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When Did We Become Such Big Weather Scaredy Cats?


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#1 of 87 OFFLINE   cineMANIAC

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Posted February 14 2014 - 02:18 PM

I'm in NYC and we got a some snow yesterday. Nothing major, mind you, just some larger than usual flakes accompanied by a bit of wind for a brief period. It was all over by mid-morning. When all was said and done we got about 5 inches of the stuff which turned to mush when the temperature climbed. So why were some banks completely closed due to "inclement weather"? Oh, and the Post Office did not deliver mail, which means they had double duty today, which means nobody got their mail before 4 PM (an abomination, really, especially for businesses). I was walking around in that weather in slacks and dress shoes, got to work, had my cup of coffee and waited for people to show up. And waited. And waited. Almost nobody showed up. My colleague, who lives 3 subway stops away, didn't show up. Tell me, are all these people from Florida or something? Have they never seen snow before? Everybody acts like it's the end of the world and the media isn't helping with their doomsday predictions (forecasts which NEVER pan out as they breathlessly claim). This never used to happen 20 years ago, meaning people didn't act like scared rabbits every time the weather guy said it was going to snow. I'm especially disappointed in the USPS. Sheesh
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#2 of 87 OFFLINE   davidHartzog

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Posted February 14 2014 - 02:43 PM

Well, I agree with most of this, but the world today is a crueler place than it was a few decades ago. Where I live bad weather is an excuse for some people to drive more recklessly than usual. People with SUVs with more cell phones than brain cells are the worst, believing that they are invulnerable in their tanks, and drive accordingly. I hesitate to go out not because of the weather, but because of these loons.
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#3 of 87 ONLINE   TravisR

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Posted February 14 2014 - 02:45 PM

..and the media isn't helping with their doomsday predictions...

There it is. The media needs to fill the 24 hour news cycle so creating weather panic is what they do from December to March to get viewers or website hits. It's become worse in the past 10 or 15 years because people are constantly connected to the internet so they can now read it about all the time and it understandably makes them worried. That being said, erring on the side of caution and remaining indoors if you don't have to go out isn't the worst thing in the world either.

 

In fairness to the media, this has been the worst winter (I live in PA) that I can remember in a whole lot of years.



#4 of 87 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted February 14 2014 - 03:05 PM

I lived in Indy during the '77/78 blizzard(granted I was a kid).

This winter I65/80/94 have been closed 5 times for a minimum of 12 hours. 3 were pre-emptive.

Granted our house sits along 200+ acres of field. The other side is 2 miles of trees. We get snow drifts from hell.

Both Subarus and the Miata were covered by a 4-8' deep 40-ish' long by 15-25' wide snow drift. It snowed 23" in 30 hours along with 60mph wind for 48hrs(with the first 8 while it was still snowing).

Our road was closed for 4 days. We didn't get mail for 8 days.

This has sucked.

Thankfully we have a 4x4 off-road F250 diesel...on General winter tires. That was the only thing that moved out of the driveway for almost 2 weeks.

Our road was so bad that county plows got stuck. Even a 6 wheel grader got stuck while attempting to rescue a plow.

#5 of 87 OFFLINE   Cinescott

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Posted February 14 2014 - 03:37 PM

I've lived near Milwaukee for most of my 50 or so years, and I can say that this winter, without much equivocation, has been among the worst. -20 degree temps (not wind chills) have happened frequently, near record unbroken snow cover since early December (no melting by mid March will break the all-time record going back to the mid 1800s!).

 

And the snow. It doesn't stop. Alberta Clippers, while not uncommon in the winter here, arrive at a pace of 2 or 3 per week and drop an additional 2 to 3 inches every time with no melting. We have already passed an average winter snowfall here in mid February  I highly doubt that things will warm up enough to melt much before April. 

 

So, while I may be a bit softer in my old age, this has been a brutal, brutal season.


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#6 of 87 OFFLINE   Richard Gallagher

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Posted February 14 2014 - 03:42 PM

I was supposed to fly from JFK to San Diego yesterday, and while the airport remained open I couldn't get to it without risking an accident or getting stuck. The heavy snow started around 7:00 a.m. and continued until 3:00 p.m., and at times it was blowing so badly that I could barely see across the street. I have an SUV with four-wheel drive, but I know better than to drive on slippery roads when visibility is bad. I then spent the next two hours clearing about a foot of snow from my driveway and porch. Then around 11 p.m. sleet started coming down, and by 2:00 a.m. it changed to snow. When I got up this morning there was another 8-10 inches on the ground, so it was time to clear the driveway and porch again. Right now I have a mountain of snow by the foot of my driveway which is five feet tall.

