Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Storm of the decade.

State offices closed early.  Schools cancelled all after school activities and, at least our district, locked the buildings at 3 PM.  Rocky Mountain Power mobilized their repair crews in anticipation of widespread power outages.  Utah Department of Transportation was putting down sand and salt on my street even before the storm hit.  Weathermen predicted up to a foot of snow on the valley floor.

Now, I’m not saying all this preparation was uncalled for.  I got a little weather lesson from my own personal ex-TV weatherman (who is now a teacher at my school).  He showed me the latest satellite images, a huge cold front coming from the north sucking up the moisture of a wet system coming from the south.  I could hear the excitement in his voice. The video was ominous.  As soon as the kids were out of the building the staff fled the school like rats off a sinking ship.

I watched out the window, heat turned up higher than usual just in case the power went out.  5:00 came and went with just a trace of snow.  6:00 it was snowing heavily, but by 7:30 it had already slowed down.  Figuring the bulk of the storm would hit in the middle of the night I started getting ready for bed, figuring I’d wake up to ton of snow outside.

Ton my butt.  Not even enough to hold up my ruler so I could get a picture of how deep it was.  2 1/2 inches.  That’s inches, not feet.  The Utah Highway Patrol reported a total of 127 accidents statewide, only 9 with injuries.  The power company reported there were only 208 people without power in the Salt Lake Valley.  Close to a million people live in the valley.

Talk about totally underwhelming.  Now all that’s left behind of this storm is the thing I dislike the most: bitter cold.  According to my cheap, notoriously wrong, outdoor thermometer, it’s right around 20 degrees F out there.

Disappointment of the decade is more like it.


Carmi said...

I grew up in Montreal, a city that knows a thing or two about severe winter weather. I remember sitting at the kitchen table, looking out the huge windows overlooking the backyard, listening to the weather reports as I munched on my lunch.

I remember the voice of the meteorologist as he described the huge snowstorms that were heading our way. He was always such a calming presence even as snowmageddon beckoned. I miss that guy.

These days, there's so muchhyperbole attached to forecasting. And often, the more dire the warning, the more the letdown after the fact. I've taken to ignoring the I just go straight to Environment Canada's web site and figure it out for myself.

Max said...

I lived in the New England area until we moved out to Utah when I was 14. I also remember listening to the radio, mostly in the mornings hoping to hear that my school was closed for the day.
Nothing to do with winter, but I spent the summer of '67 in Montreal. I was only 7, so I don't remember a whole lot except Expo '67 was going on and that I thought it was cool my box of Capt'n Crunch had an English front on one side and a French front on the other.

A Paperback Writer said...

Max, I think some of your two inches is left over from last week's storm. I posted before I read your post, and I certainly didn't get two inches.

And Carmi needs to understand that we occasionally do get real whoppers of storms here in the mountains. It's not like we don't know what it's like to have real snow.

Max said...

So I got more snow than you did this storm? I brushed off the railings when I cleared the snow off the porch, so that 2 1/2 inches is all new.

A Paperback Writer said...

Apparently you did.
You can see on my post the photos of what I got.
And I'm not the least bit disappointed.

The Gearheads said...

Funny, all the people I know in Salt Lake, me included, posted about the storm.
We got 2 1/2 inches too. It amazed me how panicked (really? that's how you spell it? Isn't it past tense of panic?) my coworkers were. I found myself concerned because I had to drive out to Draper and back to Millcreek. It hit me all of a sudden, why am I concerned, has there ever been a snow storm that I felt intimidated by? Not really. Then we get this, makes me wonder why I even look at the weather report anymore.

Max said...

I noticed that too, although I was headed to work by the time you posted yours today. I'm still trying to figure out how they got the Salt Lake City totals. I'm higher up than 4240 feet and didn't get even half of the 6.0 inches they claim. but then again, Writer is 275 feet higher than I am and she got about half what I did. Go figure.

Carmi said...

APB: "And Carmi needs to understand that we occasionally do get real whoppers of storms here in the mountains. It's not like we don't know what it's like to have real snow."

Huh? Not sure where I suggested anything of the sort.

Max: Ah, Expo 67...I used to ride my bike on the former site. It was over 20 miles from my house, so it always turned into an all-day tour. But what an amazing place, then and now.

Max said...

Carmi - probably because I keep downplaying the winters here in Utah. But one of the things that keeps me here is that the winters in Salt Lake City are not as harsh as the ones I remember in Massachusetts.
My memories of Montreal are vague after all this time, but I know I was amazed and enthralled at the Expo, loved the neighborhood we lived in and enjoyed my time there. The specifics didn't stick with me, but those feelings did.