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Remarkable BLIZZARD story


Jeb
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I think I posted this on S2K back in the winter of 2003-2004, then placed it on my Storm Trackers website on Tripod.

 

As of Sept 23 2005 at 1am I am thinking of moving that Tripod Storm Trackers website over to jebwalk.com.

 

 

 

First off I need to admit that I know NADA about weather. That's what happens when you live like me, living entirely off emotions and music. I know NADA about weather. Most of your children know more about synoptics than I will learn in the next 40 years......IF I live that long LOL!

 

That said, try not to laugh too hard at my "rendition" of a fictitious snow event here in the Mid Atlantic region. After all, all I really care about is walking around looking at snow drifts while blasting all kinds of music at full blast on my CD headphones. LOL.

 

YOU ASKED FOR THIS..........

 

In mid December, an arctic airmass slammed into the east. Temps ahead of the front were in the 50s, but the front showed no mercy: It dropped temps in N VA right into the single numbers on 40 to 60 mph winds as well as bringing heavy showers that rapidly changed to snow and blew around in the arctic advection. A few old trees blew over in the woods. Schoolkids jumped for joy and ran outside to greet the snow, refusing to heed their teacher's calls to study.

 

Jeb was jebwalking around the Outer Rim of Potomac Mills Mall in Woodbridge when the front slammed into the region. The high wind gusts were exhilarating, the rain swept in then it got super-cold and the rain changed to snow!!!! The very strong arctic advection blew the snow along the road and Jeb ran for sheer delight!!! Jeb had some Christian songs playing on his CD headphones and turned it up!!! It was ABOUT TIME we got some weather!!!

 

The snow showers poured snow and turned the parking lot white!!!! Visibility was nil in blowing snow!!!! It soon became numbing cold!! The wind chills were beyond refreshing!!! Man What a marvelous arctic front!!!! People were driving very, very slow and Jeb walked faster than the cars were driving. Many folks were getting stuck. Some people pulled over because of the rapidly worsening road conditions and the terrible visibility.

 

Jeb let out a hearty WOOOOOO--HOOOOOOO!!! He was sick and tired of mild winters with mickey-mouse arctic fronts and 1 inch snows followed by rain, rain and more rain!!!

 

Well, this was NO rainstorm. It was a REAL arctic front. It was really chilly. To his utter delight and approval, Jeb saw a truck that was spreading salt and abrasives that would melt all his precious snow, get stuck!!!!

 

YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was a REAL arctic front!!! Jeb could not believe all that snow and that wind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! People behind the stuck truck were leaning on their horns.

 

Too bad, Jeb thought, you folks really need to move South!!! It was exhilarating to walk in the blowing snow!!!!! Drifts were beginning to form!!! The snow continued to blow around!! Some of the wind gusts were so strong that Jeb was forced to hold on to lampposts, stop signs.

 

Man what a front!!!!!!!

 

Snow continued to fall, blown by the cold winds. It was almost 3 inches deep.

 

The arctic front continued moving south and east freezing the heck out of the southeast and east. The snow stopped with 5 inches on the ground in Woodbridge, but those winds continued out of the North at 35 to 50 mph!! The low was -5 degrees. The high the next day was 7 degrees. It stayed that cold all week. There were water-main breaks all over the Mid Atlantic region. Some of the people trying to repair the breaks got hypothermia from exposure. There were ground-blizzard conditions all over the Mid Atlantic and Northeast from the combination of strong winds and snow already on the ground.

 

Jeb was enjoying another wind-blown jebwalk. It was certainly not mild. Snow was blowing all over the place. It was hard to see where he was going. In places, the snow was blown clear, in others, there were 2 and 3 foot drifts. It was very chilly with highs only in the upper single digits. There were some snow showers that were blowing in all the way from the Great Lakes. Jeb found a wind-blown area of ice and slid along it. To his delight, the wind pushed Jeb along the ice!!!! Jeb let loose with another ear-splitting WOOOOOO--HOOOOOOO!!!!!!! as he enjoyed the snow!!!!!

