|Photo by Robert J. Nebel - a downtown Atlanta parking deck, "thawing out" after Friday, December 7th, 2017's historic early season snowfall|
Whew! We avoided another Snowpocalypse – this time. The ingredients were there, all right. Most of us -- weather forecasters included – rested upon our laurels thinking that perhaps an inch of light snow was going to fall on December 8th, 2017.
“Only snow on grass, bushes, grills, roofs and decks!” the forecasters proclaimed throughout December 7th.
We woke up to a quiet Friday morning with some moisture, but my mid-morning, the flakes started falling. By afternoon, the snowflakes’ numbers were increasing as well as their sizes. While school was not called off that morning, suddenly, most parents scrambled to get their kids. The saving grace was that there was a break in the snowfall.
This easily could have been a repeat of the 2014 debacle. Authorities on the state level felt that there was no reason to panic and that they were well ahead of the game. Whew! Maybe the right calls were made and authorities possessed more information than most of us had at the time. Still, to many of us, it was a gamble. Even without another Snowpocalypse, far too many motorists were caught in unprecedented traffic jams on that snowy Friday.
The question must still be posed: Did we really learn from the events of nearly four years ago as of this writing – and better yet – the winter 1982 debacle, which by many accounts was far worse than 2014.
We must confess that we are still not as prepared for weather events much less any other type of “curveball events” that come our way. Yes, the nation laughs at the Atlanta metropolitan area for its lack of preparedness when it comes to snow, but honestly, are those that laugh at us – honestly, are they any better than us?
Those communities with all their fancy snow removal equipment, are they really any better than us at the end of the day? And here we go again: do we still need that much snow removal equipment when we experience at most, two to four snow events in a wintry season? Of course, I’m probably jinxing all of us by writing, “two to four events per wintry season.” OK, maybe I should up that to six events, right?
Anyway, after the 2014 snow debacle that plagued the Atlanta area, we got verbally burned at the stake with Comedy Central TV’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart leading the charge. Not far after that nightmare, Charlotte was paralyzed with a similar storm. Perhaps there was criticism lodged at Charlotte, but it was quite clearly far quieter than the treatment Atlanta received from the nation. Also, does anyone remember when Atlanta’s mayor was skewered for being escorted up to The Weather Channel’s Vinings, Georgia studio during the event? Well, scratch that one – that is hard to excuse.
December 8th’s event kept many of us inside for the most part. After viewing a lot of Netflix -- including an excellent documentary on The Washington Post’s Ben Bradlee – I had to make a trek on foot outside. In the early evening, it seemed like a ghost town. Streets were mainly absenting of vehicles. The vehicles that were present were speeding along quite well through the snow and slush on the roadways. For the most part, I feel safer on foot, but I also know that I need to keep distance from the street.
Like most snow events, I have the essentials on hand: vanilla soy milk, natural peanut butter and bananas. I listed those favorites on social media and somehow even food preferences become controversial in the comments sections. Like most of those who panic, I also had plenty of bread on hand. I suppose we go for the bread since it’s a quick food choice if, heaven forbid, the power goes out. Thousands were without power through the recent event which always makes me wish I had a generator at the ready, but wonder if that purchase would be worth the expense.
Here's another note to the weather professionals: please tell me that we are out of the drought! As of the writing, winter hasn’t truly commenced. There are plenty more chances for another snow fiasco. Personally, I’m annoyed by snow hitting the Atlanta metro area. Here’s hoping that we will not see another snowflake in the area this season. Methinks I’m wrong.