Today’s weather report

As the cool kids like to say, everything you need to know about your local weather in one graph.

temp2

Some types of data correlation are hard, but I am confident that everyone can see the gist of this one. Whenever it gets warm in western Alaska the midwest gets colder. This corresponds to times when attracted by the thriving Alaskan craft beer scene, the warm jet stream takes a northern holiday and pushes the normal arctic weather down to us. This may make it easier to explain climate even to people who struggle with second grade math (a line slanting in the direction of zero means that health care spending and deficit numbers went down, not up).

Charts repurposed from Weather Underground and rearranged for clarity.

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161 replies
  1. 1
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Whatever these two charts purport to mean, what it really indicates is that Al Gore is fat.

  2. 2
    NonyNony says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Whatever these two charts purport to mean, what it really indicates is that Al Gore is fat.

    And has a big house!

  3. 3
    eemom says:

    I can gather all the news I need on the weather report.

  4. 4
    jackmac says:

    The other day it was even warmer in Barrow (on Alaska’s northernmost tip) than in Chicago. But we’re up to 19 degrees so far today and it feels balmy!

  5. 5
    Ash Can says:

    This may make it easier to explain climate even to people who struggle with second grade math

    The challenge, however, is to find such people who are open to new factual information, as opposed to being convinced that anything that contradicts their beliefs must be a lie.

  6. 6
    rikyrah says:

    I am tired of the polar vortex.

    I’m tired of sitting in my car for 10-15 minutes in below zero temperatures, BEFORE I even turn on the heat.

  7. 7
    rikyrah says:

    West Virginia Water Contains Formaldehyde, Official Says

    By Kiley Kroh on January 29, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    A West Virginia state official told a legislative panel on Wednesday that he “can guarantee” residents are breathing in formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, nearly three weeks after a massive chemical spill contaminated the water supply for more than 300,000 residents.

    Scott Simonton, a Marshall University environmental scientist and member of the state Environmental Quality Board, told the panel that he had found formaldehyde in local water samples and was alarmed by the lack of information regarding the lingering impacts of the spill on public health, the Charleston Gazette reported.

    “It’s frightening, it really is frightening,” Simonton said. “What we know scares us, and we know there’s a lot more we don’t know.”

    On January 9, Freedom Industries reported a leak of crude MCHM, a mixture of chemicals used in the coal production process, from its storage facility on the Elk River and into the water supply for 16 percent of the state’s population. Simonton said the crude MCHM can be broken down into formaldehyde, which causes cancer, and inhaled while people are showering.

    Very little is known about crude MCHM and just how toxic it may be to humans. Initially, state authorities maintained that levels of the chemicals below 1 part per million were considered safe for people, based on consultations with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    http://thinkprogress.org/clima.....maldehyde/

  8. 8
    raven says:

    Cry Havoc and Let Slip One Inch of Snow

    I have friends from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Maine, Illinois–all of whom roll their eyes at us Southerners when we panic at the first sign of snow. Yes, WE GET IT. You have seen more snow in your lifetime. You don’t understand what all the fuss is about. In your book, this is NOTHING. They would NEVER close schools back where you’re from. Good for you.

  9. 9
    Ridnik Chrome says:

    And this is one of the biggest reasons why I will probably never, ever move back to Chicago…

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Botsplainer says:

    My facespace feed is loaded with blubbering southerners pissed that everybody is making fun of and criticizing them over being so paralyzed. For a taste of what I’m seeing, gizmodo has a fairly whiny screed calling critics assholes with commentary to match.

    The whining consists of:

    1. We have to take cars everywhere.
    2. There’s no money.
    3. Act of nature.
    4. Asshole bubbas in the burbs are sad.
    5. AWD SUVs are the devil, because physics and sliding.

    Fuck em. Local sprawl is their fault. Ridiculous car choices are their fault. Choosing incompetent teanderthals as governors and local authorities is their fault. Refusing to raise tax revenue or to rationally plan for inclement events is their fault.

    Let those pasty suburbanites and exurbanites bootstrap themselves from a ditch while I point and laugh. They’re assholes to everybody else, and are always wrong.

  12. 12
    raven says:

    @Botsplainer: You’re a fucking drunken moron and when you sober up you’ll still be a fucking moron.

  13. 13
    David in NY says:

    @Botsplainer: You’ve said all that to them, I hope. I’m missing that because my facefeed is heavily northern (and Texas, but they’re not whining). But I’d actually enjoy mentioning that I pay taxes to avoid that. They could give it a whirl.

  14. 14
    David in NY says:

    @David in NY: Sorry raven, but an inch of snow paralyzes a major metropolitan area! No plows? No garbage trucks with plow attachments? No salt? No money to pay for above and overtime? I’m perplexed.

  15. 15
    Mike E says:

    @raven: And, also go out to the Kroger and try to buy eggs/milk/bread, amirite? Too.

  16. 16
    raven says:

    @David in NY: It’s ice not snow.

  17. 17
    GregB says:

    I’m pretty sure this ice storm was an Obama false flag operation.

    The FEMA trailers are being moved into place under snow cover.

  18. 18
    TAPX486 says:

    @Botsplainer: Once they get home from their 20+ hour commute maybe they can explain again the value of low taxes and small government!
    I suspect their next complaint will be it’s Obama’s fault because he didn’t send in FEMA and federal snowplows

  19. 19
    raven says:

    @Mike E: I went to the huge on this morning and no one was there. Athens is 60 miles from Atlanta and we didn’t have the problems here because we don’t have the population that metro-Atlanta and Birmingham do.

