Unfortunately, my weather predictions came true. Last year I wrote about global warming and climate change. I expounded on my theory about winter arriving in January and lasting until June. Let’s hope I’m only half right.
Nay-sayers can deny it all they want, but our planet’s weather has changed. Summers are hotter and winters are colder. During last week’s cold snap, we’ve broke or tied records for the coldest cold. You can stop trying to convince me now, Mother Nature. I’m a believer.
Last Tuesday, I wasn’t paying attention to the long range weather forecast. I knew there was a chance of a storm coming but it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. Earlier forecasts made it sound like the low pressure system would veer to the east and only graze our coast. That was the forecast I believed. I tuned out everything else. But on the Tuesday before the storm, something on the local weather report made my ears perk up. “This storm will be a Bomb Cyclone,” the weather person said with a look of fear in her eye. I never heard that term before. It sounded like the punchline to a joke. What do you get when you cross a Polar Vortex with Bombogenesis? Answer: A Bomb Cyclone. And the joke was on us. Literally.
Wednesday afternoon, the day before the storm, the office water-cooler talk turned to the impending weather. There was a lot of chatter about how the company would deal with it. The office manager said, “The earlier you people get in here tomorrow, the earlier you can get out.” Great, I thought. With the hours I work at the newspaper, my trip home would be during the height of the storm. I began having second thoughts about traveling on highways with zero visibility.
Wednesday night, Governor Baker prepared everyone for the worst. “If you don’t have to be on the roads, please stay home,” the governor said. That’s all I needed to hear. I didn’t mind using a vacation day if it meant not risking my life to get to work only to get sent home after a few hours in the worst part of the storm. Been there. Done that.
When the storm arrived on Thursday, it was worse than predicted. I spent the morning clicking through news channels on the television looking for the best coverage. When I watched the footage of the floods in Boston as the ocean decided to take a stroll downtown, I knew things were getting serious. I shoveled for hours, from late afternoon and into the night, trying to clear my driveway so I’d be able to get to work the next morning. I’d still be out there shoveling today if it weren’t for a big-hearted neighbor with an even bigger snow-blower (thanks Tom).
After the 13 or 14 inches of snow fell (I swear it we got 2 feet on Gorham Avenue), the wind roared from the north and plunged everything into the deepest freeze I’ve experienced in a long time. This winter has taken its toll on everyone and it’s only just begun.
In this part of the country, we’re not going to let a few sub-zero temperatures and a few feet of snow interrupt our lives. We’re hearty New Englanders. I keep telling myself this over and over again. I know this too will pass. Before long the temperatures will moderate, the snow will melt and we’ll only have the flooding to deal with. I will survive. I just can’t feel my toes. Is that a bad sign?