A couple of years ago the Weather Channel began naming North American winter storms, much in the same vein as the international weather services have been naming hurricanes for some years now. I guess calling these storms the Great Blizzard of … pick a year, wasn’t working well enough and certainly would have not worked this year. At first I thought that this idea was a little too cute, but it has grown on me and I have come to embrace the whole concept. Giving the storms names helps to raise public awareness of their dangers and hopefully saves lives. Like the tropical storms, the names of the winter storms are rolled-out alphabetically. What with all of the snow that Boston has had dumped on it so far this winter, we are now up to O for Octavia. The Weather Channel’s names are a little bit more esoteric and require more explaining than the more common first names that are used for the summer storms. Octavia was the sister of Augustus Caesar and the wife to Mark Anthony, who eventually ended up dumping her for Cleopatra.
When I first learned that Octavia was coming to town, it came as quite a shock to me. News of her imminent arrival was accompanied with a forecast that she would dump 8” to 10” of snow on Saint Louis. While Boston has been grabbing all of the headlines, what with the many feet of snow that it has been getting, Saint Louis has been on-track to receive its third least amount of snowfall on record for a winter season. So, getting this much snow from one storm would be a big deal. But as so often happens around here, this snow forecast began to sublimate even before Octavia had arrived in town. The numbers for expected accumulation continued to decline steadily and by this morning I awoke to find only an inch or two of snow on the ground. Another inch arrived during the day, but some portions of the Saint Louis area did get the promised 10”, just for me, not so much.
The photo with this post is courtesy of Photofunia, a website that offers free and easy to use pictures that you can personalized using automated Photoshop like techniques. I have used this site before, with pictures of Anne and I. With this photo you just type in your text and it appears in the snow. Being able to add text to a Photofunia picture is a new feature for me. I could have gone out and written this message in the snow by hand, but I had planned on using this photograph even before the storm arrived, having been disappointed by the weather gods so many times before.
Feeling healthy enough to go to work and with no real justification for a snow day, off to work I went. It was cold, in the teens and for all my whining about not getting enough snow, there was plenty of the white stuff to be had on the roads. What were all the snowplow drivers doing all night long, playing pinochle? None of the roads had been ploughed or treated. This combination led to very slippery driving. My slip-sliding-away idiot light kept flashing, indicating that I was not getting any traction, but I already knew that, when at the bottom of the block I slid into a fortunately empty intersection. I took it slow from then on and made it into work safely. There were plenty of not so lucky, wrong-way facing cars along the side of the highway. Work was pretty empty, even the boss was a no-show. The return trip home was fortunately not the white-knuckles commute that I had had on the way into work.