  20. 20
    TAPX486 says:

    @raven: Rock salt, if you have it, works quite nicely on ice as well as snow

  21. 21
    Rob in CT says:

    Guys, some of these areas would be stupid to spend a bunch of money on plows/sanders/etc. This hardly ever happens. It would be a waste of resources.

    What makes sense for us in the North doesn’t make sense down there.

    From what I can tell, the problem was exacerbated by businesses and schools and stuff all doing an early release simultaneously in the middle of the storm. That’s a really, really bad idea. Thing is, I’ve seen that happen up here. Recently (a few years back). We seem to have re-learned the obvious lesson, but at some point we’ll forget it again, despite having much less excuse.

  22. 22
    jackmac says:

    Even on the best of days, reports suggest Atlanta’s traffic can be problematic. Throw in a little snow and … UTTER CHAOS!

    Business Insider reports on the problem afflicting this Red State and lack of funding: “The state has the ninth largest interstate system in the country, but it ranks 49th in per capita transportation funding. Its fuel excise tax is just 7.5 cents per gallon. Thanks to old investments, its road quality is better than the national average, but things are getting worse now that funding has dried up … Atlanta ranks fourth worst in the country for truck freight delay, costing about $775 million in 2011.”

    But you know, low taxes and low spending equals FREEDOM (or something).

  23. 23
    🎂 Martin says:

    @David in NY: Plows don’t help when the roads are congested. The plows can’t get anywhere either. I’ve seen that in other major cities including NYC. When the weather hits has a large bearing on how things get handled. I think Atlanta’s big mistake was putting everyone on the roads at the same time. Employers didn’t tell workers to stay home. Schools didn’t close in anticipation. So when the weather rolled in, everyone hit the roads at the same time. That killed them. Once you get gridlock, you’re fucked.

  24. 24
    LanceThruster says:

    Don’t forget the pirate correlation.

  25. 25
    David in NY says:

    @raven: Ah. I’m still a little perplexed (salt spreaders go out before a storm around here, and I only heard about sand in Atlanta), but I have some experience with ice, which, as Frost said, “would suffice.”

  26. 26
    raven says:

    @jackmac: So if we had more money we could build more roads and that would solve everything? it’s the goddamn trucks that are supposed to go on 285 but, instead, went through the city, that jacknifed and caused a lot of the shit in the first place.

  27. 27
    🎂 Martin says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Guys, some of these areas would be stupid to spend a bunch of money on plows/sanders/etc. This hardly ever happens. It would be a waste of resources.

    What makes sense for us in the North doesn’t make sense down there.

    David is right – there really should be no excuse for not having plow attachments for other vehicles. I suspect the problem is that municipalities have outsourced everything from trash pickup to any sort of construction work. Growing up, cities always had a range of trash truck, dump trucks and other construction vehicles that they could mount a plow to and/or drop salt/cinders. My guess is that cities like Atlanta have none of that. They’d need to make part of their contract with Waste Management to do snow removal (which isn’t a bad idea at all) but WM would need to be willing to do that, and Atlanta would need to tolerate the politics of paying insurance on a service that they don’t employ every year (presumably the contract would cost a nominal amount annually for maintenance of the equipment, with a significant charge for every hour/mile that they need to plow).

  28. 28
    raven says:

    @David in NY:

    A single dump truck can treat about 2.5 miles of one lane of pavement, according to Barron. Each time the trucks are stopping to reload (a process that takes 30 to 45 minutes not taking into account long traffic delays) they are returning to find that areas they just treated are refreezing.

    The dump trucks are using a staggering method now. Two spreaders trucks are followed by a second set of trucks. After the first two run out of gravel and salt mixture and leave to reload, the other set picks up where they left off and continue spreading until they run out.

  29. 29
    Roger Moore says:

    @Ash Can:

    The challenge, however, is to find such people who are open to new factual information,

    This. Arguments about climate change aren’t about facts anymore, they’re about political ideology.

  30. 30
    Brendan in NC says:

    @David in NY: David – grew up in Rochester NY – lived in Charlotte, Nc for the last 15 years…When i first moved here (1998) they had maybe 2 plows and 2 salt trucks, and no real snowstorm planning. The same city had brined every major highway and thoroughfare well before the snow/ice hit. The roads were in great shape this morning. So it takes some areas more time to learn than others. My sister went to school in Charleston, WV (before the water got bad :-) ). A light dusting of snow – measured in flakes, not inches, paralyzed the city.

  31. 31
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @raven:

    You’ve been in Dixie far too long. You know he’s right.

  32. 32
    tybee says:

    @raven:

    i think a lot of them don’t grasp how large “atlanta” is and how many different counties and municipalities are encompassed by “atlanta”.

  33. 33

    But but the wrong people will make money from climate change initiatives. I want all my money to go to the oil people. /wingnut

  34. 34
    raven says:

    @tybee: They can “grasp’ this!

  35. 35
    David in NY says:

    @🎂 Martin: I see that, and I didn’t realize if was really an ice storm with which I have some experience. (I have in the last few years nasty experiences with ice outside the city. And SUV ahead of me spinning out, trying to run up a steep slope, falling back on its head; at night on a side road, seeing red lights ahead but a black spot open in my lane, realize black spot is side of Land Rover, brakes doing nothing, driving into shallow (thank God!) ditch and around Land Rover and on my merry, and shaken way; I no longer go anywhere with temp ca. 32 degrees and precip falling.) I mean, I know these things are hard to time, but in our last few snows the salt trucks have been out early and the salt really works (I heard about sand in Atlanta, but was there salt?). Was their technique or their timing wrong? True that you gotta get out before everything is already screwed up, but I heard they did a first round of sanding OK and then things went to hell. So I was, as I say, perplexed.

