for the folks on the Cape and the Islands.
posted by ericb at 2:26 PM on February 7, 2013


What's up with the Fan Lady behind Deval?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:34 PM on February 7, 2013


Harvey Leonard (iconic Boston meteorologist) just said:

"At sunset tomorrow, you will look outside and see snow falling and not think too much about it. But when the sun rises Saturday morning and you look outside, it will look like the entire landscape has been rearranged".
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 2:36 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


What's up with the Fan Lady behind Deval?

Ha Ha...I just noticed that myself. Maybe they put another log on the fire in the State House?
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 2:37 PM on February 7, 2013


For those of you far away, Deval Patrick is holding a live news conference right now basically telling us to load our guns, get into the bunkers, and NOT COME OUT until Sunday morning. Anyway, right behind him there is a lady who is fanning herself quite vigorously....like non-stop.....for the entire press conference. It is quite odd looking because everybody else around the podium is wearing a fleece...and she appears to be wearing just a light cotton garment.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 2:44 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


It was actually Gandolf, for entertaining copyright reasons.

And so, about this tomb of mine. I fought
With tooth and nail to save my niche, ye know:
— Old Gandolf cozened me, despite my care;
Shrewd was that snatch from out the corner South
He graced his carrion with. God curse the same! ("The Bishop Orders His Tomb at St. Praxed's Church")

In any event, my neck of the near-Rochester woods is apparently slated for "only" 5-7 inches, which the college doesn't even acknowledge on the home page; no snow day for us, it looks like. I'm wondering how many students I'm going to see tomorrow, though.
posted by thomas j wise at 2:48 PM on February 7, 2013


Weather report from my porch in San Diego: It's been hanging around 60 all day; mostly cloudy with scattered sunshine; supposed to rain tomorrow with the temperature plummeting down to daytime high of 58! Good golly!

I'm currently wearing jeans and a t-shirt and barefoot; it was warm enough last week that I was wearing shorts while walking the dog before lunch, but it's chilled off a bit since then. I might need to put a flannel on to take out the dog tonight. Brrr!

Boy, I can't wait for the summer when it'll be 10-15 degrees warmer.
posted by LionIndex at 2:50 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Almanac: we've had 4.38" of rain since July 1, a bit behind our normal of 5.71" at this time of year; we get just over 10" annually.
posted by LionIndex at 3:24 PM on February 7, 2013


“As a 12-year-old, should I have lived through this many storms of the century by now?”
posted by Rhaomi at 3:35 PM on February 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


That is amazingly dry. If an east coast location only had 4.38" since July 1, it would be an apocalypse......the forests would die, our fresh water supplies would vanish, and chaos would ensue. We get about 45 inches annually.... evenly distributed over 12 months. This storm will likely give us 2-3 inches of melted precipitation.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 3:37 PM on February 7, 2013


I don't get that either. Why does anyone even go to weather.com when we have a perfectly good weather.gov right there?

Somehow they manage to be the very last link on the page in Google.

And to be honest, when I want weather, I just type in "my town weather" in Google.
posted by smackfu at 3:59 PM on February 7, 2013


Anyway, right behind him there is a lady who is fanning herself quite vigorously....like non-stop.....for the entire press conference. It is quite odd looking because everybody else around the podium is wearing a fleece...and she appears to be wearing just a light cotton garment.

I reached this hormonal point in my life cycle about 8 months ago, and I fully sympathize with her. I can almost guarantee you that after the presser was over, she either went outside into the howling wind or went back to her office and opened her window to the distress and dismay of her coworkers.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:12 PM on February 7, 2013


As a New Englander, I always did wonder what the heck the weatherpeople do in places like San Diego

Stand-up comedy.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:34 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Aside from riparian areas and modern irrigation, San Diego really has very few trees. We have some pine and oak forest up in the mountains (greatly reduced after the fires of 2003 and 2007) that get more water than the coastal areas due to the orographic effect, but down in the lowlands we just have oaks and sycamores in the river valleys and near streams, along with a collection of rare native pines in the north coastal area. Like LA, we get a lot of water imported from the Sierra or from the Colorado River via aqueduct. We also have a ton of reservoirs across the county trying to save every bit of water we can get.

The odd thing is, while our average annual rainfall is just over 10 inches, we more typically get a bit more or much less - we either have very dry or very wet years.
posted by LionIndex at 4:37 PM on February 7, 2013


I prefer just referring to the storms by years. Normal snowstorms are far more common than hurricanes, and the Weather Channel seems content to name the weakest of winter storms. There's something more epic about the year storms.

For example... I'll never forget the blizzard of 2011, that was so bad that people ended up trapped in cars and we had to pay a front-end loader driver to dig out our alley.
posted by drezdn at 4:44 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I miss snow so much, especially since I'm likely to die in a bushfire.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:05 PM on February 7, 2013


I would normally be pretty excited about this but we were expecting to pick up our dog who is being transported from Texas and was supposed to arrive in Connecticut on Saturday. They have already changed the arrival time to Sunday but I am stressing on getting from Boston To Connecticut in the aftermath.
posted by InkaLomax at 5:08 PM on February 7, 2013


Boyfriend and I are directly on the NY/CT line between "oh shit, blizzard" and "winter storm" warnings. Either way, we're expecting to get over a foot of snow and probably lose power. In two separate grocery trips over yesterday and this afternoon, we have managed to acquire two cases of beer, four bottles of wine, some orange juice to go with our vodka, far too many bags of chips and pretzels, 90 pounds of rock salt, a snow shovel, batteries and flashlights, and of course canned soup, bread, and peanut butter. Also we have playing cards and Scrabble. I think we're set, except for the part where if our power goes out so does our well pump, which means all water needs to come from buckets we pre-fill if we want to flush the toilet.

On the other hand, it will be amusing as all hell to watch our greyhound try to swim through two feet of snow in the yard. We're just hoping we fill enough water buckets ahead of time that we're not competing with the pup for yard potty space.

I will admit that losing power, even with no running water, has become substantially less terrifying to both of us now that we have a wind-up flashlight that will charge my phone, so we can obsessively check weather and power status (and sports scores) even if our power goes out. Yay modern life.
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 5:21 PM on February 7, 2013


I would like to know more about the wind-up flashlight that charges cell phones please.
posted by mountmccabe at 5:31 PM on February 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


"I would like to know more about the wind-up flashlight that charges cell phones please."

Oh they're great! They sell ones with emergency radios built in too, but so far we've stuck with the basic ones similar to this. We actually have an Energizer version that's a couple dollars cheaper, but the idea is the same. For Sandy, we had a Red Cross-branded version, also pretty much the same, but the crank on that one snapped off a few days after we got power back. It remains to be seen how the Energizer ones will do, long-term survival-wise.
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 5:42 PM on February 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


Fan Lady is Andrea Cabral, new MA secretary of public safety, previously sheriff of Suffolk County.
posted by adamg at 5:44 PM on February 7, 2013


The Weather Channel was so much better before they sold their soul to NBC Universal. Now I expect to turn it on & see a map predicting downpours of shredded light bulbs and basketball-sized hailstones. In very large san-serif, red, italicized fonts.
posted by yoga at 5:46 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm supposed to fly to Florida on Saturday afternoon for a really big event on Sunday (meeting the person I donated bone marrow to at a Walk for Life). I have no idea if it's actually happening or not; JetBlue hasn't cancelled the flight yet but who knows what will happen. Pity me, pray for me, send me comforting thoughts. If you think I'm screwed, keep it to yourself. I'll be over here drinking gin.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:59 PM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


TELEPATHIC GIN SENT.
posted by The Whelk at 6:03 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


As a Midwesterner, the fact that the storm means all these New Englanders get to winge anew about The Blizzard of '78 like Mark Twain characters sets my teeth on edge and makes my eyes hurt from rolling. People, it was not that bad.

And knowing that it's all I will hear about for the next three days makes me want to go out on an ice floe alone.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:30 PM on February 7, 2013


People, it was not that bad.

That storm killed 100 people. The damage on the coast of Massachusetts was identical to the type of damage caused by Sandy on the NJ coast.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 7:09 PM on February 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


People, it was not that bad.

Being the anniversary n' all, I happened to watch a little news story about the blizzard of '78 the other day: 3500 people were forced to abandon their cars on one of the state's major highways; four coastal towns had to be partially evacuated by the National Guard. Maybe y'all call that Tuesday, but round here it's a fairly big deal.
posted by Diablevert at 7:22 PM on February 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


the beginning of it is already here in Chicago. it's snowing really really hard. we had no snow until february and now it's snowing almost daily. so weird.

Nothing but rain here on 127th street.
posted by gjc at 7:24 PM on February 7, 2013


A lot of this has to do with the fact that a hurricane, pretty much by definition, is one storm system with one center; meteorologically speaking, other types of 'storms' are often actually multiple systems, not a single distinct one.

Also, the nomenclature of "tropical depression," "Hurricane," etc, has fixed, specific, and quantitative meaning. What made this particular weather system worthy of being named? Why, the arbitrary decisions of The Weather Channel, a private company driven by TV ratings! How delightful.