 

Jeb had already tried to shovel the fine, powdery snow. The wind blew it right off the shovel. Furthermore, to his elated pleasure, the wind continually drifted the snow all over his work!!!!!!

 

YEAH BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

The forecast was so cool!!! Highs in the single numbers were expected all week, with lows in the -5 to -18 range. Winds would continue N at 25 to 45 mph, with higher gusts.

 

The blowing snow was so excellent!!! It made a fine sight, blowing and cutting visibility. It was so hard to see that motorists were driving slowly. Another snow shower unloaded more moderate snow, but it was hard to tell........that wind was so strong at times.

 

The cold air continued to move east and south. It made it all the way to Key West and cleared the Gulf States. Highs ranged from the -40s across the Northern Plains to the upper 20s across the Gulf Coast. Miami FL hit 34 degrees for a high temperature. More than 12 feet of Lake Effect Snow buried favored lake effect areas down wind of the lakes in a week's time. Parts of northwestern FL enjoyed Gulf-Effect snow, to the tune of 6 inches in two days. These places were in the upper 20s to low 30s all week. Lake Effect snow fell south of Lake Pontchartrain too. There were trace to 2 inch accumulations there.

 

The entire CONUS east of the Rockies shivered in a very wickedly frigid airmass for better than a week.

 

Maine and the Upper Northeastern states froze with highs colder than -50 degrees. Their lows were 10 to 15 degrees lower.

 

In Canada highs were in the -50s, lows in the -60s with winds on top of that.

 

People were traveling south into the US because they thought it was overly cold.

 

Jeb thought that was a bunch of bosh. He was enjoying the cold air. At least his precious snow was not melting. This was the Arctic Outbreak of a lifetime!!!!

 

It was quite cold out: Highs in Woodbridge were having trouble cracking zero. The low had fallen to -20. This was the chilliest weather Jeb had ever felt in his life, and Jeb was praying for even colder!

 

Jeb was out on another jebwalk. This jebwalk was quite chilly. The winds were north at 20 to 30. Snow was everywhere. Jeb savored the 2 foot drifts and happily slid on the exposed ice. From time to time, snow would blow around.

 

What an excellent jebwalk!!!!

 

The Storm 2K messageboard was very, very busy.

 

Other lesser messageboards had collapsed long ago from too many folks on them at one time.

 

Storm2K stood strong with over 500 users furiously posting messages at one time. The board had exploded to over 5,000 new members because of Storm2K's popularity, and because of all the boards that had failed. Storm2K alone stood the test and saw it through. Everyone was discussing the super-cold arctic outbreak.

 

There was a huge Pacific storm approaching the west, and everyone was discussing it on Storm 2K.

 

There was a major potential for snow and wintry weather from Texas on up through the Northeast.

 

As the country shivered through the unprecedented arctic outbreak, it awaited the oncoming snow.

 

A massive storm, loaded with Pacific moisture, slammed into California, dumping 12 inches of rain on the state.

 

Devastating mudslides followed, but folks had been warned and had gotten out of harm's way in time. The mountains were literally buried in feet of snow. Many ski resorts out west were doing better than they had seen in decades.

 

Then the system moved out over the GOM.

 

Texas was very cold, and did not get rain from this.

 

They got snow, and lots of it. Brownsville saw sleet and freezing rain and snow, but Houston was buried under a foot of snow and sleet, as was most of the Gulf Coast as this frigid Gulf Storm slowly moved east and gorged itself on Gulf moisture. Austin got smothered under 20 inches of snow. Dallas had 2 feet, with 8 foot drifts. Temperatures fell into the teens during the storm. The storm picked up more and more moisture as it lumbered east in the northern GOM. Some places along the Gulf Coast experienced thundersnows.