  36. 36
    Botsplainer says:

    @David in NY:

    You’ve said all that to them, I hope.

    In so many words. They’re not taking it well

    I’m missing that because my facefeed is heavily northern (and Texas, but they’re not whining). But I’d actually enjoy mentioning that I pay taxes to avoid that. They could give it a whirl.

    Next week, here in the People’s Democratic Republic of Louisville, it looks like there’s a good chance for a collision of cold air and moisture which could cause a repeat of the Storm of 1994. That one was a surprise, and the city was down 4 days after an 18 inch pounding that found plows and salt trucks stuck in their depots. We learned. From before the first flake, brine will be laid down, equipment and stores of salt prepositioned at suitable locations on main thoroughfares, and schools and factories on alert, with representatives of large employers and government participating in conferences with the local NWS office. It’ll be messy, but manageable. Kentucky state government will do a competent job as well.

  37. 37
    Geeno says:

    @🎂 Martin: Plows can’t get anywhere when the roads are clogged? You’ve obviously never seen our plow guys in action. Suffice it to say, do NOT park on the street in winter unless you don’t mind seeing your car upside down on the lawn the next morning.

  38. 38
    BGinCHI says:

    Thanks Palin!

    Or, Alaska, sabotaging America since 1959.

  39. 39
    Roger Moore says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    You know he’s right.

    That’s not incompatible with Raven being right, too.

  40. 40
    raven says:

    @David in NY: ” After the first two run out of gravel and salt mixture ”

    At 12:09 all the Atlanta interstate traffic was running normally. In 15 minutes they were almost completely gridlocked when schools and businesses were let go.

  41. 41
    raven says:

    @Roger Moore: He’s just yankin my chain.

  42. 42
    Roger Moore says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Kentucky state government will do a competent job as well.

    The benefits of having a Democratic governor.

  43. 43
    jackmac says:

    @raven: Chicago takes well-deserved hits from people who never want to live here again (WAAAH, it’s too cold, snowy, hot, corrupt or whatever). But our road and public transit systems basically function (and yes, we have extremely heavy truck traffic here, too), snow is cleared in a reasonable amount of time and roadways are fixed, upgraded and even new ones are occasionally built. That’s the result of planning and the return on the investment we pay in taxes — something lacking in many states.

  44. 44
    BGinCHI says:

    @jackmac: We also have culture in abundant supply. And that lake thing.

  45. 45
    raven says:

    @jackmac: I left in 66.

  46. 46
    jackmac says:

    @BGinCHI: @BGinCHI: Yes, there’s that, too. Plus two bad baseball teams and a Stanley Cup champion.

  47. 47
    Chyron HR says:

    Why do we still have weather? I thought DirecTV canceled that shit.

  48. 48
    danielx says:

    Twenty-three degrees outside….I’m waiting for the palm trees to start popping out of the snow at any moment.

  49. 49
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @raven:

    No, you lay track- light rail, all the fuck around Atlanta. And it’s going to cost and cost and cost, because your adopted state was such an idiot about planning- or rather failing to plan- the ghastly urban sprawl.

    If you build more roads, it does nothing to ease traffic. In fact, it adds to traffic- we’ve known this since Robert Moses built the Triborough Bridge.

  50. 50
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @BGinCHI: @jackmac:

    It’s starting to get windy in here.

  51. 51
    BGinCHI says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): We’ve been needing an All-Chicago thread for a while….

  52. 52
    raven says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): They didn’t fail shit, this is what they wanted. None of that has one motherfucking thing to do with this ice storm. Birmingham had the same thing and Charlotte would have if it had hit there.

  53. 53
    feebog says:

    This may make it easier to explain climate even to people who struggle with second grade math

    BAHAHAHAHA. If you mean the Teatards, you can explain until pigs fly, they aren’t going to listen. And the media is worse. If it is cold and snowing in New York, then that proves climate change is a hoax. There is a reason it’s called GLOBAL WARMING! iT’S 75 and climbing here in SoCal. We have not had any rain, none, for over 5 weeks in what is supposed to be our winter rainy season. Gov. Brown has already declared a drought emergency that will go right through the year.

  54. 54
    burnspbesq says:

    @🎂 Martin:

    Were you here in February 1987, when a freak storm dropped the temperature to right around freezing and there was so much hail that people were cross-country skiing on PCH in Huntington? We didn’t do any better than Georgia that day. Took me four hours to get from Pasadena to Irvine.

  55. 55
    raven says:

    @BGinCHI: Yea, give us that body count while you are at it. When I lived there they would find at least one stiff a week in a car trunk at O’Hare.

  56. 56
    jackmac says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Couldn’t agree more on the value of trains and transit.

  57. 57
    tybee says:

    @Rob in CT:

    some of these areas would be stupid to spend a bunch of money on plows/sanders/etc. This hardly ever happens. It would be a waste of resources.

    What makes sense for us in the North doesn’t make sense down there.