I agree that the weather channel sucks, but a proper blizzard IS basically a non-tropical cyclone. The Chicago Blizzard a couple years ago had a barometric pressure that was in hurricane range. It was thundering and hailing for a time.
posted by gjc at 7:30 PM on February 7, 2013


3500 people were forced to abandon their cars on one of the state's major highways

From a news account of the Blizzard of 1978:

"For drivers stuck on area highways, a fear factor began to set in. What may have begun as a fun, winter adventure was beginning to get downright scary. As traffic stopped and the blizzard kept on coming, drivers were now trapped in their cars with few options left. The wind began to howl upwards of 70 miles per hour in the Boston area --- and in the days before cell phones and Blackberries, sitting in a white-walled car on a woodsy highway was an even lonelier and more unsettling prospect. Each motorist soon faced a choice: Try to flee through a screaming blizzard to some unknown safety or stay and nurse the gas waiting for rescue as snow piled around the car. Many New Englanders would end up spending days in those automobiles and a few would not make it out alive."
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 7:30 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


3500 people were forced to abandon their cars on one of the state's major highways.

So why didn't they stay at home when they heard a storm was coming?

My parents were in a storm in Minnesota where they had to be rescued by National Guard troops who brought them milk until earth-moving equipment could clear the roads. My dad jumped out of second story windows into snow drifts that covered the whole ground floor. But they damn sure didn't get in their cars when they guy on WCCO said "get off the road, stay at home, let the plows do their work."

I don't want to get into a peeing match here -- for example, I am sure there are people in the mountains out west who would laugh at me (and I remember road graders routinely plowing St. Paul's streets) -- but yes, Bad Storm Is Bad so stay the hell home.

And yes, I am staying off the New England roads this weekend.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:41 PM on February 7, 2013


So why didn't they stay at home when they heard a storm was coming?

Have some appreciation of modern weather science. Folks went to work and on the commute home the storm came in fast and everything stopped. No one was prepared.
posted by sammyo at 7:47 PM on February 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


Just on channel 7(?) "Storm Surge Specialist"
posted by sammyo at 7:49 PM on February 7, 2013


So why didn't they stay at home when they heard a storm was coming?

Because weather forecasting, as uncertain as it still is, has vastly improved in 30 years. Google up some Blizzard of '78 histories and go do some reading about it. It's remembered and notable for a reason, not because New Englanders are weather wusses or really dumb unlike their hardy Midwestern brethren.
posted by rtha at 7:55 PM on February 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


So why didn't they stay at home when they heard a storm was coming?

Because the Blizzard of 1978 was not forecasted well in terms of the timing. It started and came on fast much sooner than anybody realized. So people went to work in the morning and kids went to school in the morning thinking that the storm would not ramp up until late in the day. But it ramped up during the late morning--after everybody left home. And you must remember, the culture around school closings was completely different back then. School was NEVER cancelled in the 1970's because of a threat of snow. It was only cancelled if it was already snowing--a lot. I was in middle school in 1978. I went to school that morning. And by 11 AM I was back on a bus heading home. So as I am sure you know, when everybody hits the road at the same time during a blizzard to head home, all hell breaks loose. And on interstates 95 and 93 there were a few 18-wheelers that jack-knifed, shutting the highways down. And the rest is history.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 8:10 PM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh, I remember sitting in front of the TV, listening to them read off the names of every damn school district & community in my state and praying to hear my own -- and then heading out to the bus stop at the last minute when the crawl of names didn't pay off in time.

Just...I am still sick of hearing about the damn Blizzard, is all. *grumble*
posted by wenestvedt at 8:12 PM on February 7, 2013


Because weather forecasting, as uncertain as it still is, has vastly improved in 30 years.

I will certainly grant you that point. Not having to rely on a hunch or an almanac in favor of radar and TV/radio -- much less the Internet -- is an amazing change in not that many years.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:14 PM on February 7, 2013


High quality live stream from the wgbh newsroom. camera link
posted by UMDirector at 8:22 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Driving home tonight on snowy roads in Wisconsin I was reminiscing about being a stupid teenager driving my dad's Mustang home through the blizzard of '78 in central MA. I was the only car for 15 miles of country road. Almost made it 'cept the last mile was too steep. Had to ditch the car and walk it. Never been afraid of storms since. (Yes, I realize now how lucky I was.)

And it's the anniversary of the actual day. Whoa.
posted by probably not that Karen Blair at 8:25 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just...I am still sick of hearing about the damn Blizzard, is all. *grumble*

I get it. And I agree with you about New England weather folklore in a general sense. By and large, the SOUTHERN New England climate is quite moderate. Winter is actually pretty tame most of the time, other areas get much colder and for much longer (I lived in Minneapolis for 7 years), other areas have much higher snowfall in winter, our droughts are not as severe as other places, our heat waves are shorter and less intense than areas further south, our hurricanes are not as bad as down south, big tornadoes occur but are not as common compared to the south and Midwest, our thunderstorms are not as severe as in the Midwest, etc. But Vermont was hammered by Irene. The 1938 hurricane and a few hurricanes in the 1950's were very bad, and the Blizzard of 1978 was a significant event. So yeah--we are not that meteorologically special--unless you want to compare our weather with that of San Diego.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 8:26 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't care what anyone says, I AM GOING TO PANIC!!!
posted by nowhere man at 8:30 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am going to watch The Wire---just acquired the complete box set!
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 8:33 PM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


So why didn't they stay at home when they heard a storm was coming?

Um, because they didn't want to lose their jobs? Nobody had computers at home back then, there were no work from home options. You went to work no matter the weather. If you were lucky, your boss let you leave early when things got bad, but that was not a given.

Plus, there weren't nonstop and ubiquitous communication options the way there are today. There were basically only three TV channels and the news & weather was only offered at set intervals a few times a day. And as others have mentioned, no sophisticated forecasting the way there is today.

We knew a storm was coming, we heard it would be bad. But most people had no idea that it was going to be a disaster. Before that storm, I bet hardly anyone in the greater Boston area could have conceived of being trapped in a snowed in a car on the highway for three days -- and maybe freezing to death. It's just not something that had happened before.

I worked as a counselor at a skid row shelter in central Mass back then. Thankfully, my boyfriend braved the weather and drove me home. It took forever, but I got home. Otherwise, I'd have been holed up for 5 days with several dozen people going through unplanned DTs - my poor colleagues never quite got over the experience. As a smoker, I had my own private DTs - I tolerated running out of milk and bread passably well, but running out of cigarettes was my waterloo. After that, I always bought in cartons until I quit (12 years ago, yay.)
posted by madamjujujive at 8:35 PM on February 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


I don't care what anyone says, I AM GOING TO PANIC!!!.

I've lived in this Northeast weather all my life, and I gotta tell you - never have I sat in a snowstorm and muttered, "You know, I should have panicked less and not bought all those supplies." Ain't nothing wrong with a good panic - it's how your brain tells you to pick up that extra snow shovel you forgot you didn't have. And that extra beer.

And to fill every garbage can in the house up with reasonably-clean water for flushing and washing, which I've just finished doing. Go do that, people in the path of the storm. You know you're going to lose power at some point. If you don't use any of the water, you can laugh at me on Monday.
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 8:39 PM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, there's gonna be a a snowstorm...
posted by multics at 10:24 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


No snow yet.
posted by sammyo at 10:33 PM on February 7, 2013


My bosses never shut the office for ANYTHING, and we are officially closed tomorrow. I will be at home, brewing up a large pot of some beany, tomatoey goodness.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 10:56 PM on February 7, 2013


So as I am sure you know, when everybody hits the road at the same time during a blizzard to head home, all hell breaks loose.

It doesn't even take a blizzard for hell to break loose. Back in 2007 a midday snowstorm which brought only 6-12 inches created havoc on Boston area highways because everyone decided to heed warnings and go home at the exact same time. I spent almost six hours inching down Route 128 in stop-and-go traffic where if there had been any significant snowfall, I would most certainly have become stuck in a drift and forced to abandon my vehicle.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 1:07 AM on February 8, 2013


The festivities don't start until 6 AM.

All I know is, if this ends up not being so bad, I won't feel even a little guilty that I don't have work today. My daughter has never gotten to play in real snow and she is going to flip the fuck out. It is going to be amazing.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 1:11 AM on February 8, 2013


Interesting thing about the Weather Channel. It was co-founded by a guy named John Coleman. He left the operation after its first year, but his more recent claim to fame is as a climate change denier.

Beyond that, he has been spending his golden years as a weather man in... wait for it...

San Diego.
posted by SteveInMaine at 3:25 AM on February 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


As a New Englander, I always did wonder what the heck the weatherpeople do in places like San Diego

I think they spend a lot of time loving lamps.
posted by notswedish at 3:33 AM on February 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


Nothing here yet, but my meeting was changed over to a teleconference so we could stay home. All the out-of-towners left yesterday afternoon.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:21 AM on February 8, 2013


I'm stocking up on mama potions for Wall Of Flames myself.
posted by The Whelk at 5:33 AM on February 8, 2013


TELL ME MORE ABOUT THESE HOT MAMA POTIONS
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:37 AM on February 8, 2013


Just an update: No Snow yet.
posted by sammyo at 5:56 AM on February 8, 2013


Plenty in Toronto; 15cm in the last couple of hours and we're expected to double that by the afternoon.
posted by ceribus peribus at 6:00 AM on February 8, 2013


During my drive in to Syracuse this morning, I passed at least a dozen huge county plows, loaded and idling, poised to spring at the slightest snowfall. One local park has a major snowshoe event planned for this weekend and are betting on the storm producing a good base. At this point, if we DON'T get at least eight inches, pretty much everyone will be disappointed.

