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Monday, December 21

Winter? Ha!

Written by: Stacey Pensgen

Winter officially arrives tonight, but as most of you know, winter is really nowhere to be found. Wait, that's not true. Winter has been hanging out in the Rockies, Plains and Upper Midwest. Winter is nowhere to be found in the Northeast. In fact, it's looking like December will go down in both the temperature and snowfall books, for a LACK of December-ish weather.

The temperatures: We've smashed record high temperatures this month, and it looks like we'll do it again Christmas Eve, with highs forecasted in the low, likely even mid 60s. Old record is 59°. Not only that, but with about 10 days left in the month, we are over 10° above our average monthly temperature, and over 3° warmer than the WARMEST December recorded in Rochester:



The snow: We did get our first measurable snowfall in November - a whopping 1.2" total. Since then - nada, zip, zilch, or close to it. Officially in the month of December (at the airport): a "trace" of snow. Through Christmas, we have just about zero chance of snow. After Christmas, we will "cool" down a bit (40s, all rain), and early next week it looks like we have another western tracking storm, which means another surge of mild air and rain. If we don't want to go down in the record books as this being the December without snow, it looks like we'll need some moisture with a bit of cold air that may try to make its way in around New Year's Eve. May. 


I'm not giving up hope on a winter-less winter. At all. In talking, Scott mentioned that he could see winter returning later in January or February. Personally, I just think Scott has the power to hold off winter until he gets back, so he can enjoy forecasting it :)

108 comments:

  1. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 21, 2015 at 7:14 PM

    Still looks like everything going as predicted...AO trending negative towards neutral...signs of Polar Vortex getting shaken a bit by warming events high in the sky...El Nino weakening a bit...I say we are looking at least seasonable winter weather with snow around MLK Jr. Day.

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  2. Wow, If winter does not come until later January or February winter will be over. We will be lucky if he hit anywhere near 50". This could be a winter-no winter to remember.

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  3. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 21, 2015 at 9:08 PM

    Well, from January 20 - March 15 is still about eight weeks long...what is normal? 12? Better than nothing.

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  4. The horror will be if winter continues through April and May.

    FWIW AccuWeather is showing more winter like conditions around 1/2.

    ReplyDelete
  5. https://twitter.com/DonPaul4weather/status/679136142227296257

    "There are more and more indications that after 2 weeks from now the pattern will flip to quite a bit more wintry. I'll keep you updated"

    This probably goes without saying given my recent posts but I'm siding with Don on this one...the west ridge/east trough signal for early January has been in the ensembles very consistently over the past several days. It's not an ideal winter pattern, and probably not sustainable in my view, but I don't think we'll still be yearning for a nudge out of the snowfall starting gate when winter is half over. Judah Cohen is in the same boat per his latest assessment on AER's website. Speaking of Cohen, he seems to have removed all doubt that the PV will eventually weaken enough to cause a negative AO with time, and is now almost certain that such a thing will occur. That's how we'll eventually get our sustained winter pattern barring some miraculous change in the big picture. Maybe a more sustained winter pattern is what Scott was referring to in the first place. Or more likely, his new heart came from a wizard and gave him the power to control the atmosphere as Stacey suggested, and the models haven't been upgraded to account for it yet. I'll be sure to give Bill Destler a heads up that his RIT weather machine now has a competitor.

    You know, that might actually make a decent movie plot. A meteorologist down on his luck receives a heart transplant, and the heart happens to come from a wizard, so the meteorologist gains the power to control weather patterns and becomes the perfect forecaster in the eyes of many. But a secret government entity hellbent on controlling the atmosphere themselves discovers this and seeks to annihilate him by any means necessary. Meanwhile the meteorologist must learn to control his powers and use them responsibly, otherwise the entire global ecosystem risks being thrown into chaos and disrepair. The government entity reveals that they view him as extremely dangerous for this very reason, but can they really be trusted with atmosphere-controlling abilities more than him? To be continued...

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    Replies
    1. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 22, 2015 at 6:44 AM

      Ummmmmmm....time for bed.

      Delete
    2. This is what weather geeks do at 3:01 in the morning... :)

      Bravo. I love the movie plot.

      Delete
    3. More like this is what the weather geeks do after being saddled with helping friends move out of their apartment much longer than expected -_-

      Delete
  6. We can say that this weather for December has never happened before. It will be the warmest and least snowiest December in Rochester's recorded history.

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  7. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 22, 2015 at 6:41 AM

    At this point, I would like to remind everyone of my prediction that SnowDog will proclaim the death of winter as of 12/31 and the funeral procession will be on New Year's Eve.