    From what I can tell, the problem was exacerbated by businesses and schools and stuff all doing an early release simultaneously in the middle of the storm. That’s a really, really bad idea. Thing is, I’ve seen that happen up here. Recently (a few years back). We seem to have re-learned the obvious lesson, but at some point we’ll forget it again, despite having much less excuse.

    yup.

  58. 58
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @raven:

    Traffic is a nightmare there regularly. Ice storms just compound the terror.

  59. 59
    BGinCHI says:

    @raven: The violence here sucks, but Rahm is going to solve it by lowering corporate tax rates and fucking over the schools and teachers.

  60. 60
    raven says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): That’s why I stays in the Classic City!

  61. 61
    Roger Moore says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Took me four hours to get from Pasadena to Irvine.

    Which could easily happen without an assist from the weather.

  62. 62
    Ash Can says:

    Count me among those who are willing to cut the southern states some slack on their lack of winter weather equipment, and I’m a lifelong Chicagoan. Ice on the roads is going to cause problems anywhere, no matter how far north. And it’s pointless to expect people to know how to drive in ice and snow when they hardly ever have any practice. Likewise, it’s one thing to be cheap and not want to pay for any services — and I’m not saying that there isn’t any of that factoring in here — and, like Rob in CT says, sinking a ton of cash into supplies and equipment that seldom if ever would be used.

    I’d say the best take-away lesson here is for Atlanta et al. to simply do what they do in DC: shut stuff down even before the storm hits. When I lived in DC, we northerners would have a good chuckle over schools being closed the night before, when snow was even mentioned in the forecast. But then we’d also acknowledge that, when you don’t have the equipment to deal with it, ice and snow on the roads can definitely fuck you up no matter where you live. Go ahead and wuss out and close schools, government buildings, and anything else you can the night before. More people — beginning with school kids — stay home safe and sound and off the roads, and all the poor sods whose asshole employers expect their employees to show up faithfully, on time, and all that bullshit have less traffic, and traffic accidents, to deal with when they have to make that awful trek to keep from getting fired.

  63. 63
    JPL says:

    When I arrived home a little after six yesterday, after leaving the courthouse in Atlanta at 12:15, I was stressed and tired. This morning after realizing that people slept on the highway, I felt like a whiner. The last nine miles of my trip took 4 hrs. and 45 minutes. The first part was walking and the train. I voted to increase taxes for DOT and Marta (rail and bus lines) but unfortunately, it failed. My driveway is covered with ice and I’m not going out until the spring.

  64. 64

    @jackmac:

    I’m not sure how old you are, but there’s two words to explain why Chicago has their snow removal techniques down: Michael Bilandic.

  65. 65
    BGinCHI says:

    @raven: Any pile-ups on the Prince Avenue cloverleaf?

  66. 66
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @jackmac:

    Building up rather than out helps, too.

  67. 67
    MomSense says:

    @GregB:

    HAARP!!

  68. 68
    BGinCHI says:

    Anybody else notice that the scenes from Atlanta on the highways looked exactly like the opening episode of The Walking Dead?

  69. 69
    JPL says:

    @raven: How much snow did Athens get?

  70. 70
    raven says:

    @Ash Can: And then listen to the fuckers howl when nothing happens. They closed UGA some years back on the threat of a storm and, zip, nada, people sounded just like all these fucking geniuses here explaining what SHOULD have been done.

  71. 71
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @raven: The murder rate is higher in Atlanta than Chicago. Both of them are higher than Milwaukee. Link.

  72. 72
    raven says:

    @JPL: About two inches. It seemed as if it was 18 degrees or so colder over there for some reason. I drove around this morning and it was really nasty in places.

    You, like many people, HAD to go into the city yesterday. What is your take, should they have just canceled court?

  73. 73
    scav says:

    Sorta cute after all the suthurn warm weather gloating indulged here not so many days ago. Polar Vortex will not be mocked.

  74. 74
    Botsplainer says:

    Canuckian dude at Gizmodo had this to offer as advice:

    Some advice for all drivers, Southern or just plain idiots who drive in snow all the time and still don’t know how (I live in Canada, driving in snow is a daily thing for a few months a year plus I use to drive a zamboni):

    Just because you have four wheel drive doesn’t mean you can’t skid out or your car is magically better then all others. Slow the fuck down

    Just because you have snow tires doesn’t mean you can’t skid out or your car is magically better then all others. Slow the fuck down

    If things start going wrong, let off the gas AND brake and just steer. You can tap the brake, but when I say tap, I mean tap.
    If you have an automatic, throw it into L (for Low) or 1/2 to go up hills/get going when spinning out/etc. Your engine puts to much power to your wheels when in drive and low traction so you just spin. Putting it in L or 1/2, will make it so your tires don’t spin as fast.

    Driving in reverse in a front wheel car will work better than driving in forward. Not something to do to actually go anywhere, but helps to get off your street or the like

    If you have Rear Wheel Drive, throw something heavy in your trunk. All your weight is at the front. Rear Wheel drive is basically useless in snow/ice.

    Slow the fuck down

    Leave ample room between cars. Riding my ass because I’m going 40km isn’t a smart idea because when I brake, you’re going to go right into me, regardless of how great your tires/truck is

    Slow the fuck down

  75. 75

    Also, I can’t get too judgy about people in the South freaking out about snow because I live in Southern California, where the last time we got anything resembling a snowfall in the LA area was 1988, and that was more of a heavy frost that melted by about 9 am. A half inch of snow would completely paralyze us, because we’re just not equipped for it.

  76. 76
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Per capita I assume?

