Sunday, December 22, 2013

Photo-of-the-Week - Snowmageddon, Winchester, Virginia, February 2010

I thought this photo was appropriate since yesterday was the first day of winter. Interestingly, as I compose this, the temperature outside is in the mid-60's on its way to break 70 degrees again this afternoon as it did yesterday. This photo was in Winchester, Virginia in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

This photo shows the result of the second of three blizzards that hit the region during the winter of 2009-2010. The first storm hit in December. I believe the news said this was the first snowfall of it's size since around the mid-1920's. The snowfall in this photo was in mid-February of 2010 and left between 24" and 30" of snow behind. I had just managed to get the snow cleared out of this driveway and the next day another 24" to 30" of snow fell leaving a total of around 50"+ of snow on the ground. It felt like I had moved back up to Syracuse, New York where these kinds of snow accumulations were pretty much taken with a grain of salt. I hired some help to clear out the driveway and walkways where I was house sitting for the third storm.

The total snowfall that year was within an inch or two of the all time record for the region. According to a variety of authorities this was a 400 year event. The last snowfall with this kind of serious accumulation that I recall was in February 2003, again, in mid-February. It actually began 14 days after I had moved on the "The Ranch" I finally left in 2008) and the day after I underwent major surgery. By the time the storm ended, 30" of snow had accumulated on my patio. Fortunately, I recovered well enough by the end of the afternoon on Friday for my surgeon to release me to go home before the snow began. However, my nearly quarter mile driveway was not passable until the end of the afternoon the following Thursday.

The Snowmageddon event paralyzed the region for weeks and as long as a month later there were still many streets in the Washington, DC metropolitan area that still hadn't had a snow plow pass through the streets. It was a helluva mess for quite a bit of time. Today there are major snow and ice storms passing through the northern part of the central plains states, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and New England. Meanwhile, New York City and south are experiencing recording breaking warm temperatures in the 70's. With weather as crazy as this it's hard to know how, when and where to travel and what to wear.  

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