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  8. Two weeks will come and you can bet we will hear the pattern will change in another two weeks. So on and so on until winter season will be over with a record 35 inches of snow. Mark it down!!

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  9. Remember when we heard the pattern was going to change around mid December? Get ready the change will be here in May.

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    Replies
    1. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 22, 2015 at 8:41 PM

      Ummm, I don't think anyone said that about this December. Ever. Unless you are referring to the 36 hour temp drop last weekend that was always advertised as temporary...

      Delete
  10. Scott tweeted, on track for First snowless Dec in at least 140 years.

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  11. Sorry Folks, Winter has officially been cancelled!!!
    Any precip will be falling as ALL RAIN!!!
    NBD on this one folks...

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  12. It must be bad, the Blizzard guy has not been posting?!?!
    Ray Georgiano

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  13. Maybe some snow for New years??? The cold will be fleeting though. Only last a few days at best.

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    Replies
    1. How do you figure fleeting? Most of the long range I've seen show a trend toward colder starting later next week. While still above average, it's trending colder during the day and evenings in the 20's instead of 30's and 40's.

      Delete
  14. In a year of what seems to be extremes..I'd be cautious of proclaiming anything. 40 inches of snow in March would have people wimpering even if winter didn't start until the end of January.

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  15. KW is actually admitting no snow until after the New Year.

    But wait two weeks, he says... or at least in the middle of January... THEN the pattern might just shift...

    just wait two weeks...

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  16. The call from most for the middle of this month was that there would be a brief intrusion of seasonable air. What did we end up getting? A brief intrusion of seasonable air. The wholesale flip crowd was set to lose that one from the very beginning with an extremely hostile base state pattern still raging on. They actually have a bit more of a leg to stand on this time with that pattern still on course to steadily relax over time.

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  17. Part of me wonders if that cold high scooting through Canada ahead of the system early next week can assert itself strongly enough to save us from a snowless December. The recent model trend has been for a slightly colder outcome and these setups can sometimes produce a few hours of wintry precip before a changeover. It seems like a long shot, but just maybe...

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  18. From NWS Binghamton, good overview of what may occur in early January:

    https://www.facebook.com/NWSBinghamton/videos/1035431629852814/?theater

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  19. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 23, 2015 at 6:46 AM

    Consensus under construction...
    http://www.ilsnow.com/2015/12/22/winds-of-change/?mc_cid=38cf085b29&mc_eid=08c68e3151

    ReplyDelete
  20. Chris/CCCC, thanks for sharing that info. FWIW AccuWeather extended has been consistently forecasting the cool down around 1/1 or 1/2. Not normal cold, but definitely much colder than its been and cold enough to snow with nights in the low to mid 20's. Lets hope.

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  21. Am I wrong in saying the latest model runs show temperatures colder for next for the end of the weekend and the storm coming? I am concerned about possible significant ice? I hope I am wrong with that and rather see rain than freezing rain.

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  22. It has started to look interesting for Sunday/Monday timeframe on the recent model runs. I think interesting in snow not ice maybe CCCC and Chris could share their thoughts.

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    Replies
    1. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 23, 2015 at 4:36 PM

      I am more of the self-appointed climatologist/long-term trend outlooker on the site...I don't get into the specifics of upcoming events until they are on the doorstep.

      Delete
  23. The NWS is not saying anything about snow potential. They say rain with maybe a brief period of snow showers mixed in.

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  24. From KW:

    Models have been upping the ante for a mixed precip event in NYS Monday night/Tuesday. Not sure yet how much, if any of that, reaches #ROC.

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  25. I've been looking forward to being able to pull this thing out of the drawer:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krD4hdGvGHM

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    Replies
    1. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 23, 2015 at 4:37 PM

      Yes. Things are becoming interesting indeed.

      Delete
    2. Chris what do you mean?

      Delete
    3. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 23, 2015 at 7:41 PM

      I was referring to C4's video. Yes, the weather is going to get very interesting in the next few weeks. The consensus has been fleeting for days, but now is solid, out of nowhere. I love it.

      Delete
  26. Can not open that link CCCC what is it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just Arte Johnson's famous line from Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. You can just copy and paste the link into your browser to see it.

      Delete
  27. Replies
    1. 0z and 12z GFS always more reliable than the other 2 runs. Wait until tonight and tomorrow at 10:30 before giving up on Arte Johnson.

      Delete
    2. I'm not giving up or cashing the check at this point.

      Delete
  28. KW just said wintry weather may be in Rochester's future?

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  29. It really does not look like a big deal for Monday night/Tuesday. It may start with a little wintry mix but then turn to rain. Back into the 40's near 50 by Thursday.