  77. 77
    Ash Can says:

    @raven: You mean people there in GA howled? Fuck ’em. Let ’em howl. Especially now, with this as a precedent, all the authorities need to say in the future is, “At least we didn’t have kids stranded in school buses overnight this time.”

  78. 78
    Goblue72 says:

    @BGinCHI: We have that out West too (Bay Area, Portland, Seattle) – high levels of public investment, willingness to tax, public transit, culture, liberal politics, access to large bodies of water – and without the wholesale political corruption and machine politics. Also a lot easier to be an entrepreneur out here too.

    Just sayin’.

  79. 79
    tybee says:

    @scav:

    it’ll be pushing 70 over the weekend. :)

  80. 80
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @raven:

    Oh, stop it. There were plenty of examples of what not to do before Atlanta began to sprawl. Those examples weren’t just unheeded, they were copied.

  81. 81
    dww44 says:

    @tybee: Yep, too true. Most don’t understand how many local governments were involved in that disaster.

    Most of the morning I watched Kasim Reed, Mayor of ATL, taking it on the chin from the likes of CNN. At least he didn’t blame the NWS as did our inestimable governor. You know, the guy who was once a US Congressman representing Northwest Georgia and never lost an opportunity to blame someone else, especially if that someone or something else had/has some connection to the Federal government. Although the brunt of the storm did shift North from the middle (where I live) and southern portions of the state to the Atlanta Metro Area. That part is true.

    But, Reed did say, when asked what he’d do differently next time, that he’d coordinate better with employers and school officials so that everyone didn’t get released at the same time.

  82. 82
    Goblue72 says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): its L.A. Y’all would just call in sick and call it a spiritual/personal wellness retreat day.

  83. 83
    BGinCHI says:

    @Goblue72: Please take our Rahm and our legislature. No extra charge.

  84. 84
    Roger Moore says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):
    And, of course, building up rather than out goes together with transit. Public transit works best when it’s connecting relatively dense areas, and sufficient density makes cars less attractive because of traffic and parking. But people are a lot more likely to build up rather than out when they’re forced to by some kind of space constraint like oceans, rivers, or mountains. Sprawl happens because, all else being equal, people like having more personal space and being surrounded by plants rather than concrete.

  85. 85
    JPL says:

    @raven: Yes. They normally have nine or ten judges needing a jury , yesterday there were only two. Since there was a winter storm warning issued, they should have canceled school also. Deal’s statement about closing the government at ten twenty appears to be in error. I’m shocked, just shocked

  86. 86
    Ash Can says:

    @MomSense:

    HAARP!!

    Excuse you.

  87. 87
    aimai says:

    Also: it just takes a lot of small errors of judgement or bad luck or accidents for a cascade which impedes everyone, regardless of the skill or intentions of the majority of people. I really feel for everyone caught in these storms, trying to get home or get their kids from school. One blocked road, one overturned car, and everyone is blocked and paralyzed. An entire city is not “at fault” because it gets choked by a series of small accidents.

  88. 88
    scav says:

    @tybee: Suthern humility and charm stikes again. We can pull off similar swings in temp, just probably not this month. And drive on snow without fainting in a genteel swoon.

  89. 89
    chopper says:

    @Geeno:

    back when i lived in NYC, i noted that while the city had a decent number of plows and salt trucks, there weren’t enough plows for the occasional massive snowfall. which makes sense in terms of keeping big machinery around for only an occasional storm.

    but they did have a bunch of extra metal plow fronts around. when a big storm would sweep in, they’d attach em to garbage trucks and instantly double the number of snow plows. still couldn’t clear every street during some epic storm (like 2 feet or whatever), but certainly helped a lot.

  90. 90
    raven says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): You “stop it”. The fucking suburbs didn’t want black people getting on the train and coming to to horrible stuff and they prevented MARTA from going outside the perimeter. It now goes a little but North but nowhere near where it should. The new Braves stadium is going to be at 285 and 75 and the will be no light rail to there either. That’s the way,uh huh, they like it, uh huh.

  91. 91
    Botsplainer says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    There were plenty of examples of what not to do before Atlanta began to sprawl. Those examples weren’t just unheeded, they were copied.

    Quit making fun of the rugged sub/exurban individualists, riding on the transportation and utility infrastructure paid for and extended by the investment of evil urban dwelling cosmopolitan elites and those people.

  92. 92
    🎂 Martin says:

    Hmm. McConnell is under 50% against Grimes. He’s in real danger of being defeated.

  93. 93
    Cassidy says:

    What a wonderful day of Crackers on Ice. Felt bad for the B shift guys; they weren’t sure if there relief was going to come to work on time. Fortunately, I had today off and got to go take a firefighting/ems exam and PAT.

  94. 94
    jackmac says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): I lived through the Bilandic fiasco and totally agree.

  95. 95
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Botsplainer: A big factor is how they react to the unanticipated. They panic.

    They predicted snow at least a day before it snowed in Atlanta. But see, they didn’t really believe it wuz gonna snow. Like, real snow. On the ground. Like, frozen precipitation, even.

    So when it did snow they all believed they had no warning.

    And freak-out panic is the proper description for their response. I’ve seen how Atlantans go bananas when it snows. Honestly, they go berserk, rush to the grocery store to ‘stock up’ lest they get snowed in up over the tops of the soles on their shoes.

    This is a result of the southern mindset, which is the authoritarian mindset. Authoritarians react badly to change — it always catches them by surprise even when they have all kinds of evidence something’s coming. Because for them all change is frightening and they shut it out, shout it down, do everything they can to stand athwart change and holler ‘stop’.

