The yellow ones taste like burning!
January 22, 2005 6:37 PM   Subscribe

Pansies! Think you've got it bad? Bad like this? Bad like this? Perhaps you think you've beat this one? Visit the Digital Snow Museum to put things in perspective.
posted by mudpuppie (38 comments total)
Oh, and greetings from balmy, 40-degree-inversion-layer Northern California.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:38 PM on January 22, 2005

NOAA is saying that it's 'highly probable this will be one of the fifth worst snowstorms in recorded history for Boston and Providence.' So, maybe it will be that bad.
posted by driveler at 6:57 PM on January 22, 2005

Previous winter stuff on Mefi.

"Finally, it looks like winter" (jpg)

"Sweet and sour" (jpg)

"...a record cold" (jpg)

All from the Newseum
posted by fluffycreature at 7:11 PM on January 22, 2005


A few years back we had 77 inches in one day. We average about 180 inches a year. A foot of snow is a weekly event most years (this year has been remarkablky snow free), better than twenty inches happens a couple of times a month and a winter never passes without at least one monster dump in excess of three feet. Lake effect snows are relentless, unpredictable and potent.

Most annoying is that unlike Boston or downstate NY, it won't be fifty and raining next week. When it snows here it stays. I frequently find patches of snow in permanently shaded areas well into May. This is a town where the kids are issued snowshoes at school and the best way to travel is by snowmobile on the lakes.

Yes, I am an idiot for living where I do.
posted by cedar at 7:16 PM on January 22, 2005

One could always relocate to Barrow, AK, where "the sun never sets for 82 days each summer and never rises for 67 days each winter." That'd sort the pansies from the arctic willows.

I wonder why the SE Michigan blizzard of (I believe) winter of '76-'77 didn't make it? School closed for a whole week! We made snowmen taller than the first floor of our house! Not to mention the best snow fort EVER!!!

(on preview: admittedly, it can't beat lake effects...)
posted by MiHail at 7:23 PM on January 22, 2005

I'm surprised there weren't any photos of Baltimore's Great Snow-Crap of 2002 (about three feet total), which kept me stranded at work overnight and gave me 24 hours of overtime that week. Snow of any lesser quantity will never alarm me again.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:11 PM on January 22, 2005

It was -40 here last week. I'm right in the middle of BC, and that just looks like winter to even me. Nothing special. Fun pictures, though. :)
posted by synecdoche at 8:12 PM on January 22, 2005

It's really cold when Niagara Falls freezes over (1936) as I've seen in the past.
posted by page404 at 9:00 PM on January 22, 2005

Yes, I am an idiot for living where I do.

"There are no other MetaFilter members nearby, sorry."
posted by caddis at 9:12 PM on January 22, 2005

My wife tells me that in NH where she lived in '78 there was up to 55" in some spots, 65mph (hurricane force) winds, and people died while waiting for accidents to be cleared off the highway because the snow blocked up their exhaust.

In '87 in Albany, NY where I lived there was over 36" of snow in one snowfall, my family had no power for a week and school was closed for that entire week.

Now, living together near Boston we're in for 25-30" of snow and 50mph winds. This isn't, by far, the worst we've seen, but it is pretty bad on our personal scale. Obviously, though, nothing we've seen compares to what cedar's been through.
posted by Ryvar at 9:22 PM on January 22, 2005

Thanks for the photos, mudpuppie.

I lived in Chicago a few years back, and since moving I have never once missed trudging to the Brown Line through blizzards and slush. I'll admit it, I am a pansy when it comes to this stuff.

God, I love California.
posted by sellout at 9:52 PM on January 22, 2005

Think you've got it bad? Bad like this?

Yeah, anyone who's in the Northeast and was alive in 1996. Or anyone in Minnesota at any time of the year, actually.
posted by abcde at 10:00 PM on January 22, 2005

Speaking of urban-paralyzing winter storms, I was in Chicago for both of these. Not there now, but there's always the library archives for when I get nostalgic.
posted by SeeAych4 at 10:04 PM on January 22, 2005

Yeah, anyone who's in the Northeast and was alive in 1996. Or anyone in Minnesota at any time of the year, actually.

Oh, Minnesota's not that bad in July. I go up there every three years in the summer for a family reunion, and it's actually quite pleasant. And I was in Connecticut in 1996, and it wasn't half as bad as some of those photographs. Although, I must admit, it was pretty bad.
posted by dd42 at 10:27 PM on January 22, 2005

Did anyone else read the first word of this as Penises?

odinsdream - I did, yes. Several times.

