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Winter Storm buffets New York-New Jersey

After three to four mild winters, it seems that this year winter has returned with a vengeance. Tonight is the fourth snowfall of season that stared barely three weeks ago. Regular snowfalls do not receive much attention. But this one is a storm and it is called Nor’easter a short from of Northeaster. This relates to a storm that produces high winds in Northeastern coast of USA (New York and above). Today’s storm is classified as a blizzard which means there are 35 miles per hour or more sustained winds or wind gust for three hours or more and visibility due to swirling snow is less than a quarter mile.

Snow started last night at around 7:00 and is expected to continue till early morning. In our area, Edison, NJ we expect from 8 to 10” of snow. It is 3:30 AM and there is about 4” snow on the ground. Boston already had 12” snow ahead of us by about 12 hours. Chicago had 18” of snow. In and around New York City, several major highways are closed for up to 12 hours so that snow plows have time to clean the accumulated snow and salt and sand the roads. It is feared that strong winds will cover the cleaned roads again in no time. Though the snow fall would be less than 12”, snow drift could be as high as two feet or more. Couple this with severe cold, a bone chilling freeze that is accompanying this storm. Right now we are at about 15 centigrade below zero (some people incorrectly call it minus 15; scientifically, there is no such thing as minus temperature because a minus cold temperature would mean hot temperature!)

Tomorrow’s day time maximum would be around 10 centigrade below zero and night would be 18 to 20 below zero centigrade. This does not take into account effect of the wind on the cold (your body tends to evaporate heat faster because of the wind); so actual feel of 15 centigrade below zero at 35 miles per hour wind would be more like 22 centigrade below zero. It will be a challenge to go out and clean all that snow with a shovel. It would take about six hours for one person to clean manually 8” of snow from my two car wide drive way. I am hoping to find enterprising truck owners with a plough or young men with snow shovels to do the job. There will be a premium price of about $150- $200 to pay.

An interesting tidbit: New York City’s sanitation department used 365 salt spreaders, and 1700 snow plows to clean 6300 miles of highways, roads and streets in New York City.

On Monday, we will have summer like weather (relatively speaking) with temperatures rising to three centigrade below zero.

But we will survive, we always have. Worst snow storm I have faced had dumped 36” snow and we had lost power for 10+ days in rural Connecticut. No power means no running water, no operable flush, no cooking and no heat. That also is the reality of America!

#1 to 3: Front of our house, street scene. #4 our back yard #5 our backyard with gusting winds and trees dancing, shaking off the snow.

#6,7 and 8 from newspapers- #6 Walk in a park in Albany, Capital of New York State (140 miles northwest of New York City), #7 A man clearing his driveway in Chicago suburb, #8 A postman doing his rounds in Kalamazoo, MI.  Click to see photos (8 photos)



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