    So of course when it comes change is always unexpected. And terrifying. They refuse to accept any likelihood of that reality until it is literally in front of their eyes (black man in white house) or under their feet (snow on the ground). And even then, they don’t. They panic instead.

    They can get pissy all they want about being made fun of for panicking over 2 inches of snow, but the authoritarian nature of the deep south is the real story is why they freak out over things most other people don’t.

    I’ve seen with my own eyes other places on earth where unexpected and a-historical weather produced conditions people weren’t particularly prepared for. I’ve seen ’em go out and play in the snow, go for walks though the snow, visit friends, go to the store, with friends, kids, family, just for the sheer novel experience of walking in it, of enjoying the temporary beauty of a snow dusted landscape.

    Somehow they understood it was transient, that in a day or three or a week it would be gone and not to be seen again for perhaps another 8 or 10 years.

    I guess no one told them they all were going to die Die DIE or else end up eating each other in desperate acts of starvation-driven cannibalism when the snow gets an inch deep.

    Yes southerners, we mock your sorry pathetic can’t-do asses. You can’t handle curves thrown at you, not unless you expect it which by definition isn’t a curve. The south as a culture can’t handle even petty little things like snow when it’s outside its comfort bubble.

    No wonder y’all are busy buying ar-15s and ammo and doing ‘training’ and ‘prepping’ and insisting on guns everywhere and freaking out in a panic these past 5 years. All because ONE black man ended up in a place you never believed could happen, despite what the poll forecasts and the census and the inexorable forward march of history warned you was coming.

    And like the snow, y’all have no clue how to deal with it in a rational way.

  96. 96
    raven says:

    @scav: Only mid-60’s here so do I put up the plastic on the screen porch or drag the huge Sony in for the second TV for the game?

  97. 97
    JPL says:

    @raven: Not all of us like it that.

  98. 98
    BGinCHI says:

    @🎂 Martin: If he goes down he can thank his stance on Obamacare. The excellent state response by the Gov is going to make it really hard to run against access to affordable HC.

  99. 99
    raven says:

    @johnny aquitard: That is so fucking dumb. Do you really think most of the people in Metro Atlanta are southerners? Get a grip.

  100. 100
    scav says:

    @raven: Depends on how organic, accessible and free-range you prefer your ice-cubes.

    ETA. Was there a missing zero when I first replied? No way you’ll get free-range icecubes now so it doesn’t matter.

  101. 101
    JPL says:

    @BGinCHI: He’ll just say that his plan would have been better. He would offer the same benefits but without the mandate. It won’t be mentioned that it would cost twice as much.

  102. 102
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @raven: Of course.

  103. 103
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @raven:

    That being the case, we aren’t pointing and laughing at their traffic problems nearly enough- which brings us back to Botsplainer @ 11.

  104. 104
    Schlemizel says:

    having lived in the south (I got better!) I have to sort of agree with Raven. It really would not make sense to spend a lot of money on plows and salt when this is (was) such a rare event. Add to that the fact that it is quiet normal for the weather to be just warm enough that they get more ice than snow & it is not hard to feel bad when the shit hits the fan.

    But this does happen so they really should look at putting up some sort of process to deal with it. Maybe they do just have to shut down for 2 days, one before it starts & one after it is done. Calculate that into the cost of doing business

  105. 105
    raven says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): And it still has nothing to do with this storm. I gotta go buy some ducks for the gumbo. Keep up the fire.

  106. 106
    Cassidy says:

    @raven: I though he was funny. It’s like being at the bar and watching some dude try his best Dennis Leary impersonation over what’s wrong with society, but he’s really just mumbling to himself.

  107. 107
    tybee says:

    @scav:

    we’re just trying to match your level of “courtesy” and we don’t drop like flies like your ilk does when the temperatures go above 85 in the summer.

  108. 108
    raven says:

    @Schlemizel: That is what they are doing now. State gov is closed tomorrow. It’s not above freezing so it ain’t fixin to melt.

  109. 109
    JPL says:

    The absolute worse thing about being stuck in a car is needing to go to the bathroom. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling. My neighbor said that a person in front of her, left his vehicle and walked over by the woods and that solved his problem.

  110. 110
    Goblue72 says:

    @BGinCHI: ah heck naw. I’ll gladly take our somewhat ineffectual, amusingly parochial, but basically not corrupt WA state leg over the cesspool in Springfield. And I actually LIKE Chicago.

  111. 111
    RSA says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Ice storms just compound the terror.

    As has been suggested in the past, finding a way to describe global climate change as a terrorist plot would probably help shift resources in the right direction.

  112. 112
    raven says:

    @Cassidy: I think he copied and pasted from that bots douche.

  113. 113
    BGinCHI says:

    @JPL: I’m guessing that a lot of people have wised up in that state due to the way they handled ACA implementation. Maybe not enough….but it’s going to be hard for him to both parrot the tea party line as well as squaring himself with reality.

    Plus, wait till the debates!

  114. 114
    Botsplainer says:

    @johnny aquitard:

    No wonder y’all are busy buying ar-15s and ammo and doing ‘training’ and ‘prepping’ and insisting on guns everywhere and freaking out in a panic these past 5 years.

    What are the chances that some law abiding rugged individualist will injure himself or someone else while shooting icicles off his gutters with a Bushmaster?

