Incredible winter 2010-2011

Incredible winter 2010-2011

Trust or not weather forecast? On September 8, 2010, forecast for winter 2010-2011 stated: “heavier snow for Chicago, Minneapolis and Detroit, NORMAL snowfall for NYC, Philly and D.C.”. Well, we should either look into a dictionary for a definition of ‘normal’, or check what a normal snowfall for NYC used to be. Either way, whatever happened this winter, should… go away this winter. And never happen again!

Winter in NYC?

Normally winter is a great time to visit New York City; it is awesome for the great holiday decorations, like Christmas tree at Rockefeller center, ice skating, Chinatown Lunar New Year parade, etc. It is also the season’s biggest sale when you can get designer clothes for 50% or even up to 75% off. But this year was special and unforgettable for another reason. Extreme weather conditions paralyzed the Big Apple not once, not twice but several times during this winter.


Winter is supposed to be the coolest season of the year. Some snow should fall, some freeze should come. But what if the whole season is covered in snow, ice, freeze, sleet and some more snow? It’s definitely out of normal. New York City snowfall smashed the 86-year-old record for the month of January. Unbelievable, right? Can you imagine empty Manhattan, with no activities on the streets, no yellow cabs running up and down the city, no people rushing here and there, everything frozen. Because I can. And it reminds me right away “The day after tomorrow” movie. Scary, ha?

Blizzard after blizzard, after blizzard…

First snow was moderate; like every winter, it is supposed to snow a little bit. Then, right after Christmas, came a huge blizzard that paralyzed several states, mainly North-East coast: schools were being closed, no subways, no buses, flights cancelled. Everybody grounded, no exceptions. Commuters checking the MTA website blocked it actually; the website wasn’t working after 6am that night at all. People couldn’t get to work, couldn’t go anywhere because the sanitation department wasn’t cleaning the streets when it was snowing, and after the blizzard, they couldn’t go through! The 911 system was flooded. Many ambulances got stuck and couldn’t make it to the people in need. After few days only streets started to be passable, not sidewalks. And when we thought that we got over the worst winter storm, another snow storm hit the New York region.

Winter in extreme

It was not over yet. Not only did snow bother NYC this winter; another day, it first started snowing a little bit, then icy-raining, then sleeting, to finally become another blizzard that covered the NYC metropolitan area with another 6 inches of snow. So the snow piled up on storm-weary northeast with at least 5-story snow dump!

Groundhog day forecast

The groundhog belongs to the group of ground squirrels. It is common in North America. Groundhogs are one of the few species that enter into true hibernation, usually from three to six months. In the United States and Canada, the yearly Groundhog Day celebration has given to the groundhog recognition and popularity. Groundhog Day is a holiday celebrated on February 2. According to the folklore, if the groundhog sees its shadow, the winter weather will continue for six more weeks. But if it doesn’t, and the groundhog emerges from its burrow, the winter will be milder and the spring will arrive. Several festivities and social events are associated with this holiday, like the celebration in Punxsutawney, PA, which received worldwide attention as a result of the 1993 film of the same name.

So what is the forecast for the winter 2010-2011?

This year, the Staten Island groundhog, followed by its Pennsylvanian friend in Punxsutawney, both emerged from their burrows, which normally should signify that spring is coming shortly. So was the prediction real or we should check the meaning of the word ‘normally’ again!? Even though every day is getting warmer and sunnier, and you can feel the spring in the air, the weather channels are still announcing snow sometime next week. Incredible!

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