Friday, February 25, 2011
As I was leaving work yesterday, a few of my coworkers were discussing the weather forecast for today, saying we were supposed to get a good bit of snow (6-10 inches) and that conditions were going to be pretty bad.
I lightheartedly scoffed, "Oh, suuure. That's what they say. I'm sure we'll wake up to a dusting!"
You see, I have reasons for my skepticism. We've had a lot of false alarms this year. Frankly, our meteorologists don't know what the hell they're talking about.
Take the "Groundhog Day Storm," for instance. After a massive storm system essentially leveled Chicago and the midwest by blasting everyone with more than two feet of snow, our area was hustling and bustling, preparing for the "snowpocalypse" that had our weather forecasters practically guaranteeing 14-20 inches of snow.
It was all anybody talked about for days. Any real breaking news got pushed aside in favor of coverage of the impending storm.
The grocery stores were mobbed with people trying to buy milk, bread, and other staples to get them through should they be trapped in their houses for days. (I've never understood this. We live in New York, not Virginia. Even if we get two feet--I have not been literally "snowed in" in a good 10 years, and even then it lasted for less than 24 hours. Do people really not have enough food in their cupboards to survive for 24 hours?!)
All of the schools cancelled classes. Not only did they cancel them, but they cancelled them THE NIGHT BEFORE. That almost never happens here. Almost never.
Imagine everyone's surprise when we all woke up to find that we had maybe four inches of snow on the ground. In fact, when I made my commute into work, the roads were less treacherous than they had been on February 1. It turned out that the MASSIVE storm, the BIGGEST OF THE DECADE (or whatever they were calling it), that was sure not to miss us--missed us.
So, all of this to explain why I may be a bit of a skeptic when it comes to weather forecasts. And why I so easily brushed off the idea that this morning would result in anything other than a typical snowfall.
Upon first glance this morning, it appeared that I was right. It had snowed, and was snowing, but it was just a few inches. No big deal, at least not yet.
BUT THEN I GOT ON THE ROADS.
And holy hell. It was easily the worst commute I've had all winter (and my commute is short, people). My anti-lock brakes kicked in pretty much every time I engaged them, and my highest speed was probably 20 miles an hour. I fish-tailed nearly every time I made a turn, and there were a few times that I know I would've slammed into surrounding cars--if there had been any. This week is "February Break" for all of the schools in our area (they get a week off in February; I don't really know why, but it was awesome when I was growing up!), and it appears that our towns and cities believe that if kids aren't in school, roads aren't worth plowing. Lovely.
To top it all off, when I finally arrived at work and was pulling through the parking lot, I completely RAN OVER a curb with the tires on my driver's side. It was totally covered in snow and I didn't see it. In addition to the 6-10 additional inches of snow they are saying will fall today (snow brush FTW), I fear that my tires could be flat when I go to leave work today.
When I walked into the office, I had a few coworkers say, "HEATHER! This is all your fault!" (You know, because out of the millions of people in the world, Mother Nature apparently listens to me when I trash-talk the local meteorologists. Obviously.)
As I trudged to the kitchen in my snow boots, in search of the water cooler, my only response was, "You know what they say about the boy who cried wolf!"
P.S. Is it spring yet?