Friday, 5 February 2010

you may never hear from me again


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admistration (NOAA) Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco has released the following statement:

An epic snowstorm has the mid-Atlantic region in its cross hairs. At this time, personal safety must be first and foremost. National Weather Service forecasters have been tracking this storm for the past week and now that the storm is here it must be taken very seriously.

all DC is in a total panic. i really wish i would have had my camera last night. i went to mom's because i needed the basics for green drink, and the place was packed at 8:30pm. the ORGANIC market was completely sold out of ALL veggies and fruits (unless you call 5 fennel bulbs and 4 red peppers stocked). so i bought some junk and decided i should just go to costco where i knew i could get spinach and pineapple. it was MAHEM. just getting into the parking lot was a joke. long long lines. mind you, i am doing this at 8:55pm just minutes before they close at 9. i parked in the tire repair place and went in. getting a cart was another issue. there were NO carts anywhere. i finally found a woman leaving who offered me her cart. i asked her how it was inside. she looked at me a bit manically and said "it is crazy" i started laughing and then she laughed and i think she chilled a bit. but she might need some therapy after her shopping trip.

i got inside to find that the lines to check out went all they way back to the beer and firelogs (for those that know the pentagon city costco). it is about 50 yards. there were 3 lines stretching back this far. i almost walked out of the store, and then i realized that this was a haven of sociology. i fancy myself a social scientist and stayed. it was nuts.

turns out, when an impending snow storm is on the horizon the people of dc want bottled water, meat, and toliet paper. as any good american knows, costco is always stocked to the gills. i have never seen the place low on the essentials. last night there was an empty pallet (more like 4 pallets close together) of bottled water. i could tell because there were loose bottles scattered around. the fruit and veggie aisles were totally wiped out. it looked like a bomb had gone off. mangos were all over the floor. at one point a guy, pushing a cart, hollered at me to get out of the way, he was running through the crowded store in total bulk oranges emergency.

i got my spinach and decided just to get whole pineapple (so as not to be left without green drink) and headed out.

walking towards the check out i noticed that ALL of the meat refrigerators were empty. i mean EMPTY. those huge white places that have the fish and huge steaks, empty. i had never seen anything like it.

i cut up to the front of the line like i owned the place and got behind a woman with a cart full of stuff. i made some comment about how crazy the place was. she told me she had been in line for 45 minutes. she was the next person. i asked her why she thought everyone needed meat during the snow storm . . . and we chatted. later she suggested i check out with my spinach, pineapple and pizza before her. as she started unloading her cart i noticed that she had, wait for it, 5 huge bulk packages of different cuts of beef. WTH???

and why do you need water for a snow storm? people, snow is actually water. this is not a drought! also, how does a snow storm cut off your regular supply of water? it is going to actually be a bit warmer than it has been, if your pipes are going to freeze, they already have.

i seriously don't get it.

so SNOWMAGEDDON has started. i have been working from home all day.

had a conference call about haitian health facilities mapping with a bunch of partners and PAHO (pan american health association) had to send an email out saying they couldn't make a 1:pm call because of snow. it is true, snow makes talking on the phone nearly impossible. it is best to just let the people sleeping on the ground in the rain wait a few days for our help because who knows what could happen when you talk on the phone and it is snowing outside. super scary!

SHEESH PEOPLE!

well tomorrow we have a neighborhood snowball fight at 1:pm and then i am doing hot yoga at 3:30 so that should all help get rid of this pit up energy!

here is some info from the NOAA (please note that they also reinforce the water panic):

Issued by The National Weather Service
Baltimore/Washington, MD
12:34 pm EST, Fri., Feb. 5, 2010

... RECORD SNOWFALL FORECAST IN THE BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON DC REGION...

... EXTREMELY DANGEROUS WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS DEVELOPING TONIGHT...

GUSTY NORTHEAST WINDS 20 TO 30 MPH WITH VISIBILITIES FREQUENTLY FALLING BELOW ONE-QUARTER MILE DUE TO HEAVY SNOW WILL DEVELOP TONIGHT TO PRODUCE NEAR-BLIZZARD AND EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING. TRAVEL IS HIGHLY DISCOURAGED TONIGHT AND WILL BE VERY DANGEROUS.

LOOKING BACK AT THE BIGGEST STORM OF RECORD FOR WASHINGTON DC... THE JANUARY 1922 KNICKERBOCKER STORM... 28.0 INCHES OF SNOW WAS PRODUCED FROM 3.02 INCHES OF LIQUID WATER. CURRENT FORECASTS FOR THIS EVENT HAVE TOTAL LIQUID FALLING FROM THIS STORM APPROACHING 3 INCHES... WHICH ACCORDINGLY WOULD CREATE A SNOWFALL THAT WILL RIVAL THE KNICKERBOCKER STORM TOTAL. GENERALLY ACROSS THE REGION... 20 TO 30 INCHES OF SNOW WILL FALL BY SATURDAY EVENING.

BALTIMORES RECORD OF 26.8 INCHES FROM THE PRESIDENTS DAY FEBRUARY 2003 STORM WILL ALSO BE THREATENED.

A FEW PRECAUTIONARY AND PREPAREDNESS ITEMS TO NOTE:

1. FOLLOW MANUFACTURERS INSTRUCTIONS WHEN OPERATING A GENERATOR OR AXILLARY HEATER. ENSURE PORTABLE GENERATORS ARE ADEQUATELY VENTILATED.