Also, parts of Minnesota are lovely in July. Other parts are miserable.
posted by Zosia Blue at 11:03 PM on January 22, 2005

Oh, Minnesota's not that bad in July.

Minnesota's not even that bad right now. In the cities we only got about 6 - 8 inches of snow out of the same system that's hitting the east right now. It hasn't been snowy at all the last few years. It is a bit cold on occasion, though.

January 1996, that was a fun one...31" in Philadelphia, where I was living at the time.
posted by cabingirl at 11:15 PM on January 22, 2005

...and we liked it! We loved it!
posted by vanadium at 11:37 PM on January 22, 2005

So, I had a fun enough time tonight almost destroying my car on a exit ramp. I ended up just getting a small dent, but yeah, that sure was exciting for my first blizzard driving experience!

Now I really want to move out of the northeast.
posted by JZig at 11:50 PM on January 22, 2005

I admit that we never experience what most people would call a drastic winter--we are in a fairly mild clime here in Springfield, MO.

There is, however, a small patch, no more than a few square feet, on the Southeast corner of National and Elm that (due to perpetual shade) is the first in town to freeze, and usually doesn't thaw until late May.

Keep in mind that this is only a couple of gallons of water, yet due to its location it cannot pick up any thermal energy.

A miniscule reminder of winter well into the end of spring, it is.
posted by sourwookie at 12:54 AM on January 23, 2005

Providence TV reporter to national guard officer: "There's been reports of snow accumulation on highway off-ramps. Can you confirm that?"
posted by Saucy Intruder at 4:32 AM on January 23, 2005

Its still coming down full force car is completely buried and it looks like NY state gave up on plowing for awhile...
posted by gren at 5:22 AM on January 23, 2005

Ah, the April Fool's Day storm, that's my favorite. Two feet of snow in Boston by itself isn't extraordinary, but two feet on April 1st sure was. And it all melted away about two days later.
posted by schoolgirl report at 6:18 AM on January 23, 2005

Ah, the April Fool's Day storm, that's my favorite.

I remember that well - was fortunate enough to be living in Newton Center (with 5 others) in a crumbling Georgian mansion on Comm Ave with a fireplace you could roast a small calf in. Just built a big fire and sat around for 18 hours.

As to today - not the worst I've seen, but 25"-30" plus low temps (10F right now) plus high winds (unconfirmed reports of 80mph gusts on the South Shore) = some serious drifting. As I'm typing this the wind has picked up again and I can't see across the street. Our 4' fence out front has vanished, out back the snow against the fence is higher than my neighbor's Honda Odyssey, and they're still calling for 5" - 10" more. My back hurts already...
posted by jalexei at 7:05 AM on January 23, 2005

The above-mentioned Honda. All you near-Arctic Circle kooks can chuckle, but this qualifies as winter wherever you are.
posted by jalexei at 7:23 AM on January 23, 2005

Oh if you want to talk paralyzed, Raleigh takes the cake!

Wednesday we had 1 inch and the entire city gridlocked. Commutes that normally take half an hour took twelve. People abandoned their cars and slept in hotel lobbies. Target heated up pizzas to feed people who could not get home. And get this...several hundred elementary school kids were forced to spend the night at school because the buses and their parents could not get to them. They canceled school the next day even though there was not a speck of snow left.

And then there was 2002. One or two feet of snow and most of the city was without power for days. We were stranded at home for five days without central heating or the ability to cook. Only the fireplace to keep us warm.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:09 AM on January 23, 2005

Goodness. And here in my town, interior BC, the snow is all melted away these past three days.

I'm glad I live where winter is mild. I'd hate to live in the frozen south.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:41 AM on January 23, 2005

SLoG: That is so, so pathetic.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:42 AM on January 23, 2005

I grew up in northeast Ohio, so it's tempting to turn a jaded eye to the snow in Providence and say, "Oh, this? This is nothing! You don't know snow until you've experienced lake effect!" But I'm in Providence now and it is pretty bad (self-link). You can drive a car within a day or so -- but for pedestrians this is a pain because the snow that gets plowed off the street ends up knee-high on the sidewalks and stays there for over a week.
posted by Marit at 9:50 AM on January 23, 2005

Final report from the west-Boston area:

We got about 27" (69cm), snow is still falling lightly with a few more inches due in. All in all it looks like the projected upper limit of 30" (76cm) was dead on. Drifts are up to 6 feet (1.8m) around here and the wind isn't helping matters.

