Mother Nature And The Storm

We think we’re pretty advanced, scientifically and technologically, but Mother Nature can still throw us a hard slider every now and then.

Consider the blizzard that is battering that East Coast this morning.  New York City might get as much as 16 inches of snowfall, Philadelphia is canceling public transit, thousands of flights at the Charlotte and Raleigh airports were canceled, and motorists have been stranded on snow-covered roadways.  (Surprisingly, the storm bypassed those of us in the upper Midwest, which is the normal habitat of appalling winter storms.)

Storm RdpAnd Washington, D.C. — well, let’s just say that the Nation’s Capital freaks out when even a tiny bit of snow is forecast, so a big storm causes runs on stores, gas tank topping, and other over-the-top, panicky behavior.  That’s the way it was 30 years ago when Kish and I lived there, and according to news reports that’s the way it still is today, too.  It doesn’t exactly give you much confidence about how the citizens of D.C. would react in a real crisis.  The frightened, frantic crowd scenes when Godzilla appears above the Tokyo skyline probably would be an accurate depiction.

The storm also reminds us of our interconnectedness.  With some of the nation’s busiest airports affected, good luck traveling by air today.  Airlines are estimating that more than 7,500 flights will be scrubbed, which is like dropping a paralysis bomb into the nation’s transportation grid.  Even if you’re on a flight that is leaving from an unaffected city, you might learn that the earlier leg of the flight was coming in from, say, Philadelphia.  And trying to get anywhere by roadway if you’re in the snow-battered regions is foolhardy unless the trip is essential.  If there’s one thing I learned living in D.C., when the snow does fall in Washington it’s wise to not get into your car, because people who live in places where snow is rare just don’t know how to drive in it.  Why expose yourself to the possibility that the person trying to navigate a multi-ton missile on icy, snow-covered roadways doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing?

From the news stories, it looks like Mother Nature won this round.

Weird Weather

IMG_2997We’ve just come from a week of exceptionally cold temperatures, which followed a few days of unseasonably warm weather.  This morning it was bracing on our walk, with the temperature in the teens and a brisk wind skirling over the snow and dropping the wind chill into “don’t take your gloves off under any circumstances” territory.  According to the weather app on my iPhone, however, the temperature is supposed to be 61 on Tuesday and 55 on Wednesday — and then it will plummet back down to a high of 19 on Friday.  Good luck deciding what kind of coat to wear this week!

I don’t mind cold weather, and I don’t mind warm weather, either.  I just wish Mother Nature would make up her mind!