Weather

Friday, January 21, 2011, 13:11 EST Leave a comment Go to comments

(Edited to fix multiple typos. Haste makes waste. —DM)

Bright eyesHappy Friday, readers. I walked out of my house this morning, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed… (Those are my bright eyes. You’ll have to take my word for the rest of it. I’m not posting a picture of my tail.) …and into moderate snowfall that had already dumpthised about seven inches onto my car and everything within many miles of it. It was fluffy snow, fairly easy to clear, but it was still coming down gangbusters at that point. If I hadn’t had to drive in it, I would have found it beautiful. Looking out on Main Street Unfortunately, I did have to drive in it, an unenviable task because I live on a hill and work on a hill and have to go up and down a couple other hills in between, which slows down travel considerably. Even on the couple-mile stretch of interstate highway that is part of my short commute, most vehicles were going no faster than 35-40 mph. I was proud of my little front wheel drive car for managing to hold its own, until…

…I got to within a half mile of my office in downtown Worcester. Did I mention it’s on a hill? How steep a hill depends on what direction you’re coming from, and unless I want to go pretty far out of my way, I come from the direction that involves the steepest incline. Having worked at this location for over nine years, I have learned which approaches are best and worst in various road conditions, so I took what I thought would be the most passable route. You can thank me later for sparing you the sordid details, which I will only say were not pretty. I think one individual who was out shoveling a sidewalk was actually laughing at me.

After two unsuccessful attempts up two streets, I finally hit one that I could make. That one must have been cleared by the lone city snow plow driver who didn’t forget to lower the plow blade. So it was that I made it safely to my designated employee parking lot (which is also on a hill, naturally)Harvard Street. Like everyone who had arrived before me, I guessed at where I thought two painted lines might be and put my car between them. The snow was winding down by that time, and I actually enjoyed the short walk from parking lot to building.

So what’s with this winter, anyway? This is our second snow storm of the week, though at least this one didn’t involve the biting wind that Tuesday’s storm did. But it’s still cold. It’s been cold all month. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

According to the Den Mother’s Father (DMF), an amateur meteorology buff, AccuWeather’s Joe Bastardi is well-known for his long-range forecasts. I’m not talking about the next 7 days, but rather the next couple months. DMF says the forecasts are accurate with remarkable frequency. So I was hopeful upon hearing in November that Bastardi was forecasting a warmer than normal January for New England after a colder than normal December. Apparently, he changed his tune sometime in December and announced that January would be colder than normal as well, a piece of news DMF didn’t see fit to share with me until last night when I called him and pointed out that Bastardi seemed to have crapped the bed, especially considering that we’re heading into a weekend during which the low temperature is expected to be around -10°F. That’s about -23°C for you metric people, or about 250K for you astronomers. Brrrrr, in any language.

The view outside my windowFor now, the storm clouds have cleared and the view out my window shows blue sky and sunshine. But the folks at the aforementioned AccuWeather are already talking about the possibility of “a major snowstorm hitting parts of the Midwest, South and Northeast next week.” Well, of course we are. At this rate, with every storm bringing a snow day for local schools, the kids won’t start summer vacation until Independence Day. I’m just hoping to get enough of a break from the weather to be able to move into my new house in a week and a half, followed by a dry week in the ensuing month to get the roof redone.

That look you see in my eyes? That’s foolish optimism.

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