 

An immense cold airmass encompassed most of the CONUS east of the Rockies. The moisture from the storm was spreading high cirrus north into the Dakotas. Snow was reported as far north as Kansas with this HUGE winter storm. It continued to move east, overspreading the Florida Peninsula with clouds as it approached the Sunshine State. It was so cold in Florida that there was actually a period of snow in Miami and points north, because the warm, mild air was forced over the cold air at the surface. In Miami the snow accumulated 10 inches, then changed to sleet then freezing rain then to rain. It was a surreal sight to see icicles hanging from palm trees in Florida. Tourists huddled inside chilly hotels all up and down Florida's Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, as snow fell in places well known for tropical weather.

 

All along the Gulf Coast, there was widespread snow. Accumulations varied from a foot in most places, to nearly two feet in northern MS, AL, LA and Arkansas. Some places had sleet mix in which limited accumulations.

 

The main part of the storm crashed into Florida from the Gulf, bringing snow then sleet then freezing rain then rain and a modest storm surge on the Gulf Coast of Florida. There were thunderstorms over Cuba with this system.

 

Then, the storm made the turn up the East Coast of Florida and began an inevitable march up the coast.

 

The eastern US was a mass of thickening clouds. There were thick clouds over N FL and the Southeast, with cirrus and high overcast west to AL, MS, west KY and TN. West Virginia and Virginia were beginning to see cirrus spreading north.

 

The storm was gathering GOM and Atlantic moisture. It began to move slowly up the Eastern Seaboard. Georgia was under a Blizzard Warning for up to three feet of snow. Alabama was under a Winter Storm Warning for up to a foot and a half of additional snow as the storm moved north. Governors in various southeastern and Mid Atlantic states were seriously considering declaring states of emergency.

 

The stores in states from Kentucky to Tennessee to Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland were being emptied of bread, milk, cereal, candy bars, everything and anything that could be easily prepared and eaten. There was a growing feeling of panic in the air over the Mid Atlantic and Northeastern states concerning this behemoth blizzard lumbering inevitably northward.

 

Snow rates of 6 inches per hour were being reported in Georgia.

 

I-95 and other major highways were choked with folks trying to flee the blizzard.

 

You can well imagine what happened on those highways...............

 

People panicking and acting really stupid.......and the inevitable accidents occurred. Then the gridlock........and police units bogged down in traffic, and the storm steadily moved in, the snow began to fall, the already frigid temps deepened, and the winds drifted snow all over the place.............

 

Where folks managed to not get into accidents, the storm defied everyone, The snow became the great leveler. It was already super-cold......then the snow fell, slicked up the roads, vehicles slammed into one another and the gridlock began. Some folks tried to walk to shelter, and the snow began to fall......growing deeper and deeper........

 

Jeb was out on another of his jebwalks. He had noticed the high, thin cirrus moving gracefully north. He indeed knew what those high, thin ice clouds portended. Northern Virginia was under a Blizzard Warning. It was hard to believe the snow amounts that Doug Hill, a local forecaster, had been talking about. Three feet of snow!! Here? Jeb found it unbelievable but exhilarating!!!!!! It was really chilly with NNE winds at 15 to 30 mph and temps in the negative single digits.

 

The stores were being systematically emptied of foodstuffs. Jeb already had plenty of food and cared nothing for the stores. All he wanted was his precious jebwalk in the snow, and to breathe in and savor the cool, fresh arctic air, and to admire the clouds which were already beginning to lower and thicken overhead.

 

The weather was spectacular today, and he appreciated the wind that would stir the fine powdery snow from time to time. Soon, Jeb would have all the snow he wanted and more!!!!

 

Doug had mentioned the possibility of four feet of snow, even more north of the District!!!

 

That thought energized Jeb as he eagerly turned up his music and walked faster, excited about all the snow he would soon be able to walk in and savor!!!!!!