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  30. You are right Snowdog the latest GFS shows NBD it is a weak system with very little cold air.

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  31. Actually the Wunderground and AccuWeather forecasts have backed off of upper 40's and 50's next Weds/Thurs and now both are showing temps in the 30's. Also Don Paul tweeted that a pattern change is finally within his 7 day fcst.

    Looks like things are starting to happen as planned.

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  32. The latest Canadian model gives us a nice storm but that is not really all that reliable.

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    Replies
    1. What's interesting is that the Canadian had previously been warmer than the GFS, but now appears to be colder. Meanwhile the Euro has been steadily trending colder...we'll see if that continues for 00z.

      Delete
  33. 1. We won't be anywhere close to 50 by next Thursday.
    2. There was never much cold air to work with for next week's system, only enough to *maybe* save us from a snowless December. Even the cold sector of the low is rather marginal for snow. None of this rules out getting more snow than the minimal requirement for measurable.
    3. If you're rooting for a wintrier outcome then you actually want a weaker storm. That would limit the degree of warm advection and thus delay the changeover to rain. That doesn't account for the placement of the cold Canadian high, which is at least equally important if not more so.
    4. The 00z GFS is actually a slight improvement from 18z regarding frozen vs liquid.

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  34. What a beautiful summer morning. LOL. Wow. Took my dog for a walk in shorts and a t-shirt. Amazing.

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  35. I think I just heard a lawnmower go by. On Christmas Eve. In upstate NY. That's just utterly astonishing.

    Time to visit the family...I'll be back in a few days.

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    Replies
    1. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 24, 2015 at 11:32 AM

      Safe travels. I am going for a snowmo....errr, motorcycle ride. On Christmas Eve.

      Delete
  36. Guys any updates before you leave on next week?

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  37. I think we need to wait a few more days and take a look at CIPS analogs, at least there's something to watch besides lawnmowers going by...

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  38. This will be NBD with maybe just a little slop.

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  39. Looking more and more like an accumulating snow Tuesday according to GFS and Canandian models.

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  40. Wait til we get some arctic air over 50 degree lake water. It's going to be dyno-MITE!

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  41. The NWS states most likely s snow event East of lake Ontario but a mix to rain here.

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  42. The trend is our friend if you look forward to more winter like weather.

    Merry Christmas!

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  43. 12z GFS not good for snow lovers. The trend went backwards and more rain could be in the cards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not talking about early week. The trend for the next 15 days is progressively colder.

      Delete
  44. The flip is coming.

    ReplyDelete
  45. All rain according to the most recent GFS and Euro runs. The LP is way west of us and that is a big change from how it was trending yesterday.So no snow record in December looking safe oh well.

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    Replies
    1. Because that was the final solution.

      Delete
  46. I am ok with that. I would like to break the record for no snow in December at this point. It does look like mostly rain right now but that will change again. We know they flip flop all the time. You cannot go run to run.

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    Replies
    1. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 25, 2015 at 2:32 PM

      Weenies live and die on model runs.

      Delete
  47. Buffalo NWS forecast discussion states Monday night-Tuesday morning should be watched very closely for the possibility of a significant winter storm. The biggest concern for western ny is currently the threat of a significant icing event. The weather is getting ready to become interesting again.

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  48. I just heard channel 9 state a little while ago that it does not look like that any more. and that it will be more of a rain event.

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  49. Be careful of an ice storm with this one.

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  50. You know there is nothing coming when KW just tweets an hour ago Merry Christmas and nothing else. He already tweeted that earlier so models must be showing rain.

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  51. To me this is what it looks like. A quick shot of snow to start with minimal accumulation. A quick transition to sleet and freezing rain for a small time before going quickly to all rain. With the low moving well to our west the warm air will win over fairly quickly keeping us from major icing.

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  52. You are right Snowdog this is NBD.

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  53. This is no big deal. the big deal is the pattern is changing. Winter is on its way1

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  54. Keep hoping for that pattern change it may come by March.

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  55. Starting 1/1 and beyond, we will see more winter like temps. The trend is a winter lovers friend.

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  56. I still say Monday/Tuesday has to be monitored for ice conditions. These storms are tricky.

