Thursday, February 21, 2008

Four To Eight

I pity the local tv weather people. This is a hard area for them to give snowfall predictions. We have the Valley, the “higher els,” not to mention “North of 80” and “South of 80” (why Interstate 80 is the great dividing line for weather we may never know, but it is and you can count on it). We will get practically nothing while, just on the other side of the nearby Rock Cut’s elevation, there could be several inches. South Scranton never got much snow until a hill was cut away for fill to extend the airport’s runway.

“They’re never right!”

Ok, you try it. Tomorrow, the aforementioned weather folk tell us we will be on the receiving end of 4” – 8” of Mother Nature’s best, followed by sleet and other assorted weatherly junk. Four inches where? Eight inches where? Four down here, eight up there? Eight here and who-knows-how-much up there?

It was easier when I lived in the Midwest. There were miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles. No hills, no valleys. True, tornadoes loved all that flat geography and we had them, but it was easy to predict snowfall without having to factor in elevations.

One little problem we had was “lake effect”: The tendency of wind pushing Chicago’s pollution over Lake Michigan’s evaporating water and dropping it as snow right about where we lived. “Tomorrow, we expect about six inches of lake effect.” Or, “Lake effect all this week with a total accumulation of about one inch.”


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