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Monday, February 15, 2021

Careless Use of the Word 'Storm':
Hunkered Down for the Presidents Holiday We Might have Remained Home Anyway because of Covid-19

Storm after Storm, we are warned that there will be two weeks of one storm followed by another. Meanwhile, some of us have begun hearing the word "storm" as being synonymous with "50/50 chance of some amount of precipitation."

Even as I am writing this, I have just received a new Winter Storm Warning changing the snow arrival from 7 pm Monday evening up to Monday morning (the present!). How's that for high tech forecasting? You might ask me if this has not been the case all along--just a free-for-all definition.... Not so!

The word "storm" still comes up as both a noun and a verb with definitions that set at least generalized if not specific parameters. 
1. a violent disturbance of the atmosphere with strong winds and usually rain, thunder, lightning, or snow.
2. a tumultuous reaction; an uproar or controversy. the book caused a storm in South America" 

What we have been experiencing this winter, in my limited meteorological opinion, has not been unusual and could even be referred to as just a good old fashioned winter. (It snows, it doesn't. It's one inch, it's four inches.) Lately I find the generalized terms more helpful. (Miscellaneous Flurry, Flurries, light snow, medium snow, heavy snow, deep snow, blowing snow.)

As a survivor of the 1970s (Blizzard of '77 and Weeklong Ice Storm), one recalls the problems were escalated by cars being caught on the road during the worst of the events causing snow clearing and downed branches. respectively, to be detrimental to the cause of getting back to normal. 

By the way, this latest Warning tells us that additional information can be had by clicking on the arrow, and guess where that arrow takes us... back to the previous Warning that states the storm begins Monday evening! How sad. In the meantime, I'm staying off the roads.


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