 

If course, New York City is different. You can get around without a car, and in fact if I lived in the city I would have been able to make my flight.


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#7 of 87 OFFLINE   Richard Gallagher

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Posted February 14 2014 - 03:46 PM

Scott,

 

The worst snow I ever saw was when I was in boot camp at Great Lakes in January 1967 and the Chicago blizzard hit. The snow literally was coming down faster than we could shovel it. When it stopped there were drifts up to the third floor windows of the barracks. They don't call it the Windy City for nothing.


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#8 of 87 ONLINE   TravisR

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Posted February 14 2014 - 03:56 PM

So, while I may be a bit softer in my old age, this has been a brutal, brutal season.

Yeah, I wonder if maybe it's because I'm in the middle of this winter and I'm just forgetting that, say, the winter of 1991 was pure insanity compared to this one but this has been a brutal year.



#9 of 87 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted February 14 2014 - 05:38 PM

I lived in Indy during the '77/78 blizzard(granted I was a kid).

This winter I65/80/94 have been closed 5 times for a minimum of 12 hours. 3 were pre-emptive.

Granted our house sits along 200+ acres of field. The other side is 2 miles of trees. We get snow drifts from hell.

Both Subarus and the Miata were covered by a 4-8' deep 40-ish' long by 15-25' wide snow drift. It snowed 23" in 30 hours along with 60mph wind for 48hrs(with the first 8 while it was still snowing).

Our road was closed for 4 days. We didn't get mail for 8 days.

This has sucked.

Thankfully we have a 4x4 off-road F250 diesel...on General winter tires. That was the only thing that moved out of the driveway for almost 2 weeks.

Our road was so bad that county plows got stuck. Even a 6 wheel grader got stuck while attempting to rescue a plow.

Those conditions are what I'd consider a major snowfall.
 

A few years ago in Eastern Washington, we had two seasons where we had over six feet of snow on the ground. That's where you stay home and hibernate. I had just gotten a black lab puppy and I literally set her on the snow, which was taller than me, so she'd have a place to "go" and not pee in the house.

This last week or so we got our first somewhat large snowfall. About 6-8 inches, but it was ten degrees so it never went away, everything was slick. Wednesday warmed up to about 45, everything disappeared within a day. Didn't even have to put up with that messy, slushy period, it just melted and vanished.

 


Stan

#10 of 87 OFFLINE   davidHartzog

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Posted February 14 2014 - 07:26 PM

I was attending the University of Buffalo for the 77/78 blizzard, not a good time, esp. with the several deaths.
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#11 of 87 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted February 14 2014 - 07:54 PM

I was attending the University of Buffalo for the 77/78 blizzard, not a good time, esp. with the several deaths.

 

I have family in Tonawanda. Been there in winter a few times.

 

I've seen snow between there and "the lakes"(Had a cousin at Cornell the same time I was at IU, visited during winter break) that people just shrugged off that would make Chicago completely stop.



#12 of 87 ONLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted February 15 2014 - 02:24 AM

... had my cup of coffee and waited for people to show up. And waited. And waited. Almost nobody showed up.

 

On the whole I agree with you - we're become weather wimps fueled by TV weather calamity forecasting.  But as for not showing up for work, we now have the internet, I just work from home and avoid the headache of people who don't know how to drive in snow.  (Or rain for that matter.)  I drove a school bus in mid-PA during my college days and I don't remember ever having classes cancelled.  We threw on the chains when it got deep and "plowed" on.



#13 of 87 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted February 15 2014 - 06:03 AM

2010 Snowpocalypse trapped Federal employees in facilities overnight and stranded many others on the highways because of bad early release choices. Since then, the Feds have been very conservative about closing facilities or having late arrival guidance with any bad snow prediction. Thus, the greater DC and NoVA region closes down for a little dusting.

Schools, according to anecdote, are afraid of lawsuits, so close given predictions of unusual cold, ice or snow.

