Tag Archives: Weather

Snowzilla Blizzard Success: Car Dug Out, And No Heart Attack

It’s the simple pleasures!

It’s being grateful for the ordinary, everyday things we take for granted.

Such as living and breathing and your heart beating. Can’t get more ordinary than that. You’ve got to do it every day.My car 2My Honda Accord has been freed from the grip of Snowzilla. Took me two days  to accomplish. I consider it a grand success, anytime a male  over 60 digs a car out without a heart attack! And I do not brag. Some other folks were not so fortunate. There but for the grace of God go I. Heaven knows, it’s not because I’m so physically fit. Because, well, I’m not.

I’m delighted to report that here in Gaithersburg, MD, Snowzilla is in full retreat in above-freezing temperatures.

Thanks to all who shoveled, to all those who were prepared in advance with snowblowers, and thanks to the guys who drive those little mean, green machines.

— John Hayden

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Snowzilla Blizzard Photo Gallery

Posting this gallery, Blizzard of 2016 snow photos, before the snow melts.

Snowzilla in Gaithersburg, MD, January 2016. I estimate we received 35 inches of snow, with drifts deep enough to bury a Corvette.

All photos by Bernard John Hayden. Please do not reproduce without giving credit to the photographer and/or the blog. Thanks! Stay warm.

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Snowzilla In The Rearview Mirror

Amazing, isn’t it, how quickly the first snowfall of winter loses its appeal as an exciting adventure? Even if it’s a blizzard?

Saturday evening, it was so deep that even the plows could hardly move. And snow continued to fall, at a rate of one-half inch an hour or more!

We were all in this together. Hopelessly, helplessly, stuck. When the blizzard finally tapered off Saturday night, the world was quiet and at peace. It was perfectly cozy, being snowed in.

That didn’t last long.

By Sunday afternoon, eager beavers were digging cars out. (Hey everybody, what’s the big rush?) Little green machines — miniature bulldozers — were doing what the big snowplows could not. Busily hauling snow away, one scoop at a time. The green machines didn’t care that they were destroying my excuse for hibernating in place.

Monday, even though everything important in Maryland remained closed — all the schools, the federal government, most businesses — people were impatient to be out and about. Even with no place to go. Turns out, there are places to go. The Giant is open, and McDonald’s.

And so, this afternoon, I have no choice but to put on boots, venture out and see about the damn car. Personally, I think  it’s too soon to declare that Snowzilla, the Great Blizzard of 2016, is over. My rearview mirrors, at least, are still covered with snow.

I hate to think about Tuesday. 

— John Hayden

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Snowzilla Is a Nor’easter Along Maryland Coast

Interstate 70 and Interstate 270 reported Closed.

The state of Maryland has closed Interstate 70 Saturday evening, from the Baltimore beltway in the east to Interstate 81 at Hagerstown in the west.  Interstate 270 is also reported closed from the Washington beltway to Frederick, where it merges into I-70 going west.

The Snowzilla blizzard of 2016 is also a Nor’easter along the Maryland coast. Nor’easters often cause some flooding and erosion on Maryland’s ocean coastline and the Chesapeake Bay area.

In Ocean City, waves driven by high winds and unusually high tides were reported pounding the beaches on Saturday, continuing Saturday night and probably into Sunday. For some Ocean City streets that typically experience flooding during storms and extremely high tides, this storm was no different. Continue reading

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Snowzilla Blizzard Photos in Maryland

The Blizzard of 2016, dubbed Snowzilla, as seen from my front door Saturday afternoon.

Blizzard 4

LOOKING STRAIGHT AHEAD FROM THE FRONT DOOR. SOMEONE TRIED TO SHOVEL A PATH EARLIER, BUT DRIFTING SNOW HAS MOSTLY FILLED IT IN.

Blizzard 2016 A

SNOW DRIFTS AT THE SIDE OF CARS.

Blizzard 3

SNOW BUMPER-HIGH, EVEN ON AN SUV. SOME SMALLER CARS HAVE SNOW DRIFTED UP OVER THE HOOD. THERE’S A SIDEWALK BEHIND THAT LINE OF CARS, BURIED SOMEWHERE UNDER THE SNOW. IN THE LEFT CORNER, WIND CREATED A POINTY CAP ON TOP OF A FLAT TRASH CAN.

Blizzard 5

THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN FROM A KNEELING POSITION, THE CAMERA ABOUT 3 FEET HIGH. IT’S THE PILE OF SNOW TO THE RIGHT OF THE ENTRANCE. SOME OF IT IS SNOW SHOVELED FROM IN FRONT OF THE DOOR, WITH DRIFTING ON TOP.

Photos in Gaithersburg, MD, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2:30 p.m. All photos by Bernard John Hayden. Permission granted to reproduce, with credit to the photographer and/or blog.

— John

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Snowzilla Survival Plan

The Capital Weather Gang reports as follows:

“Snowzilla is just beginning to hit its stride. Conditions deteriorate into the night as heavier snow moves in.”

I’m always skeptical about blizzards and hurricanes until they live up to expectations. So often they breeze past without much trouble. Maybe not this time.

In 2050, will people still be talking about Snowzilla and calling it “The Blizzard of the Century?” Or will climate change bring us ever more amazing blizzards, piled higher and deeper?