And frankly I wouldn't mind being sent home early. Here's hoping.
posted by kinnakeet at 6:00 AM on February 8, 2013


As a Midwesterner [snip] People, it was not that bad.

We also have an ocean here, so there's a whole host of issues relating to storm surge flooding that just don't come up in the same way in much of the Midwest.
posted by pie ninja at 6:09 AM on February 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


As a Midwesterner

Oh I hope a house falls on your sister.
posted by The Whelk at 6:15 AM on February 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


We've had snow for the past four hours or so in Manhattan. Nothing is sticking, but it's all snow.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:25 AM on February 8, 2013


Meanwhile, down in New London, we're catching the leading edge of the system coming up the coast and it's coming down steady. The fun will really start when the clipper shows up at the party. My back, which is already screwed from a muscle pull last week, was rooting hard for the outlier computer models, but it looks like we're on pace for at least two feet by this time tomorrow. So I trust you won't judge if I start by spiking my hot chocolate with cheap brandy right about now.

Cheers, all! Game on.
posted by Kinbote at 6:26 AM on February 8, 2013


Down here in NC the southern storm passed through last night on the way north. Lots of moisture but no wind or anything. Weird to think that due to the other front from the west, my northern friends are going to have a totally different experience.

Also loving the stories about the 1978 blizzard. I'm a southerner who was 9 at the time I hadn't heard about it before. Storm warnings and personal danger really were very different even in the 80s. People born in the 80s or later probably have a tough time imagining it. Heck, when I'd occasionally run out of gas in my teens or early twenties I would have to walk miles and miles down a highway or try to hitchhike with a random person. No cell phone, no constant updates on Bad Stuff That Was About To Happen.
posted by freecellwizard at 6:29 AM on February 8, 2013


Oh I hope a house falls on your sister.

Well, her kids would be upset, but a few of the people she works with might be quietly pleased.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:37 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


NYC, I am supposed to be all up in you by now, but instead I am still in Berlin. So many flights were cancelled and rebooked, I couldn't even rebook my own flights until next Sunday. GRAR.

Good luck with the crazy weather, folks. I'll hopefully be there in a few days to be insufferably Canadian and scoff at your snowfall.
posted by LMGM at 6:44 AM on February 8, 2013


I love watching the various radar maps. Weather forecasting used to be pretty limited; now they can tell us when rain will turn to sleet, then to snow, and you can watch a storm's progression across the country. The ability to predict this storm means that there will be fewer car accidents, if nothing else, but the prediction is likely to save lives, quite literally. Some of the New Englanders who "toughed it out" in megastorm Sandy didn't make it out alive.

This storm is getting a lot of respect. I live in a rural enough area that losing power is likely. Wood stove, oil lamps, food, water, check. If you are in the path of this storm,

re-posting from a friend's fb stuff: pdf (sorry) about the Blizzard of 78 in Boston.

This is useful as long as you have power during the storm. Anybody want to play along with me?

So, seriously. fill the car with gas now, keep the phone charged, fill the freezer with bottles of water and turn it to colder (full fridge is more efficient, cold freezer takes longer to warm), turn up the heat (a warmer house takes longer to get cold), make sure you have a plan in case the power's out for more than a day, and be ready to check on any neighbors who might need help. Get some alternate no-electricity-needed entertainment for your kids.

http://www.wikihow.com/Prepare-for-a-Winter-Storm
www.ready.gov/winter-weather
www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm
posted by theora55 at 6:45 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, come on folks, lets not start wishing for houses to do unpleasant things to people.

The northern and southern systems are getting closer together now. You can see that on the national radar where they appear as two distinct blobs of precipitation. But the invisible process of energy transfer from the northern to the southern system is already happening. So very soon, atmospheric pressure will start to crash off the coast of Delaware---beginning the process of bombogenesis. As that happens, on the east side of the storm way out over the ocean, hurricane force southerly winds will convey very warm and moist air from the Gulf Stream to the N. This air will wrap around the N and NW side of the storm over New England. But at the same time, cold air at the surface will be drawn down from Maine. So the warm and moist air will be forced to rise rapidly over the top of the cold air---and that is when the real show will begin.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 6:50 AM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just want to tell you New Englanders good luck. We're all counting on you.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:51 AM on February 8, 2013 [9 favorites]


Other video cams and live streams (Boston, Connecticut, NYC and Portland, ME).
posted by ericb at 8:02 AM on February 8, 2013


Kids these days!

Blizzard doesn't stop Beliebers from camping outside 30 Rock.
posted by ericb at 8:06 AM on February 8, 2013


I walked down the hill to Fairway to lay in milk and cereal supplies. When I reached 125th Street, the easterly wind was a blunt reminder of what's afoot, and there was already a nice accumulation of slush. The store traffic was brisk. Nothing like pre-Sandy. I have to decide if I want to head downtown later to buy our tickets to the Wedding Present. Has the MTA made any rumbles about train closures?
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:18 AM on February 8, 2013


MTA service alerts
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:28 AM on February 8, 2013


WICKED STAWM COMIN'
posted by exogenous at 8:42 AM on February 8, 2013 [13 favorites]


In preparation for the winter storm, Amtrak will suspend northbound service out of New York's Penn Station following the departures of Northeast Regional Train #86 at 12:30PM and Acela Express Train #2160 at 1:03PM
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:42 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


The northern and southern systems are getting closer together now

Oh, God, they're headed right for us!

There is now a full half-inch of slush on my driveway. The mail was delivered several hours early, and the trash- and recycling pickups were done on the day they are supposed to be (a minor miracle).

You can all thank me later, but I think I found a way to drive off the storm: I made forty inch-marks on a piece of wood and tied it to the deck railing right where my kids can see it. Then I found a place to put my camera and take a photo each hour. With these painstaking measures done, I am certain that the universe will confound my preparations and also spare everyone on New Elgnad. Except maybe Maine.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:24 AM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


A 19-car pileup outside of Portland, ME:
http://twitter.com/TWCBreaking/status/299928053537177600/photo/1
posted by wenestvedt at 9:27 AM on February 8, 2013


Been snowing since 7am here in Westchester (NY). We're up to about 3 inches. Snowing pretty heavy here now.
posted by sundrop at 9:29 AM on February 8, 2013


Going without power during Irene -- and even Sandy -- was one thing, but it's damn cold now. I hope everyone is ready to stay warm.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:30 AM on February 8, 2013


With these painstaking measures done, I am certain that the universe will confound my preparations and also spare everyone on New England. Except maybe Maine.

Sometimes these predictions turn out to be a bust, even when all the models say "DANGER". All sorts of things can happen. A mere 50 mile shift in the track can change things. Often when these storms get cranking, dry air can get wrapped up inside it, and if you are in that dry slot the snow stops and your accumulations are nothing like the forecast.

And if it is a bust, then that silence you will hear is the quite footsteps of the meteorologists as they slip out of their offices, turning off the lights and their computers, and tip-toeing away hoping nobody notices.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 9:33 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


State of Emergency declared in RI (oddly, via Twitter), MA, and CT now.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:38 AM on February 8, 2013


Wenestvedt: It looks like you are in northern RI? With this particular type of storm track, that area often has the highest snow totals (Woonsocket had an official 38 inches from the Blizzard of 78--highest report in New England). So it will be interesting to see how it turns out up there. Keep us posted! Sometimes the best way to deal with being annoyed is to embrace the beast!
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 9:40 AM on February 8, 2013


Can't wait to head into work for second shift, get stuck working a double (for all those nurses that are suddenly "sick" for third shift tonight) and shovel out my car for the commute home at eight AM. As a New Englander from birth, I have always enjoyed a hearty snow, but I'm feeling rather bah humbug about it this time around.
posted by takoukla at 9:43 AM on February 8, 2013


"Bobby Vinton will not be seen tonight so that we may bring you this special presentation"

Good interview with a very young Harvey Leonard (Boston meteorologist who is still on air today) starting at 7:30--he discusses the chance of another storm like the Blizzard of 78 happening in our lifetime. The 1st 4 minutes or so is a decent overview of what these kinds of storms can do.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 10:02 AM on February 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, we are near "WOONsockET," in Cumberland. It's in the very corner where Mass. wraps around RI.

I just came in from bungee-cording the cover onto the mower, and I have to admit that this is *perfect* snowman snow!
posted by wenestvedt at 10:03 AM on February 8, 2013


takoukla, thanks for working what is sure to be a miserable weekend for you & yours.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:04 AM on February 8, 2013


"During a press conference from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency bunker Friday afternoon, [Governor Deval] Patrick ... announced a statewide travel ban on all roads starting at 4 p.m."*
posted by ericb at 10:21 AM on February 8, 2013


Often when these storms get cranking, dry air can get wrapped up inside it, and if you are in that dry slot the snow stops and your accumulations are nothing like the forecast.

The snow started in Toronto late yesterday, but we did get a little punch of dry air (which the forecasters predicted) that reduced the snowfall for a few hours. But it started up again with a vengeance overnight and it's still coming down steadily. We got 18 cm by 11 AM and the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) is on track for 28 cm (about 11 inches). Last night's predictions went from 20 to 25 to 30 cm, so they weren't too far off for a weird storm combo of an Alberta Clipper and a Texas low.

