Weather went wacko the winter of 1993.
The jet stream was kinda messed up that winter, and it swept in cold winds from the north, setting up the stage for a virtual catastrophe. The clouds became cold, thick jumbles, and water condensed and froze onto little dust particles floating up in the atmosphere, compiling on itself and growing to become the delicate little snowflakes that we admire- and fear- so much. These tiny, fragile crystals came together and wreaked havoc upon the whole east coast. Here is an NOAA explanation on the making of a snowflake.
And yeah, we’re staring down another beast of a blizzard.
Yesterday, I sat down in eighth period English, with expectations that Tuesday we’d be off from school, and Wednesday would be a two-hour delay. Nothing more. We’d already had 7 snow days, over our limit of 6, so they’d have to cut a day out of Easter break as is. Any more and we’d be tacking on a couple extra days to the end of the school year.
“Alright. I’ve got your work for the rest of the week. You know, the school board’s predicting no school maybe ’til Friday. They’re thinking 14-22 inches, which really means we’re getting 3 feet. Which means 3 days without school.” My English teacher gestured to the list of assignments scrawled out on the word with squeaky chalk. A bell ringer packet, a Study Island blue ribbon, draft and complete our informative essays, et cetera, et cetera. She shrugged as if to say, yeah, I really don’t like this homework either. “I know it’s a lot, but we’re effectively losing a week here, and state testing is coming in, like, 3 weeks, and we have to get through another argumentative speech, another informative, a narrative,” she paused for a moment, glancing at me and the couple of other kids notorious for producing prolix stories, “and a weeklong grammar intensive. Although, really, it’s not that much. It’s about an hour and a half, and usually we have 3 hours of class a week.”
The whole class simultaneously groaned and cheered at the same time. No school (yay!), but we’ve got homework (boo).
“These forecasts remind me of the Blizzard of ’93, actually,” she continued. “Ask your parents ‘bout it. It was crazy.”
Well, that’s exactly what I did (with my awesome sister in the background singing Olaf’s song from Frozen ad nauseum).
My dad found his car by standing on top of it. Just walked outside, and heard the hollow thunk of his snow boots on the top of his car. “I just kinda thought, ‘well, I’m definitely not going to work today’.”
My mom said that only essential personnel like the authorities or ambulances were allowed on the roads. You could literally just stand in the middle of the road, ‘cause really, no one was driving on it.
In contrast with the amusing instance of my dad’s discovery of his car, with a bit of research, I discovered that this was a serious event that led to a lot of deaths. 300 of them, in fact. Storm surges whipped up by winds and tornados created by colliding fronts devastated areas still reeling from Hurricane Andrew, causing a winter disaster of epic proportions.
It’s a whiteout for me outside right now. Just nothing but a blur of ivory flakes outside the living room window. I’m really hoping that this won’t be like ’93.
On the other hand, at least we don’t have a snow-less winter!
Update (3/16/17): It’s day 3, and we’re still getting foreboding forecasts. Photo = gift!
Here is an earlier post on a remarkable blizzard: Juno Storming In!
Many major weather organizations and meteorologists around the world suggest that climate change is worsening winter storms. What is your opinion?
It’s an amazing world of science…let’s go exploring!