Thursday, January 12, 2012

sigh

SNOWMAGGEDON!!!  SNOWPOCALYPSE!!1!!ONE!

It's supposed to start snowing Saturday evening.  Depending on which forecast you look at, it may be "flurries"*, "showers", or just plain old "snow".  But not a "blizzard"*, so what the heck?

Well, on Tuesday I had to deal with the fact that folks around get all freaked out and drive 40 in a 60 when it's sun ny and dry out, and have no idea how to drive in snow, which, if you will review posts I've made in past winters, you'll see that there's a certain amount of meteo-geograpical** sense to that. 

To summarize the points, each neighborhood has it's own micro-climate, or more than one;  plus, it generally starts snowing in the afternoon when it's warm enough that the snow melts;  it continues to snow, the temperature drops, the melt freezes, and now you have snow on top of ice...

...Those neighborhood micro-climates?  They're caused by a network of valleys and ridges and hills, just right to make it a lot of fun to drive in, when the road surface is packed snow over ice...



*BTW, did you know that up until sometime in the 19th Century a "snow flurry" was a very heavy snow, and a "blizzard" was a light one?  Not sure when they got reversed, but that's why a fighter will land "a flurry of blows"...
Blizzards are still my favorite treat at DQ, though.
h/t to Bill Bryson for linguistic geekery.
**I suspect I just coined a term that will never be used again by anyone...

2 comments:

CTone said...

The morons who can't drive in the snow are the reason why I take all the backroads home from work. Why parents don't teach their kids to drive in the snow is the question of the day. My parents taught me to drive in the snow and parallel park in empty commuter lots so I wouldn't be a burden to society on the roadway someday.

Drang said...

1) We have a lot of Californian imports, they generally don't think of "snow" as something you drive in, never learned.
2) Snow in amounts to be a concern is something that only happens every 4 or 5 years around here, even those who learned forget.
3) Part of the problem is that, as I've said before, the weather is not uniform across, say, a three or four county area, like it was, say, growing up in Michigan. Here, you'll go from snow, to snow-on-ice, to packed snow-on-ice, to clear, to black (unseen) ice, within a mile or two. Plus so much of the urban area here is on hills or ridges.
So it's not simply a matter of "not knowing how to drive in snow". (Although, having grown up in Michigan, they do piss me off. Mrs. Drang grew up here, but when she got her license, her father took her to the local--closed--shopping mall parking lot and had her practice.)