New Year Snowstorm

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They’re calling it a big storm, but so far it’s been pretty mild where we are. (Not the temperature, though. Cold.) Still, it’s supposed to snow right through the night, and be done by noon tomorrow. We’ll see what we find then. In the meantime, here’s what our house looked like (sort of) a little while ago, when I took Captain Jack out. Hard to get a good picture at night, but I love the blue lights we have in the tree. And the flash does fun things with the flying snow.

Another World Milestone!

My wife Allysen texted me this afternoon to alert me to the arrival of:

11/12/13 14:15

Did I marry the right woman, or what? 

Okay, it only works in parts of the world where dates are expressed as Mo/Da/Yr, but still.

It was kind of a strange day, meteorologically. We had snow flurries in the morning, or so I hear (I was asleep). What’s strange about that is, just a few days ago I was walking around in a short-sleeve shirt. Then, this afternoon, I noticed that the sky was mostly a thick overcast, with a band of clear sky just above the northwest horizon. The demarcation between the overcast and the blue was a ruler-straight line, with no visible movement. I had a great, big-sky view of it as I drove north out of Boston on the elevated freeway.

Several hours later, it looked exactly the same. I took this picture, using the Panorama app on my phone.

Click image to biggify

The line looks curved from the fisheye effect, but in reality it was straight as an arrow shot by the Arrow. Here’s a regular shot.

It was still that way at sunset, when the edge of the overcast was lit with a beautiful pink glow. Wish I’d caught that.

After Nemo

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We awoke to a lot of snow today…


After about four hours with the snow blower, shovels, and help from our downstairs neighbor Jill and the youths, we finally ended up with this. 

And after that, I came in and ate breakfast, then napped. All is now very quiet.

Into the Blizzard

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Winter Storm Nemo, they’re calling it. I think of Nemo as a cute little clownfish, but Jules Verne’s Nemo is probably a more apt referent. I’m writing this at about 1 a.m. Saturday morning, which should put us a third or halfway through the snowy Nor’easter. They’re already calling it the Blizzard of 2013, and snow accumulation for the Boston area could break previous records. Looked like about a foot so far, the last time I was out, which was a few hours ago. Hard to tell, with all the drifting. I can hear the wind gusting out my office window right now. Oddly, the weather bug on my computer desktop says “Fog” for current conditions in my area!

We lost power at around 10 p.m., and I was just starting to wonder how cold the house would get without heat (or how fast it would get cold), when I saw utility truck lights out in the street. They had us back up in about half an hour. (They were on site so fast I’m guessing maybe they shut us off while they corrected some hazardous condition, maybe a tree branch on a line or something.) Hats off to those guys out there working on lines in these conditions! I had to take Captain Jack out, so I walked over and asked the nearest worker if I could bring him anything. Nope, he said. A neighbor had already brought him hot chocolate.

A glance at the power outages chart for Nstar in Massachusetts shows a lot of people hurting, especially down on the south shore and Cape Cod. Here’s hoping they get taken care of fast.

It’s supposed to end late this morning, so I’ll try to remember to take some pictures before I fire up the snow blower to tunnel us out.

If you don’t hear from me again in the next day, that’ll probably mean the power went out again. Either that, or I’m too sore from shoveling to sit down and write another post.

More on the Microburst Damage

A local news channel has this footage of damage in Arlington. Again, we were fortunate in having no damage to our own property (that I’ve found, anyway), but what you’ll see in the news report is the surrounding neighborhood. Our brand-new dog park is closed indefinitely, and the huge, beautiful tree in its center has damage at the roots and may or may not survive. The park’s new maintenance shed is in pieces, strewn toward Route 2. The bike path is blocked for a one-mile stretch by fallen trees.

So far as I know, amazingly, no one was hurt. 

This is the second time in the last year or two that such a microburst has hit Arlington. I wonder if someone’s trying to tell us something.

Ironically, today there’s a town election on whether to uphold a town-meeting-mandated ban on the use of leafblowers by landscapers and cleanup crews.

Microburst Hits Neighborhood

My neighborhood, that is. At least that’s what people were saying it was. I haven’t heard an official report, and you know they’ll just cover it up like the aliens in New Mexico, anyway. But I think it was a microburst.

I was sitting in my third floor office, noticing with approval that it was raining a bit. God knows we need the rain (most of the country does), and we needed some cooling off. Then we got a couple of good cracks of thunder. Didn’t bother Captain Jack, but it made me jump. Then the wind started blowing and the house started shaking. I looked out the window and saw the big oak tree outside (just beyond our property line) whipping around, and I’m pretty sure I saw rain blowing horizontally. I was starting to think I should turn off the computer and get the hell downstairs to a more sheltered location. Being an idiot, I didn’t right away. Instead, I clicked to look at a radar map. By the time it came up, the storm was over. The map and my eyes both confirmed that the convective area was passing. It probably lasted two minutes, total.

When I went out a few minutes later with Captain Jack, I found the whole neighborhood out walking around. Our property was okay, but the neighborhood looked as if a hurricane had gone through. Here are a couple of pictures I snapped with my phone camera.

This one, around the block from my house, came down on the house across the street. Looked like it was being held up by the power and cable lines near the house.

This grand old tree stood right outside our town’s new off-leash dog park. A brand-new maintenance shed in the dog park is gone altogether. This is just one of many trees that came down right across our bike path, where I do my rollerblading. 

The force of nature is a powerful thing, isn’t it? 


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