Toronto's fine (we won't see the army at all this time), but I hope you guys in New England stay safe!
posted by maudlin at 10:24 AM on February 8, 2013


We just got an office-wide email about that travel ban, and unfortunately it now means nobody will leave until 3:30 or 3:45. Of course "if you feel unsafe, you should go home now" but nobody wants to be That Guy Who Leaves First.
posted by chowflap at 10:26 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hopefully wont be too terrible, but thanks, wenestvedt. It's warm at the hospital, which is nothing to complain about while I'm sure people will end up sans power at home. I only soured on the idea of working this even when I was there last night listening to the third shift discussing how some of them (mostly nurses new to the gig) were considering calling out because of the "unreasonable" request by the CEO that we all show up (duh). Some jobs you just don't have the option, and this is one of them. Hopefully everyone stays safe by planning ahead to leave early and not driving like idiots at fifty miles an hour on snow covered highways so that we all can make it there in a pleasant fashion. Everybody else: Stop it with the last minute Market Basket runs, you'll survive the weekend without your skim milk.
posted by takoukla at 10:29 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


If folks in your office take the "T", buses or commuter trains, they should leave soon.

"MBTA Service Will Be Suspended on All Modes Effective 3:30 PM on Friday, February 8th, 2013."*
posted by ericb at 10:37 AM on February 8, 2013


takoukla, I was once given a lift by a nurse at Walter Reed who was coming off what had turned into a four-day shift for him. This was at the end of the blizzard of '96, in DC; I was walking (because there were almost no buses and there was absolutely no above-ground Metro service) from my house in Takoma Park to a friend's house in DC, and I was about halfway when there he stopped his SUV and offered me a ride. He said the only good thing about being stuck at work for so long was that he knew he'd had heat and power and all that good stuff, and he was pretty sure his place in Virginia had none. Good luck, and thank you!
posted by rtha at 10:51 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Blizzard of 78 was bad. The Ice Storm of 1998 was bigger and badder, esp. in Canada. Having seen what weather that bad can do, I am much more respectful of warnings. We lost power in the Ice Storm only briefly, so our apt. was Theora & Bubba's Shower Hut for our friends who had no power. Many people have great stories of neighborhood dinners where everyone tried to cook the best stuff in the freezer before it was ruined. The loss of life was significantly limited by people checking on neighbors who, in many cases, they hadn't met before.

3 - 5 inches of fluffy snow in Maine; the storm before the Storm.
posted by theora55 at 11:05 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you work in Massachusetts, I'm guessing you're about to discover how good your business continuity plan is. In my industry (about 80% of which in the US is in Boston), we have to be working up until 5pm or later... I guess everyone will be working from home? Thankfully I'm in Maine.
posted by selfnoise at 11:14 AM on February 8, 2013


I worked from home because (a) I can and (b) nobody else is around this week to withhold permission. It looks like the folks who went in to work just gave up and left. (Does that mean I can stop working now?)
posted by Karmakaze at 11:41 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Karmakaze: Yes. If anyone asks, tell them you got permission from the Cabal.
posted by rtha at 11:58 AM on February 8, 2013


Travel ban!


I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, pursuant to the power provided by Chapter 639 of the Acts of 1950 do hereby issue the following order:

There shall be a ban on motor vehicle travel beginning at 4:00 PM today and continuing until further notice. This travel ban shall not apply to the following:

public safety vehicles and public safety workers, including contract personnel
public works vehicles and public works workers, including contract personnel; government officials conducting official business
utility company vehicles and utility workers
healthcare workers who must travel to and from work in order to provide essential health services
news media
travel necessary to maintain and deliver critical private sector services such as energy, fuel supplies and delivery, financial systems and the delivery of critical commodities
travel to support business operations that provide critical services to the public, including gasoline stations, food stores and hardware stores
Given this 8th day of February in the year of our Lord two thousand and thirteen at 12:15PM.
posted by beccaj at 12:00 PM on February 8, 2013


Apparently there is thunder snow down in Fairfield County CT--Stamford area---a good sign that the storm is starting to explode--lots of lift in the atmosphere. Also, check out this beautiful wind map. If you look closely at the western part of upstate NY you can see a counterclockwise circulation--that is the northern storm that is translating its energy to the more southern storm just off the coast.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 12:07 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Of course "if you feel unsafe, you should go home now" but nobody wants to be That Guy Who Leaves First.

I had no problem being That Gal.
posted by Ruki at 12:09 PM on February 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


..nobody wants to be That Guy Who Leaves First.
I have always been willing to be That Guy, especially now because there are people who work for me and I don't want them to feel like they can't leave.

Luckily we are closed today, but the students are all hunkered down with some planned festivities and nothing to do outside their dorms at least until Sunday.

My wife was at Target (Attleboro, Mass.) at lunchtime and an employee said that they would be open until 10PM and they expected to have to stay overnight. I realized that a place full of boardgames, snacks, and movies might be a very good option to shelter in place, if you had to choose one. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 12:18 PM on February 8, 2013


Snowing hard here in Putnam County, NY. We probably have about three inches down. Just starting to get windy, though, so I imagine it'll get worse from here.

They still haven't plowed our (minor) road, and every time I see some idiot in a Camaro tooling along at 40mph - of which there have been far too many today - I cringe and wonder whether my insurance covers "some numskull lost control and slid into my parked car in my driveway".
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 12:25 PM on February 8, 2013


Just got off the phone with a friend who lives in Northern Tip of Newfoundland. He said that since early this morning the snow has been nearly waist high and is still falling. The temperature is dropping way below zero and the north wind is increasing to near gale force. His wife has done nothing but look through the kitchen window and just stare. He says that if it gets much worse, he may have to let her in.
posted by ericb at 12:27 PM on February 8, 2013 [32 favorites]


Totally not impressed yet here in downtown Boston. We already had plenty of groceries, so the hubs just picked up some extra cheese. Priorities.

It's definitely picking up, but so far just marginally windier than an average storm. Probably will get really bad in another hour or two. All cars have been ordered off the road at 4PM under threat of arrest, which is what it took for my husband to leave work early...

... he's been home an hour and a half and is already pranking his friends via FaceTime out of boredom. It's gonna be a long weekend.

(ColdChef requested snow photos on Twitter, happy to oblige my favorite undertaker I've been live tweeting my courtyard and alley - username redsonika.)
posted by sonika at 12:32 PM on February 8, 2013


Also, as a Native Vermonster and life long New Englander, I feel about blizzards the same way people on the Gulf Coast feel about hurricanes. "We might lose power. I have groceries, a lot of blankets, and I charged my iPad. Not going anywhere." Just can't get worked up about it.

My feelings would admittedly be different if I had to shovel.
posted by sonika at 12:38 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Whoa! Satellite image of Nemo.
posted by ericb at 12:46 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


(In context, I'm two blocks south of Copley Sq. So, live feed more interesting than my alley.)

(Finished reading thread, done with extraneous comments. For now.)
posted by sonika at 12:48 PM on February 8, 2013


Cold Chef, here are some pictures of snowmen for you: https://twitter.com/wenestvedt
posted by wenestvedt at 12:48 PM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I split from work as soon as the rain turned to sleet. It's slick as hell, and for some reason there's a traffic signal out around the block already. Planning on making some micheladas as soon as my wife gets home, provided she doesn't get plowed into by some moron who thinks 4-wheel-drive means 4-wheel-stop (well, I guess we all technically have 4-wheel-stop but you know what I mean).
posted by uncleozzy at 12:49 PM on February 8, 2013


ericb: larger image from the source.
posted by A dead Quaker at 12:51 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


My feelings would admittedly be different if I had to shovel.

Not if you had a ROBOPLOW!
posted by ericb at 12:53 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I Gotta Get The Bread and Milk!
posted by ericb at 1:00 PM on February 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wait, what? wenestvedt, you live less than a mile away from me. How do you have a magical reserve of snow for a family of snowmen? Now we're having a debate on whether or not we have enough for a snowman - the girlchild is bored, so we're thinking about sending her outside.
posted by Ruki at 1:02 PM on February 8, 2013


Ruki.....I was wondering about the same thing. Those snowballs seem too large to be rolled from just 2 inches of snow!
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 1:07 PM on February 8, 2013


OK ericb......you are seriously cracking me up over here.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 1:08 PM on February 8, 2013


My feelings would admittedly be different if I had to shovel.

That blizzard of '96 in DC, I had to go out about once an hour to shovel because if I didn't, I wouldn't have been able to get my storm door open. The first few times it was kind of neat and didn't take too long, but then the snow just kept falling, and it was heavy, and my gloves didn't have time to completely dry between shovelings, and I was like fuck it, if I have to climb out a window to get out of my apartment, so be it.
posted by rtha at 1:10 PM on February 8, 2013


Seymour Zamboni, our town gets... interesting... with weather. We tend to be right in the line for weather patterns, and it is not unheard of for one end of town to get hit with extreme weather conditions, while it's life as usual for the other end.
posted by Ruki at 1:16 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, Ruki, it was like 33 when we started, and we went ALL OVER the yard. :7) We're up by SJV now.

It has dropped below 32 since then, and the snowman assembly got a lot more difficult. There are two good hours of work in there among seven people: we borrowed the neighbor kid, too, to help. He made a little snowman in my yard that I carried over to his house when he wasn't looking!

