Grump Central Archive: Week of 18 March 2018

Saturday, 24 March. I'm off to do volunteer work today, which will be my first trip out into the post-fourth-nor'easter landscape. Assuming all goes well, I won't be home until late tonight. I'm not one to suffer from cabin fever, but this is good timing.


Friday, 23 March. Yesterday it peaked in the low 40s, so there was a lot of melting going on—which is good, because I have someplace to go tomorrow. But I need a lot more melting to happen today if I've got any hope of making it down the driveway.


Thursday, 22 March. Official Grump Central Accumulation: 8.5 inches (there was a little drifting, with snow over a foot in places). Temperature at 7:30 AM: 31 degrees. Mood: the opposite of white. The only bright spot: amazingly, and thankfully, power was never lost.


Wednesday, 21 March. This new nor'easter is playing out like a long, slow meal at an Arctic all-you-can-eat buffet. Yesterday, the appetizer was a tossed snow salad with way too much sleet dressing; this morning, we're having a palette cleanser of light freezing rain before the main course of 8-14 inches of heavy snow, with wind on the side. Who ordered this disgusting meal?

Storm Blog

For geographical reference, I'm just north of the McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey.

10 AM: And now the snow begins. Clearly the birds know what they're in for, as they all make a mad dash for the feeders.

11 AM: The temperature is 32 degrees and the snowfall is intensifying, along with the wind. There's every sign we'll get at least the minimum forecast accumulation, and probably more.

12 PM: The snow is alternating with sleet and freezing rain that's beginning to coat leaves and branches. Listening to Timeless by John Abercrombie in an attempt to keep my blood pressure under control.

1 PM: Still alternating between snow and sleet/freezing rain, with occasional gusts of wind. Supplementing jazz with wine for relaxation. Incidentally, I've seen a number of online news outlets refer to the storm as "Toby." As I've learned from a meteorologist, this is not an official name, but a marketing gimmick created by The Weather Channel; apparently NOAA has asked them to stop the silliness. Like that'll happen. Meanwhile, the Daily Express in the UK breathlessly screams, "US snow storm LIVE radar: New York and New Jersey SLAMMED by terrifyingly HEAVY SNOW now!" As if the UK cares?

2 PM: Mostly snow now, which is coming down harder—and diagonally. Accumulation presently measures barely an inch, but I'm not feeling smug; at a reported rate of an inch or more per hour, this could still reach a foot before the plus-sized lady sings. Time for some lunch.

3 PM: Solid snow now, and at 33 degrees the white crap descending on us is heavy. Thankfully there's not much wind. Just refilled the birdfeeders so all of my feathered kids can stay stoked. Oh, and it's funny how cheap boxed wine tastes better once you have enough of it...

4 PM: Still coming down steadily. If this was light fluffy snow, the accumulation (now at 3 inches) might be double. But I think half as much of this wet stuff is worse. I feel sorry for the people who have to travel. Well, maybe just a little. Or... possibly not. Truthfully? I worry more about my birds.

5 PM: Snowfall has steadily been getting heavier for the last two hours. Still 33 degrees. Being so wet, the stuff is sticking to leaves and branches, once again placing mountain laurels, holly bushes and tree limbs under considerable strain.

6 PM: Snowfall still getting heavier, with the world outside now approaching a state of intense whiteness. Temp has crept down to 32; accumulation is up to 5 inches. Fully anticipate a power outage before it's all over. Switching from wine to rum.

7 PM: Snowfall intensity has become somewhat variable, but the forecast still calls for it to keep going until around 4 AM, so I'm certain we'll be waking up to a veritable wall of white crap. But as long as it doesn't switch to an ice storm at the last minute, which is what made that other nor'easter such a killer, things may not be all that bad. And there's very little wind, so it's not drifting. Anyway, as long as I've still got power, I think I'll just hunker down with another mindless video or two, and forget about the world for a while. Stay safe—all three of you.


Tuesday, 20 March. Yesterday it was sunny and in the low 50s, so given that today we're preparing for yet another weekly nor'easter, with more ice and a predicted snow accumulation of up to a foot and a half (on the first day of spring, no less), I took the opportunity to get up on the roof, remove the branch, and survey the damage. I'll need to make a temporary repair very soon, which means a trip to HD for some roof patch; a permanent repair will be much more involved, requiring at least a day's work.

Storm Blog

...because I can. Even if nobody gives a frack (Battlestar Galactica came up with that long before the petroleum industry did). For geographical reference, I'm near the McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, which is about five miles due south in this image:

1 PM: The snow started to fall around noon, and now the ground has a solid dusting. The birds are frantic; fortunately, I'd just restocked the bird food supply, and filled all of the feeders this morning.

2 PM: The snow has turned to sleet, so it looks about the same outside, but things are getting nastier. Just took a quick trip to the garage to get something, and nearly fell on my butt.

3 PM: Still sleeting. Hard. Most of the snow has been replaced by sleet. Exactly 32 degrees according to my mini-weather station. Just texted a friend and told him he'd better be on his way home to his wife and infant son, and be prepared to stay there for the rest of the week. Meanwhile, my cell phone is fully charged, and I'm ready to break out the rum and relax.

4 PM: Still sleeting, now with snow mixed in, and more wind. This is not good. This is what made the storm before the last one so destructive, trashing a lot of mountain laurels and damaging my roof. It also knocked out my power for 36 hours (which, to be honest, was the least of my worries). By the way, ever try Captain and root beer? Scrumptious!

5 PM: Crap falling out of the sky continues. I continue. So say we all. And we all know the worst is yet to come. (Prepare for a spike in births around Christmas 2018.)

6 PM: We're back to mostly snow, coming down gently with bigly flakes, still mixed with some sleet. I hate snow. (Don't lecture me about moving to Florida or Arizona—been to both many times, hate them both even more. Going back to my Captain and root beer, thank you very much.)

7 PM: All precip has been tapering off during the last half-hour; checking the radar, it may actually stop for a while this evening. Don't be fooled, folks—today was just a teeny-tiny teaser; tomorrow is the day of reckoning. Call this the Calm before the Crap. Me, I'm pleasantly buzzed, and I'm going off to let some mindless videos slowly lull me to sleep. Catch ya'll on the flip side...


Monday, 19 March. And here we go, starting it all over with another week of... nothing. Well, nothing except another 3-6 inches of snow, starting tomorrow. Oh, joy.


Sunday, 18 March. The snow is just about all gone—and of course we've got new storms on the way to remind us winter ain't over 'til it's over.

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