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Street Talk: Mother Nature is fickle

Metro columnist and veteran newsman Dave Warner tackles Philadelphia metropolitan issues.
Streets in Center City were empty the day after a storm forecast to bring up to 14 inCharles Mostoller

Even the dog was OK with Tuesday’s puny storm, and he usually hates snow.

But this snowfall, if you want to call it that, was a paltry 1.2 inches, says the National Weather Service, and the snow didn’t even cover his paws as he dashed out for… well, you know.

This situation – with the snow, not the dog – prompted, we hear, an outcry of “We wuz cheated,” from those who thought Tuesday would just be a dandy day to stay in our PJ’s most of the day and watch movies on TV.

And some of you did. Like the schools, closed everywhere in the face of what promised to be a calamitous event, could hardly undo their closing announcements when the unbearable truth became known – that is, there was really very little snow.

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Students could thus be on the sofa with an algebra book, while teachers buffed their lesson plans. We made that up.

There are actual facts to back up the palpable sense of being cheated, because many of you were dragged to work late. SEPTA tells us this.

The normal transit rush hour here is from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Tuesday, however, the rush was from 8 to 10 a.m. after you were dragged off the sofa by a call from your boss, only to learn that Regional Rail was on a weekend schedule.

But you were good workers.

“We had trains that were full, and packed,” said SEPTA spokesperson Jerri Williams. Every other form of transit was on a normal weekday schedule, but train crews are apparently not so quickly recalled.

So you probably want to know what happened, why you had to leap off the sofa, why you had to wait for a weekend kind of train, and why you ended up at work even when you didn’t want to.

For this, we turn to the weather service, namely Kristin Kline, a meteorologist who understands these things.

OK, she concedes that for much of the day on Monday they were thinking we’d get 6 to 10 inches, which might, after all, have been enough to remain on the sofa.

But late Monday night, she explained, the lousy low pressure area that could have caused The Blizzard of The Week turned eastward. Which is to say, out to sea. Way out to sea. Like 90 miles out to sea.

“It just didn’t work out for us,” she said of the storm, as though we were looking forward to it.

We here in Philadelphia did not take this in the humorous stride as some in New York City, which bore pretty much the same fate as we did.

The Twittersphere, for instance showed a couple of pieces of meteorological wit during the day Tuesday.

One, a picture of barren asphalt on a New York street, bore the words, “Pray for NYC.” Another, also showing a barren street, announced, “NYC blizzard 2015 – we will rebuild.”

Kind of flaky, huh?

Metro columnist and veteran newsman Dave Warner tackles Philadelphia metropolitan issues in his weekly column. Email Dave at EditExpress@verizon.net.

 
 
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