Snowzilla 2016

The forecasters did label it historic, after all.

On Wednesday January 20, 2016, weather forecasters issued a blizzard watch for the Washington, DC, area. The following day, the notice was upgraded to a blizzard warning. The National Weather Service has named the event ‘Winter Storm Jonas”; Washington Post meteorologists have named it “Snowzilla.” For me, Snowzilla it is. Seriously, does the name “Jonas” inspire fear and awe?

Anywhere from 1.5 to 2 feet of snow was predicted. Mass transit is shutting down for the weekend. There’s a run on grocery and hardware stores — even Washington City Paper reported that a local Trader Joes had sold out of all its veggie flaxseed tortilla chips. Pepco, the electric company, announced that we could be spending days in a pre-electric living history museum.

Clearly, this is the BIG ONE. Besides staging firewood and all the necessary supplies (except the flaxseed anythings) to cope with the storm, I’ll be documenting the event as it unfolds. So sit back, grab something to eat and drink, and watch the end of the world from the comfort of your browser window.

Friday (1/22/2016) morning, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

A woman carrying two snow shovels and ice melter walks along Fenton Street in Silver Spring, Md.

A woman carrying two snow shovels and ice melter walks along Fenton Street in Silver Spring, Md.

Closing quickly on the woman above, this man is carrying ice melter and only one snow shovel.

Closing quickly on the woman above, this man is carrying ice melter and only one snow shovel.

Everyone in line at the Strosnider's hardware store in Silver Spring had a snow shovel. The checkout line snaked around the entire store interior.

Everyone in line at the Strosnider’s hardware store in Silver Spring had a snow shovel. The checkout line snaked around the entire store interior.

The Safeway at Four Corners in Silver Spring was likewise mobbed. I didn't go looking for the flaxseed products, but the store was prepared with extra pallets of bread parked in the back aisles.

The Safeway at Four Corners in Silver Spring was likewise mobbed. I didn’t go looking for the flaxseed products, but the store was prepared with extra pallets of bread parked in the back aisles.

Friday (1/22/2016) morning, 11:15 a.m.

We live about one mile north of the Capital Beltway in Silver Spring, Md. — right in the storm’s bullseye. I mounted a scale bar in the front yard marked at 6-inch intervals to measure the snowfall over the next 48 hours. Gotta put those fancy archaeology skills to use somehow.

Scale bar before the snowfall. Alternating black bands at 6-inch intervals.

Scale bar before the snowfall. Alternating black bands at 6-inch intervals.

Friday (1/22/2016) afternoon, 1:04 p.m.

The snow has arrived.

Friday (1/22/2016) afternoon, 2:34 p.m.

The snow is sticking and increasing in intensity.

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90 minutes into Snowzilla.

Friday (1/22/2016) afternoon, 4:24 p.m.

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Friday (1/22/2016) evening, 6:04 p.m.

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Let the light show begin!

Friday (1/22/2016) evening, 8:54 p.m.

After a brief lull, the snow machine has resumed.

Not much accumulation over the past couple of hours due to a lull. Things are picking up again.

Not much accumulation over the past couple of hours due to a lull. Things are picking up again.

Looks like a little less than six inches accumulation.

Looks like a little less than six inches accumulation.

Saturday (1/23/2016) morning, 7:20 a.m.

Awoke to a completely white landscape. Snow accumulation about 18 inches. The first order of business was shoveling a walkway and space in the backyard for the basset hound — a very LOW-slung dog — to get outside to take care of business.

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And how did Brix handle his first exposure to accumulated snow?

See for yourself:

 

Snow scale at 7:20 a.m. Saturday morning.

Snow scale at 7:20 a.m. Saturday morning.

The view up the street as seen from our porch.

The view up the street as seen from our porch.

Saturday (1/23/2016) morning, 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

First shoveling pass, from the garage through the driveway and up to the front door. Though the snow’s still coming, getting a start on shoveling now is going to make tomorrow and Monday a whole lot easier.

View to driveway from garage with door still closed.

View to driveway from garage with door still closed.

The view with the garage door open.

The view with the garage door open.

Front steps before shoveling.

Front steps before shoveling.

Front steps during shoveling.

Front steps during shoveling.

Porch before shoveling.

Porch before shoveling.

Front porch after shoveling.

Front porch after shoveling.

Laura & Brix managing the shoveling job.

Laura & Brix managing the shoveling job.

Snow scale at 10:00 a.m. Saturday.

Snow scale at 10:00 a.m. Saturday.

Sunday (1/24/2016) morning, 8:00 to 11:00 a.m.: The End

Fortified by coffee and the need to shake cabin fever, I began the big dig by clearing out the fire hydrant across the street. And then I began digging us out.

Final statistics: Two feet of snow, zero minutes without power.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

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At least it's scenic.

At least it’s scenic.

View from the garage, before shoveling.

View from the garage, before shoveling.

View from the fire hydrant across the street.

View from the fire hydrant across the street.

Dug and Done.

Dug and Done.

Mid-day Sunday.

Mid-day Sunday.

 

© 2016 D.S. Rotenstein