Hey, first plow! Which in this town means means, "dude who owns both a 32-ounce coffee mug and a pickup with a snowplow on the front."
posted by wenestvedt at 1:17 PM on February 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Off to clear the plowed-in end of the driveway now. Prolly going to have to do this five more times....
posted by wenestvedt at 1:18 PM on February 8, 2013


Tot is not impressed.
posted by sonika at 2:19 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been clicking around various traffic cams and the lack of traffic is amazing.
posted by rtha at 2:23 PM on February 8, 2013


Snowpocalypse 2013!
posted by ericb at 2:28 PM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


ericb, if I had one of those my driveway would be BONE-DRY.
posted by wenestvedt at 2:34 PM on February 8, 2013


Ha. When I shut my front door after getting home from shopping earlier today, I thought of the scene on Hoth when they shut the big doors for the duration of the storm, even knowing that Luke was out there somewhere. Fortunately there is no Luke-equivalent here that I'm aware of.
posted by A dead Quaker at 2:47 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


We definitely have enough to build snowmen now (and I nominate wenestvedt as MeFi's most hardcore snowman-builder) and traffic on one of the main roads of my town is crawling, when it goes by at all. I have a stockpile of wine, and a newly purchased gel manicure kit, so I'm ready to hunker down for the night. The plow has been down our dead-end road twice already, which is unheard of, and Mr. Ruki is going to make a first round of the snowblower when he wakes up from his nap. We briefly lost internet (the horror!) but that's a regular occurence, and likely a general failure of our ISP than storm related. Hopefully, there will be no traffic tomorrow so we can walk to the highly dangerous but super fun for an eleven year old sledding spot. In the meantime, we're watching the first episode of SpongeBob SquarePants and my budding artist is talking about how the quality of animation has improved. In all, not a bad way to spend a storm.
posted by Ruki at 2:50 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Finally started to snow here, just outside Boston. Not all that impressive yet if you leave the tv off.
posted by sammyo at 2:59 PM on February 8, 2013


But if you look at the Boston Blizzard Cam, you can see that Copley Square is ENTIRELY BURIED IN SNOW which has buried all the buildings except for one spire.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:07 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ruki, promise me you won't take that sweet girl to the Slopes Of Agony!
posted by wenestvedt at 3:28 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


For Somerville-area MeFites, there's a snowman and snowfort etc party for union and davis squares scheduled tomorrow.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:29 PM on February 8, 2013


Lights just flickered for me here on Long Island. I'm hoping that I don't lose power, but at the very least I'd like to not lose it for two weeks again. Way too cold out for that...
posted by pemberkins at 3:46 PM on February 8, 2013


We got about 6 inches in our area so far, near Augusta, Maine, for the storm prequel. Now the wind is picking up a bit, with nasty bits of gritty snow blowing around. Plow guy has come down once. I admit, I did go to the store yesterday, to buy cake mix and other things, so I could make Devil's food cake topped with whipped cream/cream cheese coconut Snowpocalypse Nemo frosting.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:09 PM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Coupla transformers cooked off not too far away, impressive fireworks show... lights are flickering, but haven't gone out. Yet. Big tree in the woods out back let go when I was out snowblowering: massive rending and crashing noises. Good thing none of the really big trees back there grow close to the house.

Also, dual stage snowblowers are completely worth it for long driveways. I was pretending to be a snow-pirate, delivering snow-broadsides to the hedges, yarrrr... I'll be doing that once more before bed.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:10 PM on February 8, 2013


My power has been on and off down here near Horseneck Beach Slap*Happy. Currently on. Snow totals not that impressive yet----maybe 6 inches? But it is a very wet pasty snow that is weighing the trees down...and the wind is really cranking up.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 4:23 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nantucket has winds gusting to 60 mph now....but it is raining there.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 4:25 PM on February 8, 2013


Weep before the face of DOOM
posted by angrycat at 4:32 PM on February 8, 2013


Lights flickering as CLP balances the load, and the outage map is coloring up as the wind rises and the snow grows heavier. Thank god for my CPAP battery. Yoinks.
posted by Kinbote at 4:35 PM on February 8, 2013


Ummm. I spoke too soon, two branches each the size of a small tree just ripped off one of the maples in the yard and one of them slammed into the deck. No serious damage as it landed at an odd angle, but freaked the wife and I out, and made the little one hop around yelling "awesomesauce!"
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:41 PM on February 8, 2013


State of Emergency declared in RI (oddly, via Twitter), MA, and CT now.

Gotta love the way the RI governor sent the state workers home an hour after the buses had stopped running...

It's accumulating in Providence and the wind is picking up.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:42 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


So last month I booked tickets for the Dead Kennedys. I constantly live far from major venues (Kelowna, Fredericton, Kingston) and have no car and little money - I'm finally making some, so I can fly from Timmins south to Toronto for the show.

Had to book the 7-8:30 flight because I don't have much vacation.

...And of course this is the one friggin' day that y'all have bad weather. I'm currently waiting for the plane, been delayed an hour and I'm landing half an hour *after* doors open.

Fucking weather, man. I hate it so much.

The question: is it worse to have 25 cm of falling snow at -5 or no falling snow at -35. Let's find out!
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:47 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Electricity is out a couple of miles south of me. Please, power outage, don't cross I-295 and come to my house!
posted by wenestvedt at 4:55 PM on February 8, 2013


Marie Mon Dieu, I may have to put my boots on, get in my car and head north .. the roads might be bad but damn, there should be no traffic. Devil's food cake with coconut cream cheese frosting, why didn't I think of that? Oh ya, my oven is still fubared.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:58 PM on February 8, 2013


I hope the power doesn't go out tonight. I just shoveled out the cars a little. The wind threw snow into my eyes. I was wishing for goggles.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:26 PM on February 8, 2013


It's getting awfully quiet in this thread - hope everyone's power is holding out. Getting blizzardy and blowy here in central MA now after a relatively unremarkable day. Just had a little flickering action going on, no more of that please, weather gods. I'd be forced to eat all the shrimp right away.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:34 PM on February 8, 2013


Holding tight here in Belmont. The wind is picking up a bit, but nothing too dramatic yet. Beer supplies holding.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:40 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's getting awfully quiet in this thread - hope everyone's power is holding out.

We actually managed to hold on to ours after Sandy (central NJ), so I think we should be okay. Experimental pretzel/peanut butter/chocolate brownies are baking in the oven. I learned my lesson about not buying sweets during my pre-storm shopping.
posted by booksherpa at 5:45 PM on February 8, 2013


It's ok in Jersey City at the moment - still snowing heavily, but not too windy so far, and no flickering of the power yet.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:46 PM on February 8, 2013


Hell's Kitchen checking in. The snow picked up as it got dark but it seems to have dropped off a bit.

We have gone through the first bottle of wine, leftover artichoke/boursin/goat cheese dip from the Super Bowl and played a game of Race For The Galaxy. We started on the gin and sausages are cooking. After we eat we plan to go on a short reconnaissance mission until we get cold and/or wet.
posted by mountmccabe at 5:48 PM on February 8, 2013


I just came back from a walk to 110th Street. It's beautiful, until you put your face into the wind. There is about 4-6 inches, and it's still coming down at a fair pace. Somebody built two mini snowpeople on our front stoop.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:00 PM on February 8, 2013


Boyfriend reports that when the dog yanked him off his feet in the snow, he was covered "up to his nose" (boyfriend, not dog). I figure that means we've got at least six inches here in NY, maybe more. Also I've told the dog to go sit in the corner and think about what he's done.
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 6:04 PM on February 8, 2013


It's getting awfully quiet in this thread - hope everyone's power is holding out.

I'm in Bedford, NY (next to CT). Wind has picked up considerably. I'm trying to get all my internet fun in now, because history dictates that our power will go out at some point.

I'd say we are up to at least 7-8 inches of snow at this point. But I am loath (loathe?) to go outside and actually look. Because then I'd feel like I had to shovel or some other nonsense.

Boyfriend/Roommate is passed out on the couch. Looks like I'm on my own.

And I just now realized that we have no candles in the house. Krap.
posted by sundrop at 6:06 PM on February 8, 2013


Cambridge checking in. There's starting to be some serious accumulation. People are walking on the street and not the sidewalk. Looks like 6-8 inches. The plows are fighting a holding battle in the nearby parking lots. I'm not super worried about the power going out, because we didn't really lose it during Sandy or Irene and the winds aren't nearly as bad. So far, I'm enjoying the show.
posted by A dead Quaker at 6:09 PM on February 8, 2013


badgermushroomSNAKE, ha - I ppropose a new snow depth metric: prone boyfriend nose units
posted by madamjujujive at 6:15 PM on February 8, 2013


NE Rhode Island, and I count 14" on the deck and a little less in the wind-swept front yard.

God bless & watch over the nice driver from Phoenix Trucking of Cumberland, RI (according to his truck's door), who spent thirty seconds swinging across the entrance to my driveway, saving me fifteen minutes of snow-blowing.

Eeek, flickering lights again!
posted by wenestvedt at 6:17 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


The storm is basically over in Toronto now; it's still snowing but just barely. Visibility back to full and roads are normal for this time of year. Road crews are shifting their emphasis from plowing to sand/salting, and lower priority roads are no doubt just starting to get their first plows done now.