2. TRAVEL CONDITIONS TONIGHT ACROSS THE REGION WILL BE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND LIFE THREATENING. HELP YOUR LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT FIRST RESPONDERS AND TRANSPORTATION AGENCIES BY STAYING OFF ROADS LATER THIS EVENING AND TONIGHT.

3. FOLLOW LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT EMERGENCY DECLARATION ORDERS. IF YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED TO TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY... DO NOT TRAVEL ALONE. LET SOMEONE KNOW YOUR TIMETABLE AND YOUR PRIMARY AND ALTERNATE ROUTES. CARRY WITH YOU A WINTER STORM SURVIVAL KIT WHICH INCLUDES A MOBILE PHONE... BLANKETS... FLASHLIGHT WITH EXTRA BATTERIES... HIGH CALORIE NON-PERISHABLE FOOD AND WATER... AND A SHOVEL.

4. IF YOU GET STRANDED IN YOUR VEHICLE... DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CAR TO TRY TO WALK FOR ASSISTANCE... YOU CAN QUICKLY BECOME DISORIENTED IN WIND DRIVEN SNOW AND COLD. THIS STORM WILL SUBSIDE SATURDAY AFTERNOON... SO WAIT IN YOUR CAR FOR EMERGENCY HELP TO ARRIVE. PERIODICALLY RUN YOUR ENGINE FOR ABOUT 10 MINUTES EACH HOUR FOR HEAT. ENSURE YOUR EXHAUST PIPE IS CLEARED OF SNOW AND ICE. CRACK YOUR WINDOWS TO AVOID CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING. TIE A COLORED CLOTH TO YOUR CARS ANTENNA TO BE VISIBLE TO RESCUERS. FROM TIME-TO-TIME... MOVE YOUR ARMS... LEGS... FINGERS... AND TOES TO KEEP BLOOD CIRCULATING.

5. AVOID OVEREXERTION WHEN SHOVELING SNOW. BREAK THE SHOVELING DOWN INTO SMALLER JOBS AND TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS.

6. IN CASE OF POWER SUPPLY DISRUPTIONS... HAVE AVAILABLE FLASH LIGHTS WITH EXTRA BATTERIES... EXTRA FOOD AND WATER... EXTRA MEDICINES.

7. ENSURE ANY PETS AND FARM ANIMALS HAVE PLENTY OF WATER... FOOD... AND SHELTER.

FINALLY... THE KEY TO GETTING THROUGH THIS AND OTHER PERIODS OF HAZARDOUS WINTER WEATHER IS WITH ADVANCE PLANNING AND BEING AWARE OF CURRENT CONDITIONS. THIS STORM WILL BE WINDING DOWN EARLY SATURDAY EVENING... SO DO YOUR PART AND LET YOUR LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS RESTORE ROADWAYS TO NORMAL CONDITIONS BY STAYING AT HOME.

and one more for good measure . . . this is another fav (seriously, you'd think i had nothing else to do)

5:50 p.m.: The blizzard warning, earlier in effect for only the far eastern suburbs, has been extended west through the District.

Snowmageddon is here and it's just warming up. So far, the snow has been light to moderate as temperatures settle to and below freezing. Accumulations through now are on the order of a dusting to around 1-2" and road surfaces are begining to be affected as temperatures cool and the sun sets. The real deal arrives this evening and overnight, when snow could temporarily fall up to 2" or 3" per hour, rivaling the most intense rates this region ever witnesses. About as thrilling of a National Weatherperson Day as one could put together, right?


Periods of heavy snow are expected to enter the region around 7 p.m. (0z) and continue through much of the night. Image courtesy: The Storm Prediction Center.

Through tonight: Get ready (if you stay up) for some of the heaviest -- if not the heaviest -- snowfall rates you ever see around here. It will come down in buckets, perhaps with some thunder, most of the night after things intensify markedly by 7 p.m. or so. The heaviest focus is likely from around 10 p.m. through sunrise. While most locations should pick up at least 1 foot overnight alone, don't be surprised if some spots pick up a good bit more. Lows drop to the mid-and-upper 20s as northeast winds blow around 20 mph, with higher gusts, leading to near-blizzard conditions.

Tomorrow (Saturday): If the huge amount of snow on the ground in the morning is not enough, no worries, because snow continues through much of the day Saturday. Snow will be most intense early but we should see a lighter and fluffier snow with some moderate to heavy periods lasting into the early evening. Additional accumulations of 4-8"+ are possible before it winds down. Highs rise to the upper 20s to around 30. Winds remain gusty from the northeast causnig blowing and drifting of snow.

5 comments:

Alyson said...

go get 'em! Snow makes me feel stoned...

HillTopStar said...

Last night a friend from work watched an altercation between two women at a Giant over the one remaining shopping cart outside the store. One of the women ended up being dragged away in handcuffs by the police, after punching the other right in the face.

Things are crazy indeed.

teabelly said...

i once saw a woman break her arm over a cart at last chance in phoenix. it was right when the doors opened and there was that crazy mad dash for carts and stuff. but at least that is kinda understandable. uggs for $30...

Annie said...

hope you survive! let us know how you make it w/ your spinach and pineapple... :)

ginger said...

i love it