 

Plows were being sent to help out in the south, but there was a problem: The snow itself. The plow drivers were getting stuck because of accumulating snow and blowing and drifting snow. They would get themselves all mired in the snow, then they themselves had to be rescued. Then, more often than not, the rescuers would get stuck...............

 

This storm had no mercy. None at all.........

 

Jeb had prayed and had prayed HARD for a severe blizzard and for cold to beat the past 200 years, and it appeared that Jeb's prayers had been heard. Not one time did Jeb ever consider all the people that did not like snow. Snow had been Jeb's obsession all his life. He had nearly been expelled from high school in 1981 for disrupting classes with weather reports, both written and oral, and for leaving class without permission, to go take temperature readings. Jeb had not learned. Years of professional therapy were useless. Even medication would not help. Jeb loved snow to the utter exclusion of everything else in winter. In summer it was the beach jebwalks.

 

There was a rumor in high school that had it that Jeb had somehow gotten into the Driver's Ed tower overlooking the school's student driving range, and had been caught issuing weather reports to the students learning driving maneuvers below.

 

As the years passed, living for emotions, jebwalking, and severe winter weather became Jeb's best friends, along with the OBX beach jebwalking. Jeb would walk for 10 miles along the beach and listen to his CD music, to develop very high emotions using the natural endorphins induced by long walks and compounding it with Christian worship music. Jeb had many folks at church completely fooled with the Christian music obsession; Jeb was no closer to God than he had been in high school drinking beer and skipping classes and loitering around in town.

 

Dad shook his head in frustration and wondered what would ever become of Jeb. Jeb continued to pray, even to fast from food, for snow and arctic outbreaks. Jeb wanted to see what would happen to Northern Virginia if a 3 foot snow overwhelmed Woodbridge. The boy had never grown up, and likely never would.

 

Now Jeb was about to realize the climax of an entire life literally spent worshiping snow and ferocious cold. Woodbridge was about to get a storm that could well shut the city down for a month or more.

 

And Jeb was gonna enjoy it to the full!!

 

Jeb enjoyed watching people struggle with snow. The sound of people getting stuck in the snow was one of Jeb's favorite joys in winter life. The sound of tires spinning in snow and/or in ice was so exhilarating and exciting!! Folks would spin their wheels in the snow, and for all the acrid smoke produced and all the racket it produced, it was amazing just how little progress was actually made. Plus, as Jeb lamented: It dirtied up my precious snow.

 

The clouds continued to stream on in over Woodbridge from the south as the big storm lumbered north. It stayed very chilly, and the high in Woodbridge remained in the single digits below zero. The wind chills were refreshing, and Jeb reflected on how thankful he was that none of his precious snow had melted so far.

 

Jeb had had it up to here with mickey mouse winters and slop snows changing to rain!!! Aarrgghh!!!

 

Jeb noticed a cirrostratus layer overhead. The sun shone weakly through it; the temperature felt as if it dropped a couple degrees! Dark bands of altostratus could be seen to the south.

 

Buildings in Georgia were collapsing from the weight of the snow. Civil engineers in that part of the country had never designed for that kind of loading on structures. The snow piled on at 4 to 6 inches per hour and the snow became 2 feet, then 3 feet deep in Atlanta. Savannah had sleet mixed in with the snow and developed a snow/sleet accumulation of 18 inches. Roofs collapsed. It was horrendous. Snow fell in South Carolina, shutting down I-95 very quickly. They were simply not outfitted to handle this kind of snow there. People got stuck in the snow, and roads, highways, even parking lots soon were transformed into still-lifes of mounting snowdrifts and folks desperately trying to find shelter in the relentless, frigid cold winds and heavy snow. Some folks stayed in their cars and ran the motor for heat. Then, they dozed off......................

 

Many folks there never realized that the mounting snow accumulations as well as the mounting wind-driven drifts were steadily covering up their exhaust pipes......................

