Given the wholly unexpected and never-seen-before weather event of snow in February in upstate New York, I wanted to issue a public service announcement to the region in terms of preparedness for this once-in-a-lifetime event:
Snow cover is a part of the cryosphere, which traces its origins to the Greek word kryos for frost. Snow is precipitation in the form of ice crystals. It originates in clouds when temperatures are below the freezing point (0 degrees Celsius, or 32 degrees Fahrenheit), when water vapor in the atmosphere condenses directly into ice without going through the liquid stage. Once an ice crystal has formed, it absorbs and freezes additional water vapor from the surrounding air, growing into a snow crystal or snow pellet, which then falls to Earth.
Snow: Friend or Foe?
Don’t get fooled by kids frolicking in the snow with their snow balls, sleds and snow angels! Snow can be dangerous!
– Don’t immerse your head in snow as it impedes inhalation and ultimately may be fatal if immersion continues for an extended period. If you find your head immersed in snow, immediately stand up.
– Don’t follow the speed limit. In fact, your speed should be zero as a reminder to other drivers to slow down. Once snow starts to accumulate, you should immediately jump in your car and run useless errands if you satisfy one or more of the following criteria:
1) Your car has poor tread, summer tires or is a bitchin’ Camaro with summer and extra wide tires.
2) You are terrified of driving in snow yet hope to be an inspiration to other terrified drivers
3) You remain steadfast in your belief that climbing steep, snow-covered hills is not a problem as long as you can spin your wheels fast enough.
–Don’t spend even an extra second in the snow at all costs. Sure, it might be fun at first to throw a snowball but it’s literally a downhill slippery slope to feeling some cold and perhaps even a chill! Snow makes you think it’s all fun and games until you realize you just can’t throw one snowball. Soon, it’s two, three and before you know it, you’ve thrown forty or even fifty snowballs! Side effects of snow are chills, sore throwing arms, rosy cheeks and wet gloves and boots.
Just say No to Snow!
Preparing for Snow
Here are the 5 Must-Haves to Weather a Snow Storm
1) AM Radio — How else will you know whose street is not getting plowed or how snow makes streets narrower , not wider, and hence more difficult to travel? Also, stay in tune with how a single snowstorm disproves global warming and how snow takes away your second amendment gun rights.
2) Liquor — A weekday at home with your significant other and possibly your kids makes the stress of snowfall virtually unbearable. Why waste time on quaint outdoor or indoor activities like family time and relaxed conversation when solace can be had two fingers at a time?
3) Local Weathercasts — How will you know what is happening around you unless local newscasters prop themselves on a snowy street, preferably with snow plows cruising by? How will you know what the threat level looks like unless it’s from a teleprompter script? Stay up-to-date with a doppler radar that only a trained metereologist can interpret for you; color coded maps are virtually incomprehensible to a lay person.
4) Facebook — It is almost a statistical certainty that one of your friends will be somewhere warm, tropical and gloat at their fate in life while you bitterly contemplate yours in the meanwhile.
5) Guns– How else will you protect yourself from the elements? I’m not sure who the elements are — a gang, thugs?– or what they look like but whatever group they are, they’d better not lumber onto my snow covered lawn.
Stay in tune with this blog here or on Twitter for a minute-by-minute, snowflake-by-snowflake watch as this snownami-cane touches down.