There’s snow and then, there’s SNOW!
Yesterday, a winter storm was forecast for a large area of the midwest, including the region of Wisconsin in which we live. Thursday night, the night before the storm was to hit, and without any flakes yet flying, some outlying rural districts had pre-emptively closed school for the next day.
By morning, yesterday, some more local schools had announced early closures with the students being dismissed home a few hours earlier than usual. Still, not much snow, if any had fallen.
Finally, around dinnertime last night, the snow began to fly. I noticed the wind pick up first around 3:30 pm when I was trying to take a brief catnap. When we went to bed last night, we had two inches on the ground. It snowed all night. And, this morning we had about six inches covering our yard. My husband got the snowplow out and cleaned the driveway. By ten he was on the roads to go to the local home improvement stores.
Now the sun is out and it is in the 35-degree range. It’s melting. Some might say, such is the weather in Wisconsin. And, that much is true; our weather seems wildly labile. We have swings of temperatures and varying degrees of precipitation or none at all during odd periods of drought or flood. The odd periods are becoming much more common. Unfortunately, this is true for much of the world where climate change is playing a large factor and weather patterns becoming much more extreme.
Did you know it snowed in Hawaii this week? Yup! While the Hawaiian Islands do receive annual snowfall in the mountains and volcano summits, receiving a large amount of snow that accumulates in the tourist areas or reduces visiblity is news.
My sister had to reschedule a trip down the NYS thruway this week due to high winds and snowfall. occurring from Buffalo to Rochester. She was going in to take my Dad to the opthalmologist and had to go Thursday morning instead of Wednesday night. Sometimes life cannot stop and that’s when flexibility is key.
Yes, the weather seems crazy lately no matter where you live. But, even crazier is the uproar that the media causes with their sensationalistic reporting of these possible impending storms. Weather reporting seems no more accurate than it did when I was growing up fifty years ago. I grew up in a town on the shore of Lake Ontario and experienced many snow days. But, these were legitimate storms – feet of snow, not inches. Then, I lived in Buffalo, New York, as an adult for a total of ten years. Do you want to see snow? Well, a visit there during a storm would open your eyes! Both Rochester and Buffalo New York receive large amounts of lake effect snow each winter. The residents of those communities deal with it in stride. Life during the winter is not made into emergency situations unless it is truly called for.
I would not ask that anyone travel unnecessarily during poor weather conditions. And, we did have some of those with the winter storm that brushed our area last night. As I understand it, poor visibility was a huge problem. However, I also wish the news media would not ramp up warnings that cause runs on the grocery store, schools to close before the snow flies, and anxiety to be heightened for those that have to go out – hospital staff, teachers, librarians, and grocery store employees, to name a few.
Common sense would tell you that while it will snow in Wisconsin during the winter months, not every snowfall is a huge storm. Let’s not freak out hours in advance every time the news reports on what “might” happen. Really, six to eight inches of snow is not a big deal. It’s times like these that I remember living in Buffalo with fondness. I’m glad I lived through many winter storms in Western New York. We shoveled or plowed or walked to work if able, or stayed at work if unable to get home, and life went on.
Whether we got a true winter storm in Wisconsin last night is relative to what your own life experience is. Mine tells me it was not.