Wednesday, December 26, 2012

12/26/12 Anatomy of a Blizzard, part 1

Anatomy of a Blizzard for West Central Ohio:

The snow forecast started to increase inch-wise during the early afternoon on Christmas Day...starting out with 4 to 6 inches with strong winds....expected to arrive at 1am or so this morning, December 26th....by the time I crawled out of bed at 3, 4, and finally at 5:45 am, nothing had hit the ground, although the winds had picked up, coming strongly from the northeast, usually a good sign of a strong winter storm.  I especially remember those back in the mid/late 70s and in the early to mid 80s, usually arriving with strong winds from that direction.

Here it is, just at the 6 o'clock hour and both the Weather Channel and Accu-Weather forecasts are staying 8 to 10 inches here and south to Dayton, Van Wert, Paulding, and Lima, say 5 to 9 and just a mere "Winter Storm Warning" instead of a Blizzard?  So 5 or 6 inches on 40 mph winds only gets you called a Winter Storm, while 8 and more classify you to be honored as a "Blizzard"?  Who would have thunk it? 

Well so far nothing, except the wind, but they are saying as daylight arrives the heavy snow will begin.....I and the snow blowers await, but so far, I'm not buying what they are selling...and here is what they are selling:

http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/celina-oh/45822/weather-warnings/335033

@ 7:15am...

Patricia and I headed up town at 6:15, the first of the light snow had just began...the local grocery store, usually open 24/7 had not bothered to open as of 6:30, so we headed for Wally World...and Wal Mart, despite the hate the media and most Liberals have for Wal Mart, because they are perceived to "kill" local businesses, they do serve a purpose, and Patricia and I stopped, grabbed a few things we might need over the next 24-48 hours, and were home by 7am...now we will wait and see where most of the snow ends up, right now they say most of the heaviest totals might be south and east...maybe!

@12:15pm....

Probably 5 or 6 inches on the ground at this hour, however, the amount is not the problem, it is the 25 mph northeast wind, with gusts up to 40...causing drifting, no end in site from the wind, although the snow should start to diminish in the next few hours.  Tomorrow's game at Van Wert has already been cancelled.  Lancaster was supposed to make the trip north today, stay in Van Wert and take on the Cougars tomorrow afternoon, that won't happened due to the heavy snow and blowing via the wind, and the game is cancelled a full 24 hours before hand.

Also Anissa is with us, and will spend the night for the first time in many months....her place, on the other side of town is just too far out of the way, and the Day Hab run by MRSI is closed today and tomorrow....still not sure when I will start to get things cleared off with the blower, it is a losing battle at this point in time.

@3:45pm...

It appears the worst is over, at least snowfall amount-wise, from my amature eyes it appears we received 8 or 9 inches, about as predicted.  The wind is still blowing and Mercer County along with Darke, the county directly to our south, are both under level "3" snow emergency status...which is the most intense, meaning "Stay off The Roads Unless an Emergency"....I went out about 1:30, and took care of the long driveway with the Snow Machine...Patricia got the back walks and porch, I took the machine to the large/main driveways...and when done with the important stuff, I plowed a path back to the bird/squirrel station.  Done for now, I am sure I will have to hit it again tomorrow, because the wind isn't going to let this be a one time deal.

Once done with the drive, I pulled the Nitro out and headed over to Mom's....her street was yet to be plowed, and there is no getting out for now, brother Mike is stuck in the house for the evening...tomorrow I will give it a go, hopefully the new gas/oil mix in the Toro will allow it to fire up and give me a shot at cleaning that off as well.

Part 2...tomorrow..

I'll see what shakes out, and give this another shot tomorrow at finishing off the first major winter storm we have had in at least a couple of years...

back later>>>>

Regardless, this minor "Blizzard" can't hold a candle to the mess that occurred in January of 1978 in the same region.

Photos-Top, North Star, Ohio, on January 21, 1978, US 127 looking north towards Celina....well over 25 inches on that fateful day.  The next 3 photos are from my yard and driveway at various times during the storm....once I got on the drive with the Snow Machine, the Nitro made it out with ease....and finally and overpass near Indianapolis during the Blizzard of 78, which brought the lower Midwest to a standstill....

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