It's still ten below though, so none of the accumulation ("20 to 30cm" according to Environment Canada) is going anywhere. The next above-freezing forecast isn't until Monday, when everything will turn into a slushy mess and it's going to rain all day as a bonus. (Just imagine, if it's not warm on Monday that rain will be more snow that we'll have to pile on top of the piles of snow lying around from today's storm).
posted by ceribus peribus at 6:19 PM on February 8, 2013


Power is out two miles south of us, but except for some flickers, we're okay. Mr. Ruki is snowblowing our driveway. My friend down the road with the power outage has bacon on her wood stove and Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple beer chilling in the snow on her deck, so I can't say she's doing any worse than me.
posted by Ruki at 6:20 PM on February 8, 2013


The light flickered up here on 128, but we've still got power.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:23 PM on February 8, 2013


Boston totally underwhelming so far. Live tweeting has ceased with the burial of our courtyard lights, so probably 10". Wind is gusting, but nothing close to what we saw during Sandy (which is nothing close to what NYC saw during Sandy). Power flickered twice, but only barely.

Broke into the cheese rations. At this point they won't last the night.
posted by sonika at 6:24 PM on February 8, 2013


Mr. Ruki just came back in from snowblowing the driveway looking like a snowman. Our kitchen is very wet right about now.
posted by Ruki at 6:29 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the downside of my brilliant plan to do all of our laundry before the storm is that there is practically nowhere to hang all the dripping jackets/hats/mittens/scarves/boots/socks/etc.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:33 PM on February 8, 2013


It's so windy outside that the air going across the top of the plumbing vent stack is making waves in the toilet water.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:38 PM on February 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


One of the giant maples in the back yard is bent over double. This is a BIG tree, and its crown is within 5 feet of the ground. When it goes, it will probably take the deck with it... the house itself is safe, I hope. Nowhere to go to in any event... The roads have not been plowed, and my little Kia SUV is pretty bad ass, but its bumper needs to be above the snow. Lots of ominous cracles and splintering from out back. I did send those hedges to the bottom with another snow barrage, tho... Yarrr! I'm the only one in the neighborhood who will be able to drive to the end of the driveway tomorrow morning to stare at the unplowed road... Cuz if you ain't been blowering before now, it's too late to start.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:44 PM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Snowstorms inspire a blizzard of sex ads in Craigslist personals.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:51 PM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Newburyport MA, here- 11" of snow measured in the driveway, probably halfway through the storm. Temperature is dropping quickly. There's a webcam pointing at the deck at a waterfront bar in Salisbury MA; looks pretty cold there, not sure if the deck will still be there in the AM.
posted by jenkinsEar at 6:52 PM on February 8, 2013


Snowstorms inspire a blizzard of sex ads in Craigslist personals.

Man what kind of buzzkill mocks the lonely and horny
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:53 PM on February 8, 2013


Boston without Bostonians.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:54 PM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Bostonians are all in my alley. No lack of people wandering about. Being kind of loud, too. Wish they'd get off my lawn.
posted by sonika at 6:58 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Doughnut... Bacon... Maple... BEER??? I can trade peanut butter pretzel chocolate brownies...
posted by booksherpa at 7:08 PM on February 8, 2013


Some power flickering in Watertown, Mass. but otherwise 6-12 inches, nothing special. My upstairs neighbor had a snowblower arrive via UPS 9 hours ago, so I'm excited about not shoveling tomorrow.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:16 PM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Power is out, probably for good this time. Still have 4G, tho. Time to discuss the generator again, I think.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:17 PM on February 8, 2013


I don't think it's a discussion anymore, as such....
posted by wenestvedt at 7:21 PM on February 8, 2013


booksherpa, here it is. May you find some in your local packie.
posted by Ruki at 7:37 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just shoveled the front sidewalk, I'm guessing we've got 10-12 inches at this point. Saw a cross country skier going down the street, all sleek and goggled and skate-skiing--it was only a matter of time. Helped a Subaru get unstuck from the traffic calmer they put in at the intersection a couple years ago, but they ended up just re-parking and spending the night at their friend's. Not sure why they thought they could spend an evening out anyway. God I'm sounding like an old man.

I've exhausted my beer allotment for the night, switching over to port.
posted by A dead Quaker at 7:59 PM on February 8, 2013


UWS, NYC, nothing but spent 30 rock discs and cheese rations, the box wine was a brave little soilder, but he knew he had to fall to his brother from the east ..Mr. gin.
posted by The Whelk at 8:04 PM on February 8, 2013


When I went to the liquor store after I left work today, the boxed wine section was curiously empty.
posted by Ruki at 8:05 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


HELD FOR RANSOM.

Also the weather: is windy but not serious, fat wet flakes coming down at a reasonable but not driving clip.
posted by The Whelk at 8:10 PM on February 8, 2013


sppppoky pepto-bismal white-pink out there. I can't make out the buildings next to mine.
posted by The Whelk at 8:54 PM on February 8, 2013


The poor young meteorologist they sent to the Common on NECN couldnt open her eyes fully during her standup. The anchors were laughing at her. It's her birthday.
posted by Diablevert at 9:10 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Awake thanks to a certain young man's beverage demands...

Storm seems to have stopped for now. Wind was pretty impressive about three hours ago, the windows in my building are frosted with snow all the way up to the fifth floor. I'd guess about 18" total accumulation. Not nothing, but I'm from VT and have seen blizzards put down enough snow to create 15' (that's FEET) drifts so... hard to impress in that respect. The wind though, yeah, it was crazy. Couldn't see more than about ten feet out my window.
posted by sonika at 12:44 AM on February 9, 2013


Snow is starting again, but no real wind at the moment. Have had some night cheese and now, hopefully, back to sleep.
posted by sonika at 1:01 AM on February 9, 2013


At least a foot an a half here in Watertown, still have power. Some friends in Quincy lost power last night, but they had beer and moonshine, so they're probably fine. I'd link to a picture on Twitter, but my windows are completely covered in snow.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 2:52 AM on February 9, 2013


Woke up to sweet, sweet power and quite the white out going on. Local news just reported my town has 26" and there are 5-6 hours left in the storm. Looking out my window, it's hard to gauge because wind is sculpting things - my front doorstep is just about bare, but down the street, snow sweeps 2/3rds of the way up a neighbor's garage door. Hats off to the plow people taking care of this complex, they have been out all night and look to be doing a good job keeping up with it.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:42 AM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's the view from my porch.

According to NSTAR's outage map most of the people who lost power last night in Boston have it back, but the Cape got it in the teeth.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 3:52 AM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Local news says my town has 27.5 inches and snow still falling. I've still got power, but one of my friends in the next town over has no power or heat, a tree across the street, and power lines on the roof of the house. That's in a neighborhood that was one of the last to be restored after Sandy - I hope they get heat back quicker this time around.
posted by pemberkins at 4:01 AM on February 9, 2013


Woke up to power, telecom, heat, and water. It looks like maybe 14-18" of snow has accumulated, although it's hard to see since my apartment building has a weird shape that messes with accumulation and distribution. There was plowing and clearing last night, so it looks like the roads are passable, if necessary, but I have no intention of going outside.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:35 AM on February 9, 2013


Well we got some snow. It's the drifts that'll get ya, in one parking lot one side will be 6-12 inches but on the windward side just car shaped lumps and drifts.
posted by sammyo at 5:42 AM on February 9, 2013


Well. Looks like I won't be grilling anytime soon. Wind coming off the lake is scouring some areas clean, big drifts in others. Pipes frozen under kitchen sink, which backs up to the unheated mudroom. Got a space heater going underneath, which has unfrozen them in the past :::crossing fingers:::
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:47 AM on February 9, 2013


Phones need to learn not to autofocus on window screens. It's obnoxious.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:49 AM on February 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


The driveway is filled in, the front door railings are just peeking out, and the mailboxes appear to be sitting on six-inch posts. I would guess a couple of feet of snow, but I will know for sure once I get out there.

So grateful for lights, heat, and no accidents here in Rhodey.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:49 AM on February 9, 2013


I agree. It is obnoxious.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:51 AM on February 9, 2013


My camera has like twenty built-in modes, and NONE of them can tear their eyes off the screen.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:00 AM on February 9, 2013


Everything's fine here; power stayed on throughout the night. Very glad I don't have to go anywhere anytime soon though.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:03 AM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just stuck a yardstick into the snow on my front lawn, Jim Cantore style, and it was between 27 and 28 inches. Never lost power, and fortunately, we have a door that opens into a car port, as we can't open the other two doors outside.
posted by Ruki at 6:09 AM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just shoveled out in Cambridge. Snow is between 20 and 30 inches, depending on drifting - about 25 inches on average. Our car is completely invisible. Still coming down pretty hard - I feel like I just got in and there's already half and inch where I shoveled. The wind is getting less and less steady - throughout the night we had non-stop howling around the windows, and now we have big gusts interspersed with periods of total calm.

Power is on, cats are THRILLED that we turned up the heat overnight as a hedge in case we lost power. They are glued to our laps, waiting out the blizzard in total comfort.

Time for some tea before the real excitement. I'm a Ph.D. student and I study zebrafish. The lab is 4 miles away, cross the city. We have many thousands of fish and they MUST be fed or else they will suffer. No MBTA, certainly no car (travel ban still in effect, even if I COULD dig the car out and drive it more than 2 inches).... I'm cross-country skiing to the lab! It's going to be quite the adventure. Going to wait a couple hours to start out. Wish me luck.
posted by Cygnet at 6:17 AM on February 9, 2013 [15 favorites]


Cygnet, this is one of the zebrafish: we're all counting on you -- to eat! Good luck.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:24 AM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Boston.com waxes poetic:
"With sunrise thwarted by storm clouds, gray light slowly filtered into Boston this morning, revealing empty roads and a strange landscape of snow piled high by plows and drifts sculpted by the wind."
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:29 AM on February 9, 2013


Thank you wenestvedt :) brine shrimp coming right up!
posted by Cygnet at 6:31 AM on February 9, 2013


Ahhhhhhh, the kids' favorite!
posted by wenestvedt at 6:36 AM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Central Park was filled with the happiest pack of unleashed dogs I've ever seen around 8 a.m. today. There were maybe 40-50 of them romping through the field around 64th and CPW, ranging from eensy teacup poodles to great danes.

