Monday, February 13, 2006

You Don't Need a Weatherman to Tell . . .

When is a blizzard not a blizzard?

When the weatherman says it isn't.

Incredibly, that seems to be the case with the Great Blizzard . . . uh, Snowstorm of '06 in New York City, where a record 26.9 inches of the white stuff was measured in Central Park over the weekend. (By contrast, Kiko's House got a paltry 13 inches.)

A blizzard must meet the following criteria: Winds of at least 35 miles an hour for three consecutive hours and visibility of less than a quarter mile. That was so in neighboring Long Island, Connecticut and North Jersey, but not in Gotham itself, where the winds were not high and/or sustained enough to pass muster.

Yours truly has been through blizzards in 1993, 1995 and 2003, all of which dumped 30 or more inches, and is a bit of a student of meteorology. So I was surprised that the 26.9 inch accumulation was a record for New York City.

What about the Great Blizzard of 1888, I asked?

Also known as The Great White Hurricane, this humdinger paralyzed the East Coast, isolated New York from the rest of the world for days and took 400 lives. We'll, it mught have been the most notorious snowstorm in American history, but it was a lightweight at a mere 21 inches.

1 comment:

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