Tales From the Hilltop
An intelligent, yet Devil's Advocate view of the world

Episode Eleven: A Tale of Three Blizzards

Welcome to the winter wonderland, people…

No doubt over the last 36 hours we’ve seen a massive blizzard rush areas of most of the east coast. Everyone once in a while, these rushes turn into a certified winter nightmare. This year brought the first “real” blizzard to hit the area in about six years. But there are bright sides to winter storms.

To tell you the truth, I’m kinda relieved we got this blizzard. With all this talk about climate change and the environment getting out of hand, this brough a sigh. Most of us that live in Delaware were really confused as to why – up as recent as a few days ago – we were seeing 60-65 degree days in December. So the blizzard was a good reminder that Mother Nature is still at least somewhat normal and ozone hasn’t been declared legally dead yet.

Also, once a blizzard is done, you know what happens….snowball fights, sleds, and shovels! I even enjoyed myself with a snow angel or two. Of course, getting my car out from its snowy tomb was no picnic, but just getting outside after being in for a day straight was great.

So, there was a facebook debate which intrigued me to write this episode. The conversation was in regards to three blizzards in recent memory: this year’s, the Winter Storm of 2003, and the Storm of 1996, to see which storm was considered the heaviest.

By all accounts, the 1996 storm had the most snowfall, with some places getting over 40 inches of snow in what seemed like three blizzards in consectutive order. The one thing I remember most about this storm is that it happened on the first Sunday in January that year, which was the last day of winter break. Naturally, schools were shut down for an extra week. So, imagine yourself getting an extra week after Christmas to screw around, shovel snow and get money, and watch people slip and fall in what seemed like an endless ‘America’s Funniest Home Video’ highlight reel…good times for any kid, I’m sure.

Fast forward now to the Winter 2003 storm. While not getting as much snowfall as the ’96 storm, the fall was still pretty heavy, causing Delaware – among other states – to go into a state of emergency for some days. What I loved about this storm is by that time, I was an undergraduate student at Del State. So, to hear that classes were cancelled for the next week was joy enough. You add 1,500 college students to that mix…well, DSU turned into a frozen version of “Animal House” for six or seven days.

This weekend’s storm also caused a state of emergency – the storm itself was no slouch. However, the impact on it really didn’t have as much of an impact on society as the other two. I believe the reason for that is the day it happened on…Saturday. Think about it: mostly everyone’s not working that day and are looking to relax. The snow just gave everyone another reason not to come out. Had this blizzard happened on today or last Thursday, obviously that would’ve had an different outcome. Unfortunately, it turned to be just a wasted Saturday for a lot of people to finish Christmas shopping.

What would YOUR favorite blizzard be?

12/20/2009

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