#14 of 87 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted February 15 2014 - 07:51 AM

I actually like it when the media scares people around here into staying off the roads. It makes it easier for me to get to work. We had a really bad storm the Monday after New Year's, and I was the only person on an unploughed road for my entire 17 mile commute. In normal conditions, it takes me about 30 minutes to get to work. That day it only took me an additional 15 minutes, even though there was more than 6 inches of snow on the road itself. Two days later, with more people on the road, it took me an additional 30 minutes for the same commute, even though the roads were in better condition. Even in the north we have people who do not know how to drive in snow.

 

This has been the worst winter I can remember around here since the late '70's, though. I will be glad when spring finally gets here. I am tired of driving in this crap, and cleaning my driveway & sidewalk.



#15 of 87 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted February 15 2014 - 06:05 PM

Answering the OP: When it came to pass that insurance companies ruled the earth.
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#16 of 87 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted February 16 2014 - 03:29 AM

I actually like it when the media scares people around here into staying off the roads. It makes it easier for me to get to work.

Even in the north we have people who do not know how to drive in snow.

 

Every year we go through this for the first month or so, maybe it's all the California imports. People are idiots, especially the SUV drivers who somehow think they're invincible.

 

Until you see one flipped over on its side, driver standing there befuddled about "what did I do wrong?". Luckily they're mostly single vehicle "accidents" so they don't take out anyone else.

 


Stan

#17 of 87 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted February 16 2014 - 07:10 AM

Every year we go through this for the first month or so, maybe it's all the California imports. People are idiots, especially the SUV drivers who somehow think they're invincible.

 

Until you see one flipped over on its side, driver standing there befuddled about "what did I do wrong?". Luckily they're mostly single vehicle "accidents" so they don't take out anyone else.

 

 

We have two types of bad winter drivers around here --- the SUV drivers like Stan mentions who drive too fast for conditions because they think they are invincible with their 4WD, and the "scared y cats" who drive excruciatingly slow, much slower than the conditions dictate. I drive a two lane limited access parkway to work, and have been stuck in a long line of over 40 cars behind one car doing 15-20 mph when you can actually see the pavement. If a person is that scared to drive in the snow, stay home.  I think I'd rather deal with the SUV drivers over the scared y cats -- at least they do not back up traffic for long stretches.



#18 of 87 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted February 16 2014 - 07:27 AM

On the whole I agree with you - we're become weather wimps fueled by TV weather calamity forecasting.  But as for not showing up for work, we now have the internet, I just work from home and avoid the headache of people who don't know how to drive in snow.  (Or rain for that matter.)  I drove a school bus in mid-PA during my college days and I don't remember ever having classes cancelled.  We threw on the chains when it got deep and "plowed" on.

My father, who is 83 still drives a school bus in the eastern PA area. Nothing stops him, he just keeps going. I just hope to get to that age, let alone have that kind of energy.


Stan

#19 of 87 OFFLINE   Paul D G

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Posted February 17 2014 - 02:42 PM

I completely agree with the OP. I live in the western subrubs of Chicago. I've been stuck driving out of my subdivision behind someone who must have been literally idling up down the street when the snow wasn't really that bad.

 

My wife is the worst. Whenever there is more snow in the forecast she huffs and puffs and moans and complains... and she works from home. She only has to leave the house once a week for soccer practice. And she doesn't even do the shoveling!

 

What I don't get is when they forecast a heavy snowstorm the grocery store shelves get cleared. The roads will only be bad for a day, two at the worst. I can imagine running out for a gallon of milk if you're low but not these people who 'stock up'.

 

Personally, I love it when the snow is bad. Up until recently I worked nights. Heavy snow during the day meant it was only me on the roads (literally) and green lights all the way in.

 

And a final anecdote - we have a friend in Califonia who asked us recently if we just left chains on our tires all winter long. :lol:



#20 of 87 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted February 17 2014 - 02:49 PM

I live in the western subrubs of Chicago.

...

My wife is the worst. Whenever there is more snow in the forecast she huffs and puffs and moans and complains

In Chicago, she could be the Big Bad Wolf for six months! Did you trick her into thinking you took a job in Florida, only to discover the 'shoreline' was Lake Michigan? 

 

;)

 

I saw today a comment from someone lamenting the terrible D.C. weather, as we might get another inch of snow tonight.






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