Rob Oxford: Pleeeease, Say It Isn't Snow?

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Photo by Rob Oxford

By Rob Oxford

If Shoreline Area News' resident forecaster Carl Dinse is correct (see latest forecast), it appears as though we may be in for a "significant snow event" this coming weekend and quite possibly well beyond.

Unfortunately this is Washington State. The Puget Sound. We have Convergence Zones and Indian Summers, Lenticular Clouds and the Beaufort Scale. We also have hundreds of descriptive ways to describe the rain including: abundant, big, constant, continual, severe, deluge, downpour, driving and drizzle. Not to mention freezing and mizzle (a very fine rain). There's Scotch Mist (a mixture of mist and light rain), shower, spit, sleet, sprinkle, incessant and plenty more I assure you.

However there aren't that many ways to describe snow of which I am aware. There's powder for great skiing and wet, for snow forts and snowball fights.

Living in Shoreline for the past 20 years I've learned to not get overly excited when I hear the "S" word. As more than often the "S" word stands for "Sorry! False Alarm". But I must confess, it still makes me giddy with excitement.

Dog in Bog
Photo by Martin DeGrazia

As a kid living on the hill in Fife, I remember having enough snow that ours was the house where everyone came to be served hot chocolate and tube down our driveway. Then upon moving to Rochester New York in the 6th grade, we experienced one of the worst winters I can remember. Snow that measured in feet not inches for weeks at a time and still we managed to go to school.

I realize there are certainly adverse effects to unwanted snow accumulations, icy roads, power outages and school closures, to name a few. However, I also realize we live in the Pacific Northwest not the Northeast or Midwest.

But I get it, you either like snow or you don't. Personally, I LIKE SNOW!

I like to watch it fall and pile up. I like to watch kids sledding and tobogganing.

"Tobogganing"?...look it up. I like to watch cars spin out because those set on driving profess to be the only ones on the road who "know how to drive in this stuff".

Ronald Bog shelter
Photo by Martin DeGrazia

I of course like to do all of these things from the comfort of my living room with a fire roaring in the fireplace. What I don't particularly like is being the butt of jokes from my friends who are "Townies" from New England or "Upstaters" (residents of New York) for not being able to drive in the snow, but it does come with the territory.

Our lack of consistent yearly snowfall has prevented us from being able to adapt to such conditions. In addition, depending on where you live or work, traversing Seattle's 7 Hills can prove treacherous.

Despite its challenging topography, the fact still remains that some of us here in the Puget Sound really shouldn't be on the road when it snows. Then again, some of us shouldn't be on the road in August either.

In all seriousness, remember that a major snow event like what is forecasted doesn't happen all that often and prepare yourself. Have your Emergency Kit handy. Make sure you have flashlights, batteries and candles. Stock up on food and fill your car's tank with gas. ...Just in case you find yourself having to share the road with the "only guy in Seattle who knows how to drive in this stuff".

Finally, if you have neighbors or family members who may need extra care, now is the perfect time to pay them a visit.


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