On Today’s Snow

It’s a winter wonderland outside… if you like that kind of thing. As it turns out, I don’t.

Today, I got an email complaining about my forecast. At the same time I got a few others thanking me for my accuracy. One of the email senders is screwy. May I choose which?

Obviously, in becoming a meteorologist, I learned something about snow and wintry weather. It’s possible, however, my most interesting expertise comes from experience. It has to do with the practical differences in different snowstorms.

As a kid, you knew snow could be different. Ever ask if it was ‘packing’ snow?

Nowadays, before the first flake falls, I’m already trying to figure out if it will be packing snow. Snow can range from fluffy powdered sugar to semi congealed ice. It’s not easy forecasting which particular form the snow will take and that forecast is never 100% accurate – not by me nor anyone else.

Today is a perfect example of how the ‘fluff factor’ can vary. There is little in common between the snowstorm that Southern Connecticut received and the one that hit Northern Connecticut! Same system… simultaneous snowfall… different outcome.

The northern snow was light and fluffy. It accumulated gently.

The southern snow was loaded with sleet and freezing rain. It accumulated like the lead blanket the dentist throws on you before getting x-rayed. It will be tougher to clear and leave a slick and icing coating when crews try.

Some plowing contracts call for different prices depending on the inches of snow received. The shoreline plowers loses in this one. There, three inches will plow like six!

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