What an interesting day it's been!
About 27 hours ago, I got an alert about a blizzard warning. Blizzard? I've seen too many but we barely had snow in 2012 at all. Then, a second alert. As I travelled home along wet roads, I saw nothing to indicate a major storm.
In early afternoon today, the snow was fast and furious. There are probably 7 inches of snow outside my house. It seemed a lot as I shovelled the walk but it's always the most difficult during the first snow. The worst, recent snow I remember was February of 2010 when we got 18 inches of snow and ice within a couple of days. One snow shovel isn't enough to remove that much snow within a short time. Add to that the worsening cold and difficulty breathing, and the snow can wait, especially during a level 3 snow emergency.
The last time I remember a level 3 snow emergency, I was in Philadelphia, PA during January 1996, and a friend was visiting from Maine. It started snowing slowly on Saturday night, and I couldn't get to work until Wednesday. They didn't even have the road to the apartment complex cleared until Tuesday morning and a number of trucks weren't trying to clear the drives and parking lots the rest of the day into the night. Philadelphia hadn't a lot of snow for years, so they didn't have snow removal equipment, so they hired everyone with a snow plough attached to the front of their truck. Someone on the local news in Ohio said that people were comparing this event to the blizzard of January 1978, when I got my frostbite. I assure you it wasn't even close. The county here supposedly lost one of their trucks and didn't find it until the snow melted. That was a hideous month.
Looking at today, this town is well-equipped and they tend the richer areas of town much better than the rest. Thankfully, the hills are fewer than just a bit south. I bought snow tires this year, considering that the snow would be much greater than years past but hoping that I would be incorrect. (Update: I was shovelling the snow from my car--it was that deep on the car. My driveway is half clear and there is actually some sunshine, a pleasant change. I haven't gone anywhere yet, but I can if I need to do that. Since my street is covered with snow, we don't have to worry a lot about ice, which is a typical winter problem here.)
The retailers certainly missed out on shoppers, although I suppose they'll somehow get to stores on Friday and Saturday. The news mentioned that sales were only up 0.9 % over the previous holiday season, but any increase is good, considering how many people are out of work.
I miss the weather of Florida but even there it's not exactly warm at lower than average high temperatures.
Update: in two snowfalls, we got nearly half of what we got the rest of 2012. Maybe, we won't have a drought for summer. More snow is on the way for New Year's Eve.