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JUNO: The NYC Blizzard That Wasn’t

Finally, snow in NYC. I was anxious to capture with my iPhone, from the 28th floor, the white stuff falling, with majestic midtown south and The Empire State Building as the backdrop. Last Friday and Saturday it looked like another #CanuckInNYC top wish list item was going to materialize. Mike, who was scheduled to be in Washington this Tuesday,  today in fact, was keeping a close eye on the weather forecast. We Canadians are faithful weather watchers. In Ottawa, we experience weather extremes, so being apprised of the current and forecast weather is paramount to achieve the best clothing comfort. Looking out the window and seeing brilliant sunshine is not going to cut it. We can have brilliant sunshine in -28C or +28C temperatures, but our footwear and outerwear will be greatly affected by those temperatures which include wind chill, as well as humidity.

A storm, a BIG storm was heading to the New England States on Monday. Mike’s travel plans quickly changed on Sunday from leaving via air on Tuesday morning to leaving via train late Monday afternoon. A friend, scheduled to travel to NYC from Texas on Monday, reported his flight cancellation late Sunday afternoon. In fact all flights were to be cancelled. However, nary a flake was in sight. I was going to order groceries to be delivered on Tuesday or Wednesday, but decided to have them delivered Monday morning. The meteorological storm tracking maps indicated that NYC would likely be deluged with up to 3 feet of snow…a NYC record. Setting weather records is huge, especially for CNN.

I woke yesterday morning to this view.

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By mid-morning, the ‘mega storm’, ‘snowpocalypse’, ‘snowmageddon’ had an official storm name,  JUNO. We were being advised to stock up on necessary supplies…food, water, drink! I was thankful my groceries arrived early in the morning as requested.

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As the day progressed, I felt it my duty to keep my FB and IG friends informed of the impending peril. The forecasted blizzard was going to be a doozy!

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Early afternoon looking east from W48th at the intersection of 5th Ave. Scant snowfall is seeen on rooftops, and traffic is still proceeding, but perhaps at a reduced pace. It is announced that schools will be closed Tuesday. There has been an onslaught of advice from every network for New Yorkers to make their way home sooner than later as there will be an enforced transportation ban on all streets later in the evening and public transit will be shutdown.

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The Empire State Build, my nightly beacon, is gradually fading due to increasing precipitation. We are told that the ‘massive snowfall’ is due to occur overnight. We should be prepared for wide spread power outages. Hundreds of thousands of us could be without power … for several days. YIKES.  I live on the 28th floor . No power=no elevator. Plan B is quickly formed…If I’m stuck up here, I can still work on my floor plans and knit during daylight hours. I have 7 battery operated candles, lots of food, but I should get more water, peanuts, a chocolate bar and S&V chips … just in case.

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Late afternoon I got requests for more photos. I had not noticed that my beacon had disappeared. I could barely tear myself away from CNN and the other networks…the updates from Mayor de Blasio (I like him), Governor Cuomo and city workers were mesmerizing. Juno was going to be MASSIVE, MEGA, UNPRECEDENTED, RECORD BREAKING. We were encouraged to not be fooled by the lack of snow, the winds were picking up, some areas beyond city limits were experiencing whiteouts. Get yourselves home before the enforced vehicle ban. Only emergency crews and some reporters would be allowed on the roads.  Snow cleanup will be expedited and normalcy will return if roads  and crews are not hindered.

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By 9pm my beacon is lit and no longer hidden. Phew. I needed a break from the repetitive news reports. I turned off the networks and watched Downton Abbey for a few hours. It became apparent to me when I switched back to the networks for a brief blizzard update, that Juno was NOT going to whop Manhattan, in fact the city had been spared that particular wrath of Momma Nature. Instead of up to 30″, we would see an accumulation of 6 or 7″.  A new snowfall  record would have to wait. But what I noticed was the storm sensationalism was still very much intact. There was palpable, yet disguised disappointment that the headline for tomorrow was not going to be that Juno brought record breaking snow to NYC. Instead of reporting the newest and most updated weather forecast with the same fervour previously used, the sensationalism was transferred to the fact that the streets of NYC were basically barren….almost never seen before. It was comical how the CNN reporters who had played such a role in Juno  blizzard hype, were now back peddling to keep the story, albeit a different, yet connected story, from dying too swiftly.

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Early this morning after Juno. Snow covered, empty streets. I may never have another opportunity to be present when the invariable cacophony of NYC does not exist.

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I’m actually not certain how much white stuff made it’s way to NYC yesterday. It was certainly a minuscule amount compared to the forecast amount. Today, I’ve seen relief and disappointment and a touch of outrage that the predicted amount of snowfall was subpar. From my perspective, the meteorologists did their job with 100% honesty and integrity. They analyzed the data collected. I have no idea how they do that. They are smart people, they are experts….they are not infallible. Since Saturday, the data has been continually updated and presented to other intelligent people who then decided how to react to the data. Given the facts, I completely agree with the measures taken by the Mayor and Governor. Far better to prepare for the worst scenario, than have no preparedness plan in effect. How did the experts get is so wrong?  They didn’t. Facts are not perennial. The wind changed and NYC was spared the brunt of Juno’s wrath. However, up to 30 miles to the east of NYC, Juno has made her presence known. It is yet to be determined if a record has been set.

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2 Comments

  1. January 27, 2015

    Love your perspective Mo! And have to agree – meteorology is NOT an exact science.

  2. January 27, 2015

    Thanks for reading and commenting Donna. I wish I had the opportunity to take big snowflake pics in front of ESB.

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