Friday, October 28, 2011

Wacky Weather in New England

With the early snow reports here in Massachusetts I thought it would be appropriate to do a wacky weather recap for New England in the year 2011. It all began last winter with the epic snowstorms of 2010-2011. Almost every Tuesday and Thursday of the winter we got slammed with snow storm after snow storm. I only remember the days of the week because I was glued to the tube wondering if my classes would be cancelled. And yes, they were which meant a few extra hours of sleep for me! I can’t complain. But for the K-12 students deep snow also means staying in school deep into June. My little brother didn't get out for the summer until June 21! December 26-27, 2010 marked the dates of not only our first snow storm for the season, but it was considered a Blizzard. This nor’easter dumped 12”-32” of snow across various regions of the north east. Following close behind was The January 12, 2011 North American Blizzard traveling in the footsteps of its predecessor. The highest amount of snowfall reported was in Savoy, Massachusetts reaching 40.5”! Our entire state was being buried alive! Before this I had never heard of a roof rake before.
These are our buried cars after the first storm.

I thought that the snow would be a permanent fixture and never melt away. This worried me because my best friend was getting married on March 26, 2011 atop a mountain and it was planned to be outside. Fortunately for her and her wedding plans all the snow disappeared just in time for her to exchange her vows with her hubby in her dream location. Not so fortunate for me because as her Maid (Matron sounds awful) of honor I froze my butt off for her in the bitter cold and strong winds that day! Just kidding – well kind of – I would do anything for her!

 All was fine and dandy until June 1st rolled in. There was some small talk in the morning about tornado warnings – really a laughing stalk in our neck of the woods. But the unthinkable happened. Around 4:30 in the afternoon there were reports of tornado touchdowns in the Connecticut River Valley area. In fact, my father was driving home from his job in Connecticut and as he passed through the area the funnel cloud formed right above him. I'm so thankful that he is okay. The areas that were hit the worst were Monson and Sprinfield (just yards away from where my mom works). You can see just from my experiences how everyone in the area was affected. Many were left homeless and the areas were left devastated. Some schools were forced to be shut down for the year due to the damage. The last deadly tornado similar to this one that struck Massachusetts was in 1995.
After this incident, the residents in our state no longer treat the metorologist like the boy who cried wolf. This past year they have been pretty spot on about their predictions. That’s why when word of Hurricane Irene hit our area everyone raided the grocery stores and did everything they possible could do to prep for the storm including shutting down small businesses. A state of emergency was declared across the entire state and people were warned to keep off the roads. While awaiting the hurricane to hit an unexpected surprise occurred. An earthquake that stemmed in Viriginia rumbled the eastern coast causing damage even to the Washington Monument which is closed indefinitely.
This is a picture of the crack in the Washington Monument
 I can’t say that I felt the earth shake but many people in our area did especially those who were in cars or at their homes. Thankfully as hurricane Irene approached Massachusetts it died down to a Tropical Storm. Many thought that Tropical Storm Irene, which hit on August 28, 2011, was overhyped but they should feel blessed for that.

This is Hurricane Irene as it approached the north east.
Even though the winds weren’t as bad as expected, and trees weren’t everywhere, we still had to deal with the after affects of the storm, including lots of flooding in the area. My dziadziu’s (can you tell I’m polish?) whole squash crop was wiped out and ruined.

 This also marked the end of the boating season in our area.
Connecticut River swells morning after Tropical Storm Irene blows through
This at one time was a parking lot.
Connecticut River swells morning after Tropical Storm Irene blows through
This entire road leading to Northampton was flooded.
And that brings us to today, October 28, 2011. This morning, there I was outside scraping my car's windows wishing that the defrost button would work quicker so I could make it to work on time. The snow from last night didn’t stick but we are being warned that we are going to get more snow tomorrow! I can’t believe this, its too early. I am still recovering from last year!

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