Right now Syracuse is under a wind advisory, because of a storm moving in from the Midwest. This storm is going to dump snow on us this weekend that should last until Christmas, which makes me happy. We haven’t really had any snow to speak of yet this season, just a couple of fairly light falls in November; it’s depressing. Snow is welcome here.
Wind, not quite so much. I’m pretty sure the tree maintenance in our neighborhood is poor, because when it gets very windy we often lose power. I was certain we were going to lose power when Sandy ripped up through here, only Sandy threw us a curve by not delivering the sustained winds and gusts we were promised—and I was quite fine with that.
But here’s the thing: When I first looked up the wind advisory, the Weather Channel had a headline that said “Winter Storm Draco Pounding Midwest”.
Winter Storm what? What kind of pansy crap is that? When in the frell did we start naming winter storms?
This. Is. Syracuse! When I grew up our school district used to regularly grumble about possibly having to tack days onto the end of the year (like that makes any difference) because they never scheduled enough snow days. And “snow day” meant several feet of lake effect snow that our stalwart fleets of plows couldn’t clear fast enough for the buses to run; it meant you could spend all day building snow caves in your yard. Caves.
I know that when the South gets a quarter inch dusting, the streets empty out like the apocalypse just happened. Maybe there’s no need there to buy all-season radials and they don’t maintain plows or salt trucks for the occasion, but I’m still justified in calling “wuss”. Snow happens. Sometimes, it even happens in Georgia or Texas. And it’s not scary—not if you know how to drive in it.
I’ve been in scary snow situations before. I’ve driven through bands of lake effect in the dark on a two-lane highway when the roads were slick and hadn’t been plowed for hours, passed by semis going above the legal limit while I was going 10 MPH below because I’m not an idiot, losing what little visibility I had when those same semis sent up a cloud of spray in their wake. I’ve seen the roads go from very bad to Very Much Worse in the space of a (normally) 40-minute drive, and on one such occasion saw a car do a 180, crossing from the far left lane, sliding right in front of me, and landing the right shoulder, while we were doing 30 in a 65. White knuckle moments, all. And yet there are drivers who can’t hack a snowfall we’d laugh off in October.
We’ve had winter storms. The winter storms that get names earn ones like the Blizzard of ’66, which my parents both experienced and dwarfed anything seen in this area in my lifetime, the Ice Storm of ’91, or the Blizzard of ’93 which hit most of the eastern US. In the Blizzard of ’93 my sister and I were snowed in on a church retreat in the Adirondacks, and on our first night there, people were jumping out of 2nd story windows into enormous snowdrifts. It was a weekend storm, so after the plows ran around the clock we were snowed in a grand total of one extra day. We know snow in upstate New York.
So if a storm doesn’t even deserve a name like that, it definitely doesn’t deserve to be treated like a hurricane and given special naming privileges. I’m sure this storm will cause some problems and leave a little damage in its wake; winter storms are like that. Heck, all storms are like that. But it shouldn’t get a name just because it happened. That crap is for lightweights.