March weather: lamb, lion on successive days

More than half of my co-workers had enough common sense to stay home.

The principal at my wife’s school said on Monday that the Friday after-school event would take place IF the always-variable March weather cooperated. My wife and I thought this was most curious, as The Weather Channel forecast was showing rain on Friday, maybe a little mixed precipitation in Albany.

And on Wednesday, when it was in the 60s F (middle teens C), and I got to ride my bike to work, it was difficult to imagine that there could be a snow day on Friday. But there was.

When the highway signs offered up a Winter Storm Warning on Thursday, I took notice. Still, the hourly forecast for Friday suggested a rain/snow mix in a.m., then snow from 2-4 p.m.

While I was merely surprised at the snow event, people I knew were really grumpy, not just about the amount – nearly a foot of heavy, wet, heart attack snow in Albany – but the unpredictability of it.

Meteorologists around here said that it was a very tough forecast, with models “showing a wide range of outcomes — from mixed precipitation to steady snow… [They] anticipated [downsloping] winds from the Berkshires would stymie the amount of snow in the valley and the recently warm temperatures would keep snow from sticking early on, but that didn’t come to pass.”

Weather folks DO say that they love predicting weather in this region. Who wants to work in San Diego and say “sunny and 72” every day?

“The storm hit the western reaches of the Capital Region hardest, as Richmondville in Schoharie County was buried under 37.5 inches of snow. In the town of Knox, in Albany County’s Helderbergs, 24.5 inches fell.” And the winds and surf pounded southern New England.

The wind in Albany was ferocious, especially on my way to work. Standing in a median, I almost got blown over, no mean feat, and I got splashed by the slushy snow all over my pants. More than half of my co-workers had enough common sense to stay home.

The snow and wind knocked down a ten-foot branch in the backyard so large that my very strong daughter could not move it.

BTW, I shoveled before I went to work – packing snow that wasn’t TOO bad – and when I got home, slushy stuff that was exhausting to move.

In Albany, a most peculiar thing. On Friday afternoon, a SNOW EMERGENCY was announced for Saturday at 8:00 A.M.. It’s usually called for 8 P.M. At that time, all normal parking rules and regulations are temporarily suspended, and they plow the odd-side of the street parking.

Then about 24 hours later, the emergency was concluded, a day early. I suspect that the change was going to catch so many people unaware that the city would have to tow a LOT of cars, which would have been a PR nightmare.

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