The snow was maybe a little over a foot high in the undisturbed areas, which is perfect for bounding dogs and their humans. The paths are slippery as all hell, though.
posted by ausdemfenster at 6:41 AM on February 9, 2013


I only fell on my ass once!

Photoset from last night and our walk in Central Park this morning.
posted by mountmccabe at 6:47 AM on February 9, 2013


No power or heat... have the taps open to a tricke to keep the pipes from freezing. The tree is toast, but it missed the deck. Limbs down everywhere... gonna need to invest in a chainsaw. As soon as a plow comes by, we'll head over to my parents place. No power there, either, but they have a wood stove.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:51 AM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Glad to hear you're okay, Slap*Happy.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:52 AM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Take care, Slap!
posted by wenestvedt at 6:53 AM on February 9, 2013


I have family snowed in without power on the coast of RI. Providence Journal is reporting that the outage will last for days. Wonder why there was no call to evacuate?
posted by futz at 6:54 AM on February 9, 2013


Glad to hear the deck's ok, Slap*Happy! Safe travels to your parents' place.
posted by ausdemfenster at 6:55 AM on February 9, 2013


Blizzard Strands Hundreds of Cars On Long Island Expressway. Yikes.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:09 AM on February 9, 2013


A reminder that Gov. Malloy has ordered all roads in the state closed until further notice. (Warning: Facebook)
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:09 AM on February 9, 2013


Blizzard Strands Hundreds of Cars On Long Island Expressway. Yikes

And that's why Deval Patrick closed the roads in Mass., complaining douchebags on Twitter.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:14 AM on February 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Scenes in the snow in Old Timey New York.
posted by The Whelk at 7:15 AM on February 9, 2013


Best of luck to you, Cygnet.
When I heard about the exceptions to the travel ban, my first thought was: what about a veterinary emergency?
posted by Countess Elena at 7:40 AM on February 9, 2013


Waltham, MA reporting in. It's STILL snowing here, a lot. The wind is still whistling. Looks like about 25".

I might have a check bounce because I was counting on some money arriving in Friday's mail. They unofficially didn't deliver any mail yesterday, and won't officially deliver any today.
posted by Melismata at 7:44 AM on February 9, 2013


NYT and WSJ suspend paywalls for the weekend due to storm, according to Poynter so if you are homebound & bored, get your read on.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:44 AM on February 9, 2013


A little over 2' in downtown Boston. Hubs cackled at maintenance crew shoveling our courtyard, then felt bad and wanted to help but lacked a shovel to do so.

We have power, heat, food, and a very stir crazy man. Also a toddler well on his way to Pingu addiction. Will venture out later, too cozy to move out from under my blanket right now.
posted by sonika at 8:03 AM on February 9, 2013


With all the crazy drifting snow, it's hard to say from inside how much we've got in wicked pissah Somerville. In an hour or so, when we're closer to things dying down, I'll go out and finally try out the electric snowblower I bought before last winter.

The big deadline, I think, is getting snow clearing done before the rain comes on Monday. Hopefully people will shovel out nearby storm drains as well as fire hydrants.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:11 AM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Things are winding down in central MA, hint of sun struggling to emerge, still spitting snow and blowy. Contentedly hunkered down under quilts, with coffee, clementines and biscottti. I do not begrudge my condo fee this month, there's a hard-working team of shovelers out there digging everyone out. They would not stop for a hot chocolate break, but I gave them oranges and energy bars.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:19 AM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hopefully people will shovel out nearby storm drains as well as fire hydrants.

This being RI, I don't really expect that anyone will bother to shovel anything at all. The usual though process seems to be:

1. If it's a little snow "No need to shovel, it will melt soon enough, and I don't use my sidewalk."

2. If it's a lot of snow "Man, that is way too much snow to shovel. I will just cut a tiny path to my car."

These people, of course, are going to a cold, snowy hell with non-ergonomic shovels.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:20 AM on February 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


Storm seems to be over here in putnam county - sun is shining, plows have come and gone. It's still blowing wind like a mofo, but no more white stuff from the sky. I just went out and did a very scientific "make a footprint, then measure its depth with a measuring tape" experiment and came up with us having received somewhere between 11 and 12 inches in total. But like everyone else is saying, that's not counting the areas where the wind has done weird drift-making.
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 8:27 AM on February 9, 2013


Futz, I read that a main transmission line went down. As soon as it comes back up, they should be OK:
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Storm Nemo's ice, wind and snow knocked out power across swaths of Rhode Island, and a National Grid spokesman cautioned that this will be "a multi-day event. We expect there will be many people without power for several days."

Statewide, 187,000 customers had no power, said spokesman David Graves, shortly before 8:30 a.m., representing about 38 percent of the state. Transmission lines are a major problem.
- http://news.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/2013/02/blizzard-struck-transmission-lines-ri-power-failures-may-last-days.html
posted by wenestvedt at 9:47 AM on February 9, 2013


These people, of course, are going to a cold, snowy hell with non-ergonomic shovels.

They will share that deserved perdition with the Boston meatheads who steal an orange traffic cone from the emergency room ambulance parking in order to "save" the spot that they shovel out, where the plow had to swerve around the car they left there during the parking ban. Gah, snowstorm of 1/1994, when my sister moved out here!
posted by wenestvedt at 9:49 AM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


okay. just got in from doing the required level of snow clearing for now - sidewalk, driveway path to the back doors, front stairs, and a bit of the space from the sidewalk to the cleared part of the street. I didn't bother clearing through the plow berm (which is about 4' high) - it seemed too sysiphean, since they're probably going to do at least one more big plowing pass that will make the berm even bigger and push it closer to the curb. The electric snowblower worked like a little champ and sped things up a fair bit.
My girlfriend made a livejournal post with pictures.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:31 AM on February 9, 2013


Well, I just dug out my car and our sidewalk. The snow is up to my hips in the backyard. It was nice seeing all our neighbors out on the street together, helping each other with snow blowers and shovels.

I walked to Davis Square and it was like the apocalypse had occurred. No cars, everyone wandering aimlessly in the streets, very few shops open. Surreal.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:33 AM on February 9, 2013


National Grid says that, in RI, transmission lines & power to Aquidneck Island are their priorities -- so getting the lights back on in a few of our dorms will have to wait. Thankfully, the rest of the dorms are warm and bright and safe, and they are providing meals and activities and power strips to everyone. Good luck, students!
posted by wenestvedt at 11:05 AM on February 9, 2013


I didn't bother clearing through the plow berm (which is about 4' high) - it seemed too sysiphean, since they're probably going to do at least one more big plowing pass that will make the berm even bigger and push it closer to the curb.

It's important to take breaks! But that plow berm could be mighty compact and icy after the second pass:/
posted by eviemath at 11:05 AM on February 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Some photos from the storm here.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:38 AM on February 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


Love the before-and-after shots, backseatpilot!
posted by rtha at 11:51 AM on February 9, 2013


34 inches here in New Haven. We'll be lucky if our street is plowed by the end of the week.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 11:55 AM on February 9, 2013


Sadly, a death in Boston: A guy and his kid were shoveling out the family car, guy got car running, kid got in to warm up, died of CO poisoning because the exhaust pipe was blocked by snow. Boston Fire Dept. tweets.
posted by adamg at 11:58 AM on February 9, 2013


I am pleased to report that my zebrafish are fed and healthy. I even had a good time getting to the lab, although I bonked pretty hard one mile from home on the return. Mass Ave was deserted and alien when the snow was still coming down and pretty much a parade once it stopped!
posted by Cygnet at 1:21 PM on February 9, 2013 [11 favorites]


Yay, I am relieved for the zebrafish. That is a long ski trek, at least to my reckoning.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 1:28 PM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Great shots, backseatpilot. Thanks to all for sharing your storm photos. I've been following the thread from my home in PNW where the weather is completely boring, and sending happy thoughts to all of you having to deal with yet another horrendous mess on the east coast.

