Snow Day Musing

The latest winter storm, or as The Weather Channel calls it, winter storm “Nemo,” is moving off.    While we were under a winter storm warning, the actual brunt of it was off to the southeast of us.    Around here, we weren’t all that concerned, it’s stuff we’re used to handling.  A few years ago, we had a lot of snow fall, and while we’ve had more than last year – which was a very mild winter – we’re still not even in the ballpark of “heavy snows.”

This is what  heavy snow looks like:

That’s after 2 feet of snowfall on top of what we had back then, and we only got around 8″ this time.   In New England, they’ve gotten up to three feet in spots, and it’ll take a day or so to finish plowing/shoveling out.

The good thing was that everyone had plenty of warning.  The satellites, the computer models, the weather people all were able to use … science … to see this coming, and the result was a remarkably low number of issues.  Yes, people lost power, yes, there’s a lot of disruption and discomfort, but in terms of what could have happened,  it wasn’t bad.  I’ve  lived through major blizzards before we had this nice technology and weather models, and there’s a big difference.  We see reports of some motorists stranded, but not the huge number we used to see.  Yes, some people don’t listen, no matter what.  We see an occasional report of accidents or death, but not the large numbers of them.

In other words, what used to be in “the good old days” a major disaster, which the news agencies are busily pulling stock footage out to remind us of, isn’t happening.  That’s because we’ve gotten better at prediction, and we have the technology.  It’s turned what used to be a real disaster into a real inconvenience for people, and that’s a good thing.  The problem?  There’s those who take it for granted, and don’t want to spend the money – or actively attack it – to keep it up or advance it.

Which is the real shame, because while they’re doing that, they don’t seem to accept that the good old days weren’t all that good.  Yes, I used to love big snowstorms when I was young.  Then again, all it meant for me was a day off of school and a chance to play in the snow.  These days?  It means a lot of costs.  It’s called “I grew up.”

Categories: Adirondacks, science | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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