Yes, we expect to be snowbound until Monday, maybe longer. No problem. I have a plan.

Sleep, eat, read. Repeat. Have a nice weekend.

— John

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Blizzard of 2016, Snowzilla, From Virginia to New York, At Least

The Blizzard of 2016 is beginning to bury the entire Washington, D.C.-Baltimore urban area and surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs under a predicted 16 inches to two feet of snow.

One of the best sources for continuing updates on the storm is The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang. The Gang has nicknamed the potentially record-breaking snowstorm “Snowzilla.”

Snow began falling in my part of Maryland, just north of Washington, about 2 p.m. Friday afternoon. It will continue snowing all night, reaching a depth of up to 20 inches by dawn Saturday. Then the storm will continue all day Saturday, into Saturday night, possibly reaching depths of two feet to 30 inches. All this according to many weather forecasters. Continue reading

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Florida Next Winter

Note: This post was first published Jan. 8, 2015 on one of my experimental blogs. Now it’s December 2015. The year has come and gone, and a new winter will begin Dec. 21. And I’m not in Florida yet. My excuse is that major life decisions take time. I’m working  on it. 

Baby, it’s cold outside!

Tuesday, we had snow and 26 degrees. Wednesday, it was 17 degrees in late afternoon, and down to 12 degrees by the time I got home from work, around 9:30 p.m. I live in the Mid-Atlantic states. The climate here is supposed to be relatively moderate.

Except when it’s not. Tonight, it’s cold as a witch’s tit.

The heater in my 216-square-foot apartment runs constantly all night. It can’t raise the temperature inside high enough to cut off.

Is it any wonder that every year about this time, my thoughts turn to Florida? I’ve only been there once. I flew into the Tampa airport to help rescue my brother (he was very ill) and drive him back to Maryland. I have very little direct experience of Florida, but I know a lot about it second-hand. (Update: Took a two-week road trip to Florida in June 2015 to research housing options. So I’ve made a little progress.) Continue reading

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Extreme Arctic Cold, Year Two

Last year, the Big Chill hit us in January. This year it waited until February. And in New England, the snow is higher than a basketball player.

Dangerously freezing temperatures! You can blame it on the “arctic vortex.” We’ve got winter weather deja vu.

It’s past time for the thermal underwear and wool blankets. Bring the dogs and cats inside. Throw another log on the fire.

Electric heat pumps, which many people rely on in Maryland, don’t work so well in this kind of weather. On winter nights like this, what you need is a good supply of firewood, and an oil-fired furnace. Or natural gas. Anything but a heat pump!

Are we going for a record low tonight? Or is that tomorrow night? Wednesday night, Thursday night, Friday night. In the far north and Midwest, unreal temperatures, like 20 degrees below zero. Single-digit temperatures in the border states, like Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland.

Here in the Washington, D.C. area, pick a positive number between zero and 10. The wind chill makes it feel like 5 or 10 degrees below. Frigid temperatures deep into the Southeast, with freeze warnings almost to Miami.

Last year, I wrote:

This kind of cold is worse than normal, even in New England. Here in Maryland, it’s almost a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”

Seriously. You could look it up.  Except it’s not once-in-a-lifetime. Is this going to be the new normal?

Hold on a little while longer. Wednesday was Ash Wednesday. It’s Lent, already! Whether you’re religious or not, the mathematics are the same. Less than 40 days until Easter. Spring is in sight.

— John Hayden

 

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The Winter of ’14 And The Promise Of Spring

I talked with my uncle in Rhode Island this afternoon. It was snowing there, of course. Maybe it’s the same snow we had in Maryland yesterday. It shows signs of letting up. Today’s snow in RI., that is. Not the winter of 2014.

My uncle assures me that this is the coldest winter in his 85 years. And it ain’t over yet. When the snow stops, he’s planning to go out and shovel his steps.

He can’t drive just now. There’s good news and bad news from the retina specialist. The fluid in one eye has gone away, after five shots over nearly a year’s time. The shots cost $1,500 a pop. Thank goodness for his health insurance plan, which pays all but a $40 copay.

Meanwhile, vision in the other eye is not so good. It’s three years since he’s had new glasses. So the specialist sends him back to the regular eye doc. Maybe new lenses will improve his vision enough  to make him legal to drive. Fortunately, a cousin lives just across the state line in Massachusetts and takes my uncle to the grocery store every week and the laundromat every two weeks.

The coming attraction is winter storm Titan. Look for it Sunday or Monday. Possible heavy snow,  not to mention ice.  How can we have reached the letter “T” in storms? What happens when we run out of letters? What if winter never ends? Let’s hope we never reach “T” during hurricane season.

Let’s wrap this report up neatly on a positive note. Only two days remaining in February. March arrives Saturday. I can hardly believe it, but my calendar claims that daylight saving time begins March 9. More amazing still, Spring is scheduled for March 20, a few days after St. Patrick’s Day.

Nothing can stop Spring. Not freezing temperatures, not snow. In case of a blizzard, school might be closed that week, but Spring can never be canceled.

I look forward to driving north to see my uncle, but not until the last snowflake falls.

— John Hayden

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