On preview: Yay, zebrafish!
posted by wallabear at 1:34 PM on February 9, 2013


Any Somerville/Cambridge area folks who don't follow Davis Sq
LJ, there's a thread on what's open/closed around town.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:48 PM on February 9, 2013


Just spoke to aunt and uncle in Brewster: they have no power or heat and are snowed (and iced!) in, but are otherwise ok. I am buying them a frikkin space heater for Christmas next year.
posted by JoanArkham at 1:53 PM on February 9, 2013


Neighborhood NEMO photos.
posted by ericb at 1:59 PM on February 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


We received a total of precisely one tot of snow.
posted by sonika at 5:05 PM on February 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Cygnet, this wasn't you by any chance, was it? (from The Atlantic)
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 6:43 PM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


badgermushroomSNAKE, nope. I was wearing black pants and a grey sweater and I have distinctive old-school bamboo poles. At least 10 people took pictures of me while I was skiing though, so I wouldn't be too surprised if a pic showed up someplace.
posted by Cygnet at 6:53 PM on February 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


ericb, I love the photo of the ice-draped lamp!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:39 PM on February 9, 2013


Mr. Ruki and I had a prolonged.... discussion... about how the vent for our gas dryer is buried under a four foot snowdrift and therefore, no laundry will be done tonight. As Mr. Ruki does the laundry, I thought this would be a win for him, but he got seriously grumpy while I talked him out of it. Whatever. We got our cars out, and I requested that the USPS hold our mail, because I can't even see our mailbox.
posted by Ruki at 7:45 PM on February 9, 2013


Luckily, the USPS declined to try to deliver any mail statewide today. Maybe Monday?
posted by wenestvedt at 7:59 PM on February 9, 2013


@2 1/2 feet of fluffy, powdery snow. Snowfall records in Maine broken. Never lost power; at the worst point, Maine had 10,000 homes without power, and it's all back now. Late afternoon, the sun tried to make a showing; sunset was gorgeous. Too bad it's the new moon; a full moon on this snow would be spectacular. The early warning of the storm's severity probably saved lives; yay meteorology. I'm glad everyone weathered it well.
posted by theora55 at 8:12 PM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


The post office in my mom's town in Vermont was closed today because of the snow. What about "neither snow nor rain" and all that, she wants to know.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:53 PM on February 9, 2013


They're getting you used to no more mail on Saturdays, ever.
posted by availablelight at 10:28 PM on February 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just got my power back----5 AM Sunday morning.....lost it 8:30 PM Friday. Friday night was a bit scary down here on the south coast of MA. We only had about 15 inches of snow total but it had the consistency of cement. And the wind.....the wind was awful. Could not sleep with the sound of trees cracking and wind howling. Lots of trees down everywhere. My southern magnolia just doesn't look that southern anymore! But NE wind here is an off shore wind, so no flooding. Good news.....sunny today and 50 degrees with some rain tomorrow....let the meltdown begin!
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 2:36 AM on February 10, 2013


And just a recap of some of the more impressive snow totals across New England:

Portland Me: 32 inches (most ever in a single storm)
Boston: 25 inches (5th highest)
Providence: 19.5 inches-----boring!
Cumberland RI......24 inches
Hew Haven.....34 inches
Islip Long Island......31 inches

And the winner is.....drum roll please.........

Hamden CT (just north of New Haven) with a single storm total of 40 inches!.....that is 102 cm for the Canadians.

Peak wind gusts were all around 75 mph down here in my neck of the woods.

The Hamden and New Haven totals make sense. Right before my power went out I was checking out the radar and it showed a massive blob of orange and red over southern and eastern CT pivoting up toward Hartford. And I remember thinking, wow, they are so screwed.

I am so glad that winter storm Nemo (aka skull crusher) is finally over. To those of you still without heat and power, I pray for a speedy return of both.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 2:47 AM on February 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh...and the average annual snowfall in New Haven is about 30 inches. So it is impressive to get more than a year's worth of snow in less than 24 hours!
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 2:51 AM on February 10, 2013


winter storm Nemo (aka skull crusher) Thank you for that.
posted by theora55 at 4:33 AM on February 10, 2013


Seymour, my neighbor measured 28" of snow, as did Ruki (just up the road), so I am dubious of these official totals. But the Providence airport twenty-some miles from here only recorded like 17" so "officially" it wasn't that bad a storm. *snort* Tell that to the people who haven't been plowed or gotten their power on yet!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:46 AM on February 10, 2013


Wenestvedt..........measuring snowfall is tough. The NWS uses a snowboard. They train their spotters to check the board every 6 hours during a storm. When the board is checked, the amount of accumulation on it is measured and then the board is wiped clean. Then in another 6 hours the same procedure is followed. When the storm is over, the measured amounts from each measurement are added together to get the storm total. If the board is not cleaned every 6 hours and the snow is measured one time at the end of the storm, then compaction will result in a lower reported amount. And then there is the problem of blowing and drifting which really complicates matters. Ideally, you gotta find an open area and make the measurements in multiple spots and take an average.

A number of years ago I thought the NWS was proposing a change to the way snow is measured---either cleaning the board more frequently or less frequently---can't remember. A lot of questions arose because it would affect the continuity of data collection from an historical perspective. I can't find any info about this with a cursory search and I am not sure if the changes were implemented. Or my memory may be way off about the entire affair.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 8:37 AM on February 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, I know their total for my town was, last I checked, from a HAM operator at 6:45am yesterday. So I am a little skeptical. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 9:00 AM on February 10, 2013


Yea...I think a problem is that when these numbers are sent out to the media it is very unclear about the source and how the measurements were made/what protocol was followed. The NWS has trained spotters (I am one). But they also accept reports from HAM operators, police, etc. But the NWS does indicate if the person is a trained spotter or not, which helps when looking over the data for major differences in the same area. Here is the list of reports received from NWS-Taunton. Southern CT is served by the NYC NWS office. Here is their list of reports that includes the 40 inches from Hamden CT. I think the data are broadly consistent, in that you can see that New Haven County clearly got hammered given the large number of reports of more than 30 inches of snow. But yea.....whether or not the 40 inch report is super accurate or was affected a bit by drifting, etc, we will never know.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 10:04 AM on February 10, 2013


...and now the power returns, after cutting out at 10pm Friday night here outside of New London, the Paris of Southeastern Connecticut. The roads are still sketchy, which has limited relevance for the time being as our faithful plow guy hasn't done my drive yet and the car is pretty well buried on the front lawn.

Yet I am warm and dirty and tired and grateful. I got one decent night off my CPAP battery, and last night was a little touch and go without the machine (my AHI is higher than your'n, trust me) so I'm hitting the sack for some nice safe sleep and then hitting the shower for some nice hot cleansing and only worrying about getting in to work on Monday.

Hwaeck!
posted by Kinbote at 10:15 AM on February 10, 2013


Snow deposited around Fenway is just above my knee, about 24 inches. (You gotta find a parking lot to measure it to not be measuring wind drift or snow plow effects here.) We got off easy here; unlike the Cape the winds here never really got that strong. I've seen the (90 ft tall) trees outside my apartment whip fiercely in previous storms. This time, almost nothing.

So it'll turn to slush tomorrow. Hopefully it'll mostly get washed away before the next freeze. I don't enjoy walking through Richie's Italian Ice. Good luck digging out to all.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:06 PM on February 10, 2013


Still no power. Likely not to return until Tuesday... provided the torrential rain and flooding due tomorrow doesn't screw things for us.
posted by Slap*Happy at 2:07 PM on February 10, 2013


I am so sorry to hear that Slap*Happy. Hopefully it won't take that long.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 2:37 PM on February 10, 2013


Here's a pretty good time lapse video from Boston.
posted by HuronBob at 3:41 PM on February 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Power just came back... But this ain't over yet. Expect widespread flooding, structure collapses and treefalls as the snow soaks up all that rain and meltwater.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:54 PM on February 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


The time lapse was great fun!

I don't think the rain and warm temps tomorrow are going to be that bad Slap*Happy. The forecast is for only 0.25 to 0.5 inches of rain and temps climbing to near 50. The rest of the week looks benign with temps in the 40's by day.....perfect slow melt conditions.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 5:08 PM on February 10, 2013


First photo, Friday morning. Last photo, Saturday afternoon.
posted by sonika at 5:34 PM on February 10, 2013


Yeah, I wish I owned a roof rake. I borrowed one from my BiL a few years ago, and it was AGONY in my arms but at least my roof didn't collapse.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:49 PM on February 10, 2013


I have a juryrigged roof rake for about $6.95 from my local home depot:

- a 16' x 3/4" pipe
- 2 hose clamps
- a 1'x3' piece of 1/2" plywood.

Drill a hole in the plywood in the center top just big enough for the pipe to fit through, and use the hose clamps to hold it in place.

It's not the strongest thing in the world, but since you're just pulling snow off the roof it works pretty well. If you don't have a rake, and they're sold out, this is a pretty expedient alternative.
posted by jenkinsEar at 10:06 AM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey, thanks! I have two 10-foot lengths of gray plastic conduit in my garage right now, and this gives me an idea....
posted by wenestvedt at 10:52 AM on February 11, 2013


I think this weather pattern is not done with us yet. Look for lots of shenanigans over the next 2 weeks. Not saying its all snow. But I wouldn't be surprised. Wouldn't take much more to make this the snowiest Feb in history in some places.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 3:12 PM on February 11, 2013


Just found this satellite pic of the storm at its maximum power---it looks like a hurricane.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 3:03 AM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


The difference between a hurricane and a nor'easter
posted by exogenous at 10:55 AM on February 13, 2013


Boston Globe's 'The Big Picture' photos of Nemo.
posted by ericb at 1:52 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Atlantic's 'In Focus' photos of Nemo.
posted by ericb at 1:53 PM on February 13, 2013


This one makes me really homesick. This one cures me.
posted by rtha at 5:52 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


This one might as well be captioned "PUNY HUMAN."
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:08 AM on February 14, 2013


If I was that guy I might have waited to shovel, because now he's going to have scrape frozen slush off his walkway, instead of just cracking the crust on the snow and shoveling that.

But I will never (knock wood) have to make a decision like that again, so I should just shut up with the advice.
posted by rtha at 10:01 AM on February 14, 2013


"Get inside the storm center and behind the wheel of a snow plow with the City of Boston during the blizzard of February 2013."
posted by ericb at 11:04 AM on February 22, 2013


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