Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow on Snow

Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
Long ago.
  [Christina Georgina Rossetti, A Christmas Carol]

Is one’s sense of extreme weather a function of age? Does frequent and massive snowfall produce dreads in men with creaky joints as shoveling is yet again ahead? So it seemed this morning. Snow on snow today, but in the here and now, and in such dense veils that I could barely make out the garage this morning at eight. It’s all way too much, I thought this morning. The “too much” included the contents of the Wall Street Journal; I only found it after groping about in the snow; it had been buried on our front step and well enough so that even its shape had been obscured. My rational self, which always only echoes the patterns of the past, put a sarcastic stop to such gloomy reflections. “Look it up,” it said. “I bet it’s not even a record-setting season.” So I did.

Well, it turns out, that snow on snow this year is certainly record-breaking. I looked up snow fall in December and January for 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14. Two years ago we had 15 inches of snow in these two months, a year ago 19.4 inches, and this year 56.5 inches (link). These numbers apply to the Detroit Metro area generally; we know from Monique that results were even more extreme on the other side of the Metro.

For once the rational self was wrong—and Brigitte as usually right. Therefore writing about snow seems justified by the actual results out there, carefully measured by the Weather System.

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