 

Some people were wiser........they ran the motor for a short time then turned it off, and cracked their windows for fresh air.........but two things inevitably happened: They ran out of gas, and the temperature kept falling. Rescue was already stuck in the snow and likely in the very same fix: No heat, rapidly dwindling fuel supplies and tremendous snow accumulations, and no realistic hope of rescue.

 

Soon, South Carolina was shut down.

 

The storm continued to gorge itself on plentiful Atlantic moisture. It was drawn to the thermal and moisture differentials between the unbelievably frigid arctic outbreak and the relatively warm Atlantic Ocean and especially the Gulf Stream.

 

North Carolina never had a chance. The snow shield moved in on Eric Skywatch's Roanoke Rapids neighborhood. Once the column became saturated, the snow poured down. The Intellicast radars showed a deep blackish blue from very heavy snow. The sfc temps fell to near 0 degrees in Raleigh. The snow quickly became heavy, and the NNE winds picked up and the visibilities became very poor. All the airports were shut down. Pilots weren't just on IFR, they didn't have squat. The winds were terrible. Runways quickly became covered with 12, then 18 inches of snow. The winds picked up the snow and formed drifts. There was no way to clear the snow, and it poured down out of a dark sky. Winds in Roa Rapids were NNE at 20 gusting to 38 mph and increasing. The snow was moderate to heavy. Eric Skywatch and his dad watched, aghast, as the snow piled up right before their eyes. There was no way to keep up with it by shoveling.

 

In northern Virginia, Jeb watched the altostratus spread across the sky. Even darker clouds were already moving north. The temps were falling toward -10 degrees. It was quite chilly. The winds were picking up from the NNE too.

 

Jeb had decided to drive home from the Mall and get the car parked on the lawn. The radars were unbelievable. There was a huge blob of precip from Florida to southern Virginia and points west into West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. All of it was snow, except snow/sleet/frzra in Florida. All of it was moving north, into Virginia. Jeb was grinning from ear to ear. All of the radar returns were very dark blue, indicating very heavy snow. Reports of snow rates in North Carolina and South Carolina were unbelievable: as much as 9 inches per hour. Some of North Carolina's mountains were reporting 7 feet of snow and it was still coming down.

 

Many of the weather messageboards with which Jeb was familiar were down.

 

Storm2K was doing well; They were getting new members like no one's business. They were up to 9,970 members and increasing fast. There were over 4,500 members and 7,980 visitors on the boards and the board was working just fine. It was absolutely amazing to watch the board:

 

The Winter Weather board was growing by leaps and bounds! So many people were posting that pages and pages and pages of threads were being generated, plus pages of new threads!!! Winter Weather went from 30 pages of new threads, to over 1,340 pages in only hours because of all the members frantically posting about this storm.

 

Jeb watched with fascination and a growing degree of disbelief:

 

He watched the member count: 9,997..... 9,998......9,999.....10,000 members.....WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Threads were started and received replies so fast it was literally impossible to keep up with them all. Some threads had more than 300 replies.

 

Jeb turned on the telly to a local news station, where the local forecasters were calling for 40 to 50 inches of snow in northern Virginia as the storm continued to explosively grow. The mountains were progged to receive as much as 8 feet. North of Maryland, snow rates were expected to exceed 12 inches per hour at times.

 

Jeb blasted the Christian music on his CD player and turned that puppy way up. Man the clouds were getting dark!!! Temp was down to -9 degrees, NNE winds 20 to 30, gusts 41mph.

 

WOW, What a Storm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

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Another blizzard story

 

 

 

On Feb 20th 2004 a major arctic high of 1056mb parked itself over Quebec.

 

A huge low spun up over the GOM and moved ENE over North Carolina.

 

A massive CAD event set up over the East coastal piedmont clear down to GA. In N VA the temp was 13 degrees, in NC it was in the low 20s and in SC and GA it was in the mid 20s.

 

The GOM low moved very, very slowly and set up an overrunning scenario over the SE and the MA into the NE. The low had qpfs of 3.5 inches that it continued to send up over the top of the immensely cold, dense arctic CAD setup.