  115. 115
    Goblue72 says:

    @JPL: if an Atlantan takes a dump in the woods and no one sees it, did he actually bootstrap himself?

  116. 116
    jl says:

    @johnny aquitard: In California we had the Donner Party and plenty of experience with earthquakes. No one gets worried until some one starts staring at where their liver is, is licking their lips, and go gets a knife.

  117. 117
    scav says:

    @tybee: yeah, the middle of the country never goes above 85°, all the exploding cows are a myth.

  118. 118
    Goblue72 says:

    @raven: I dunno – which is worse – people who were born there or those who actually voluntarily moved there of their own free will?

  119. 119
    Botsplainer says:

    @JPL:

    The absolute worse thing about being stuck in a car is needing to go to the bathroom. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling. My neighbor said that a person in front of her, left his vehicle and walked over by the woods and that solved his problem.

    I wouldn’t bother with the woods. Get out of car, stand at door, let ‘er rip.

    Problem solved.

  120. 120
    BGinCHI says:

    @Goblue72: I’ll throw in Jay Cutler. Final offer.

  121. 121
    Botsplainer says:

    @Goblue72:

    if an Atlantan takes a dump in the woods and no one sees it, did he actually bootstrap himself?

    I always liked this one – “if a man says something in a forest and there’s no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?”

  122. 122
    raven says:

    @Goblue72: I love it in Athens but Athens ain’t Atlanta.

  123. 123
    tybee says:

    @scav: glad you understand how useless you are in the summer. :)

    or any season, for that matter.

  124. 124
    Violet says:

    It took my friend in Atlanta over 12 hours to get home yesterday. Apparently her car didn’t get home too, so I’m not sure how she got home. Just had a quick text from her. At least she’s okay.

  125. 125
    Goblue72 says:

    @raven: Athens isn’t even in Georgia.

  126. 126
    JPL says:

    @raven: In one way, you are a lot like Roswell. We both have lousy representatives. My son lives in Sandy Springs and John Lewis is is rep.

  127. 127
    Goblue72 says:

    @BGinCHI: now you’re just being mean.

  128. 128
    JPL says:

    @Violet: I’m not surprised. When you posted that you had a friend in the area last night, the odds were pretty good they’d get stuck. A lot of people left their cars and walked the last few miles. Several area businesses and all schools are closed tomorrow, too.

  129. 129
    danielx says:

    @Botsplainer:

    He’s correct. Repetition of ‘slow the fuck down’ should be effective, but there are always idiots who believe that because they have four/all wheel drive they are invincible. Trouble is that they end up causing damage and injury to other people when they go over the high side.

  130. 130
    dww44 says:

    I just got this from a friend whose hubby was caught in the traffic yesterday trying to get home to the central part of the state. As noted, he’s Indiana born and raised:

    Oh, nobody knows as well the horror of this situation as much as Gary. He left Woodstock at 1:15 and he was in the middle of the gridlock. He was in it for 7 hours. He was livid!

    When he got home his truck was a huge block of ice and gunk. I went out to help him up the walkway and when we tried to get his door open it was frozen shut. It had ice hanging from the grill and underneath. The bad thing with him is he could have never gotten Out because of his leg (he lost it in an accident several years ago) on the interstate. He has no control with ice on slick surfaces.

    He was in 4 wheel drive and being from IN he knows how to drive in this mess. Don’t Get me wrong, I know these things are bad but people down here just do not know what to do. In this case they had no other choice but did the best they could do. Gary said there were people flying by blowing their horns (of course they had Atlanta tags…those damn people up there are crazy even in regular weather).

    He did say the major problem started with the big trucks and when they slid it stopped everybody. He said one went sideways and he (Gary) some how went through a hole before it came back around and that saved him from being trapped. Thank the Lord!!!!!!

    I have been watching CNN .

    It’s like Gary said last night, the main reason for this gridlock was EVERYBODY left at one time!!!!!!!!!! Then that is what they confessed to. But I can’t believe there are ones in command blaming the meteorologist!!! Even 13 (local TV station) here said it was changing but the NWC did not change the graph. That is what they go with. It is somewhat comical at all the finger-pointing. You can believe this…it ain’t over yet

  131. 131
    MomSense says:

    When we were without power for several weeks during the great ice storm of ’98 we fired up the wood stoves, drank heavily and made a lot of babies. It all started when a farmer told everyone on a radio broadcast that you would stay warmer if you slept in the nude. 40 weeks later we had the great ice storm baby boom.

  132. 132
    scav says:

    @tybee: you don’t get out much, do you? I don’t even have AC. Let’s hear the next thin-skinned whimper that people aren’t being properly sympathetic after all the earlier attempts at gloating. whee haw, 70°, the one note definition of paradise.

    Geography, geography, come on, you lot handle hurricanes better, you’ve got it over the midwest there. Temperature variations, that’s the bit we handle. And tornados, earthquakes not so much, although we may have to if the latest idea that New Madrid might be more active than once thought bears out. New Madrid we share though.

  133. 133
    JPL says:

    @dww44: The NWC did change though. I checked before five am since I had jury duty and discovered the change.

  134. 134
    Violet says:

    @JPL: That may be what she did. I hope her car is okay! I’ve got another friend in Marietta. I haven’t heard from her yet. I hope they had the sense to keep the kids home yesterday.

  135. 135
    JPL says:

    My son has been at work since yesterday. The company booked some rooms at a nearby hotel but he just grabbed a few hours sleep in a break room. He’s staying put for another night but should be home tomorrow. I bet it’s a smelly environment about now.