Over in Nantucket winds were up to 84mph (135kph) and they lost power. Not sure about wind speed here - something nasty, but not quite nasty enough to bring down the power lines.

Some pictures taken by my wife: 1 2 3
posted by Ryvar at 10:31 AM on January 23, 2005

I went out and played in the snow. It was fun. Also the April Fool's Day blizzard was my first big snowstorm ever. I loves it--the winter and the snow. I'm so glad I escaped SoCal.
posted by dame at 11:42 AM on January 23, 2005

Counting myself verrrrry lucky in Columbus, OH, where they'd predicted up to 12" and we got maybe 2" instead. I had a little trouble clearing off the windshield in time for church is all.
posted by alumshubby at 12:17 PM on January 23, 2005

Here in PEI, Canada, we're getting our third big storm in 7 days - expecting 20-40 cm of snow with 100 km/h winds. This is usual for January, but we've had it easy the past few years - except for 'White Juan' which hit last February. My favorite pic from that one - digging out the two cars across the road . Also, check out the IslandCam with the current conditions at the cenotaph. Looks like another storm day tomorrow!
posted by hannahkitty at 12:49 PM on January 23, 2005

This is downright claustrophobic. *gets jitters*
posted by uni verse at 2:35 PM on January 23, 2005

You see the second picture on this page? Watertown, New York, 1977. I lived there then.

Few people understand what it's like to be 6 years old and told by your parents to jump out the second story window ("but just this once!") to shovel the snow out from in front of the door. Wheeeeeee!

One night that winter, one of the blankets I was sleeping under froze to the wall (which happened to be an exterior wall). Less than a month later, my mom moved us back to New Orleans where the only thing that is icy are the drinks.
posted by fooljay at 7:40 PM on January 23, 2005

Yeah, 1977 was quite the year. I lived in Buffalo then. It set the standard for blizzards, at least for me. I guess they recently had one that topped that (2 years ago?), but by then I was here in Texas, which generally matches the Raleigh experience above.
posted by Doohickie at 7:26 AM on January 24, 2005

Having just moved to Boston from one of the coldest places in the US (Gunnison, Colorado) I have to say:

City snowstorms are so much more hassle-ridden. I long for the days when we'd all leave our buried cars and houses, trip over the edge of town, and roll in mile upon mile of untouched, happy powder. That was so much nicer than trudging through three feet of slush.
posted by koeselitz at 1:11 PM on January 24, 2005

Doohickie: yep, and that page has pictures. Several of my friends spent the night in their cars, stuck on the 90, 290 and 990. Not because of traffic, either- because the snow fell so fast they suddenly found it too deep to drive in. I, along with everyone I know, now keep a heavy blanket in the trunk at all times, just in case.

I was lucky, I had been snowed in at my mom's house while doing laundry. When I could go home a week later I found my street unplowed, and a chain gang from the Erie County Holding Center on the corner shoveling out fire hydrants and parking meters. The first story of my building couldn't see out their windows.

Making this little trip down blizzard memory lane all the more fun, it's been snowing on and off since Saturday here, and we're rapidly approaching three feet in some areas. Fun? Wow!
posted by Kellydamnit at 1:38 PM on January 24, 2005

Kelly- My dad was coming home from work, north on Union Road in Cheektowaga, but saw that the viaduct under the train tracks at Broadway was actually filling in. He turned into Molino's (I think) Pizza. They closed, though, so he went next door to Dunkin' Donuts (this was just a little north of the then Como Mall, now Appletree Business Park). The next day, a volunteer fireman showed up and knew my dad, so he got a ride home (to about Genesee Street) from the fireman. Several days later, we had to dig the car out; it was facing into the blizzard and was full of snow in the engine. We cleaned it out and the old Chrysler started up.... just barely... and idled on about 3 of the 8 cylinders... very rough, and you could hear each cylinder come on line as the engine smoothed out.

I've always loved snow and blizzards, and now that I live down south, I really miss them. They are like an instant block party. Well, kind of. Only colder. And can cause heart attacks.
posted by Doohickie at 5:36 PM on January 24, 2005

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