 

All the S2K snow weenies had a Blizzard party bash in northern Virginia that lasted an entire week. The food and drinks were free and the hotel suites were paid for with proceeds derived from Jeb digging out most of Prince William County from the snow when all the plows got too tired and broke down in the heavy snow.

 

Snow spread north and eastward from Georgia NE-ward. The snow accumulated from the very beginning because it was so darn cold, even in Georgia. There was snow flurries in Jacksonville FL. The snow increased in intensity over Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, eastern Kentucky, all over West Virginia, eastern Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and points north and east over a week's time. The low moved very slowly and snow fell for days over the Southeast, Mid Atlantic, Ohio, and SNE as well as eventually overspreading the entire Northeast.

 

There was heavy snow and even thundersnows over a three to five day span across the entire Eastern part of the US. Thundersnows in DC shut the city down after slamming the downtown with 15 inches of snow in an hour's time. An immense snowball fight erupted in Dupont Circle; even the police joined in. DC said what the hell? SNOW DAY!!!!!! People got out of their stuck cars and joined the snowball fight!!! Local merchants donated free hot dogs and hot chocolate as DC decided to just let it all hang out and enjoy the snow!!!!

 

Jeb broke all his previous records during this storm by embarking on a 20-mile jebwalk during the height of the Blizzard of 2004. Then Jeb proceeded to dig most of Prince William County out of more than 32 inches of snow that fell for three days over N VA!!! The local merchants insisted on paying Jeb for his services so Jeb used the wad to fund an immense Blizzard Bash! The military flew in all the snow weenies from S2K to a hotel in Arlington VA where they had live entertainment and free food and drinks, including alcohol and liquor and nearly any kind of indulgence they could dream up!! LOL!! Yeah baby we had a ROLLICKING GOOD TIME!!!!

 

While everyone was partying, Jeb insisted on digging snow. Jeb dug the hotel out of 38 inches of snow that fell locally on Arlington VA during thundersnows, shovelful by shovelful. A merchant tried to give Jeb a free snowblower but Jeb hid it in a snowdrift and kept right on digging!!!

 

Heavy snow dumped 24 inches on Ohio and up to 4 feet on West Virginia and Pennsylvania; the far western areas in MD got clobbered with up to 6 feet of snow. All the major metros were shut down by thundersnows and frigid temperatures, even New York City, which got buried by 5 feet of snow. The snow swirled down on the Northeast too: Boston got 4 feet, upstate NY got 5 feet and the entirety of the far northeastern states averaged 5 to 6 feet of snow. Holmdel, NJ got buried by training thundersnows with 65 inches of snow. Georgia accumulated 24 inches as did South Carolina; North Carolina got 36 inches. The Outer Banks got slammed with Sound-effect enhanced snows and were promptly buried under four feet of snow, with 20-foot drifts. The Virginia Tidewater got 4 feet of snow and Norfolk was shut down but good.

 

Thanks to the unbelievably good job that Jeb had done by digging the hotel out of nearly 40 inches of snow, the management decided to let the wild party continue into a second week!!! Jeb shoveled all the snow off the hotel's roof and chiseled through 23-foot drifts in the parking lot and under the building in the parking lots where the dry snow had drifted into 12-foot drifts. Guests were forced to go out windows to leave the hotel until Jeb freed the doors by shoveling all the snow around the hotel. Jeb and his friends got free food and drinks all around. The hotel offered Jeb a full-time job but Jeb declined, saying that Arlington VA was located too far south and there was not enough snow.

 

The snow continued to fall and drift and Jeb had his hands full re-shoveling the snow many times over. The party raged on and the live entertainment kept on jamming!!! People stared in awe as the snow drifted up to the third-story windows of the hotel!!!!

 

Jeb just grinned and headed back outside for more shoveling and a hearty jebwalk!!!!

-Jeb

 

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