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  57. There is definitely an ice concern with this system, and in fact the wording in the NWS discussion seemed rather ominous when referencing the concern. You're driving a large amount of moisture into a shallow subfreezing airmass, that just reeks of significant ice potential should the cold air not get scoured out quickly enough. In any event this system should be enough to save us from a truly snowless December, if only by the skin of our teeth. We're still good to go for changes in January, although the start of the month regarding snow looks like primarily clippers and lake effect. I'm sure most snowlovers here will take that over the current nothing and nothing effect however. And as for the longer range, well...

    http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs-ens/2015122612/gfs-ens_Tz10_nhem_33.png
    http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gem-ens/2015122612/gem-ens_Tz10_nhem_33.png

    ...you decide for yourself ;)

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  58. Well our local mets do not seem to concerned about an ice situation. They have not said a word.

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  59. I'm not entirely sold on significant ice myself, just saying it's a legitimate concern. I also should've mentioned that if the deeper cold air can hold on long enough then we'll get more snow/sleet and less freezing rain.

    Meanwhile it appears to be snowing very lightly at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, TX. What a bizarre winter so far...

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  60. CCCC is there a time frame where the mets will have a good handle on what we will get? I remember the iced storm in I believe 06 when we went to bed not expecting the amount of ice we woke up with. It was bad and not predicted.

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    Replies
    1. Tomorrow evening is probably when we can start to lock things in.

      Delete
  61. Every time I hear freezing rain I have flashbacks to the ice storm of March 91. Nothing will ever compare... Hopefully.

    Hopefully this stays more snow and sleet.

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  62. This won't be another March 91. Also the greatest ice threat appears to be south of the Thruway for now.

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  63. See my post 10:07 last night.

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  64. 18z GFS is NBD for our area Albany gets pretty good snow.

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  65. Per Channel 10:

    Big snow for #WNY by Tue? No. But snow hounds can head to 'Dacks & New England with those new skis. 6-12" by Tue AM.

    We will be lucky to see a slushy inch.

    It will definitely get progressively colder, but no storms on the horizon and lake effect will be confined to standard snow belts east of the lakes.

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  66. Good ol' Snowdog always finding the turd in the flower patch :P

    Both the GEFS and GEPS means depict some NW flow for a time, so I strongly doubt that all of the lake snow will be confined to the snowbelts. As for early next week, I'd be happy to escape December with just the bare minimum for measurable snow. The only thing worse than watching your team get routed is watching them get shut out in the process. By the way, the 18z GFS has more snow for us than 12z.

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  67. 2ft below normal in snowfall and counting. This rain is annoying.

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    Replies
    1. Not as annoying as hearing about it constantly.

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  68. TWC says 5-8 inches of snow and ice for tomorrow night.

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  69. All rain tomorrow night and Tuesday. Nothing worse than rain in the winter.

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  70. Just keep an eye for big LES at the end of next week. Some areas may get blasted and the metro may not be excluded this time.

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  71. Wunderground saying 5 to 8 inches of snow and freezing rain tomorrow night. That would not be NBD but local mets not saying much.

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  72. As some have been predicting, regardless of what happens with this next storm, more winter like temps are coming later in the week and appear to be here to stay.

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  73. Obviously NBD tomorrow bc not one met has said a word and the great CCCC has been quiet.

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  74. Just end the shutout, that's all I ask. 5-8 inches of snow seems way overdone BTW...try maybe an inch if that.

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  75. This just in: the CFS has finally gotten a clue and is beginning to cave towards a colder January. Surprise level: zero.

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  76. WWA issued for Monday night and Tuesday. The change is on the way.

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    Replies
    1. That is for all the southern tier counties not Monroe.

      Delete
  77. To clarify further, the WWA was issued by BGM for their entire CWA including Syracuse. I would expect BUF to follow suit with their afternoon update package.

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  78. There it is...WWA for Monroe, Wayne, Ontario and northern Cayuga counties. Up to 2 inches of snow and a quarter inch of ice.

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  79. WWA ISSUED for all of nys now. Trend is our friend.

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  80. Better than nothing!!!

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  81. The saving grace is that most of the wintry precipitation will occur between the evening and morning commutes. If this thing was either 8 hours slower or 5 hours faster then it would turn into a pretty big headache. Doesn't take much to cause a rash of accidents especially when we aren't fully adjusted to winter driving yet. It looks like the snow will start between 8pm and 9pm tomorrow, when people will still be out and about. We're going to have at least some minor issues.

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    Replies
    1. Just like last year. You are going to Baghdad Bob it and say winter isn't happening even as it rages outside your window. lol

      Delete
  82. If you enjoy cold and snow, the following is going to read like an erotic novel:

    http://www.lightinthestorm.com/archives/972

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    Replies
    1. Beautiful. All I can say is bring it on.

      Delete
    2. Bring what on Snowdog?

      Delete
  83. Keep an eye on this storm tomorrow night and Tuesday because icing worries me.

    ReplyDelete

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