  136. 136
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @dww44:

    Most of the morning I watched Kasim Reed, Mayor of ATL, taking it on the chin from the likes of CNN. At least he didn’t blame the NWS as did our inestimable governor.

    A Facebook friend posted this clip of Al Roker reaming out Governor Deal and Mayor Reed for lack of preparation despite the forecasted warnings.

    The friend observed that Jason Carter should use the clip as a campaign commercial.

  137. 137
    JPL says:

    @Violet: The city of Roswell is towing cars to local parking lots at no cost to the driver. Hopefully, your friends car is okay but their were hundreds and hundreds of accidents.

  138. 138
    Botsplainer says:

    @dww44:

    He did say the major problem started with the big trucks and when they slid it stopped everybody.

    Semis have a tendency to overestimate how fast they can go in wet or icy conditions. Raising the speed limits to 70 simply resulted in trucks flying by at 80-85, and they’ve become habituated to higher speeds.

    I remember a decent commute before that criminal jackass Ernie Fletcher became Governor of Kentucky. He raised the limit to 70 in the name of Liberty or some bullshit, and the result has been a nightmare since then, with regular entanglements of semis and Ohio plated SUVs at two choke points on my commute.

    I’d love for the limit to go back down, but the howls of outrage from redneckistan would overwhelm everything else. Beshear picks his battles carefully, and there are some places he just can’t go yet.

  139. 139
    JPL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: It’s unfortunate that people in Atlanta did not see that clip, because we have had local coverage all day.

  140. 140
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    My former boss, who normally has a 20-minute commute (midtown to Buckhead), took 9 hours to get home yesterday.

    When I worked, my commute on a good day was around 40-45 minutes, but as many others have observed, Atlanta traffic can be a bear, and I definitely had my share of 1-1/2 hours, 2, even close to 3 hours on occasion if there was nasty weather or construction or an accident narrowing the Interstates down to a single lane. But I can’t imagine 9 hours! I am very, very glad to have retired when I did!

  141. 141
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @raven:

    And it still has nothing to do with this storm.

    I-75 just south of Mackinaw City gets shit weather all the time, more than the plows can take care of, and cars will skid out, get in accidents….But I-75 there doesn’t carry anywhere close to the load that it does around Atlanta, so the impact is minimal.

    The more traffic on a road, the greater the odds of accidents and the greater the time it takes the flow of traffic to recover from those accidents. You can blame a freak storm (although it seems to me that winter storms are no longer freakish in that area), and while that storm might be a factor, it isn’t the only factor, nor the greatest. Hell, the same thing can, and probably does, happen in a typical southern thunderstorm.

  142. 142
    Botsplainer says:

    @scav:

    New Madrid we share though.

    It threw out a 5 on a connected fault system in Illinois several years ago in the middle of the night. Woke me up by rattling my house northeast of Louisville, and it was very near the original full strength. Broke some windows and blew apart an old facade downtown.

    I could have sworn that it was a little brighter outside when the shaking was going on, but maybe that was my mind playing tricks.

  143. 143
    Violet says:

    @JPL: She was busy when I texted her earlier but I’m going to follow up and see what happened to her car. At least she got home okay!

  144. 144
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @JPL: I think it may have been on MSNBC.

  145. 145
    Mike in NC says:

    @danielx: “Slow Down” is Rule #1 when it comes to winter driving, but we lived for 20 years in the DC suburbs (with many, many folks from places where it seldom or ever snowed), and they inevitably freaked out at the ice and snow and hit the gas pedal trying to get home faster. Not a good outcome.

  146. 146
    chopper says:

    @dww44:

    gotta love how the NWS got it totally right, yet the d-bag tries to blame them.

  147. 147
    Ben Cisco says:

    This may make it easier to explain climate even to people who struggle with second grade math

    You canna defeat willful ignorance with mere facts, laddie. It may be true that they dinna ken, but the important thing here is they don’t wanna ken.

    /for Scotty

  148. 148
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @RSA:

    Well, Al Gore is a (fat) terrorist with a big house, isn’t he?

  149. 149
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Botsplainer:

    LOL! When the speed limit was still 55 mph, the traffic in and around Detroit would go 75 mph-85 mph. It was a bitch getting stuck on the Lodge behind some little old lady in a dilapidated Dodge Dart who could only get it up to 60mph, especially when you had tickets to a Tigers’ game and were running late. Just no fucking way to get around her.

  150. 150
    askew says:

    I have been watching the Atlanta updates all day on CNN/MSNBC in horror. I had the misfortune of driving through Atlanta once in good weather and it was a complete nightmare. Can’t imagine how it is with bad weather. I’ve also been following the facebook page SnowedoutAtlanta and they have been getting supplies and picking up stranded people since last night. Inspiring to see people working together.

    This
    article sums up why this traffic nightmare happened. If this doesn’t result in Gov. Deal losing re-election, nothing will because he is completely incompetent.

  151. 151
    burnspbesq says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Rule 2 is “Torque is not your friend. Forget about first gear.”

  152. 152
    karen says:

    @Mike E:

    I thought the whole “Bread, milk and toilet paper” was a Maryland thing. Guess not.

  153. 153
    Yatsuno says:

    @Goblue72: Well…not so much the public transit in Seattle. The rail should have been built decades ago.

  154. 154

    4 wheel drive is not 4 wheel stop.

  155. 155
    karen says:

    @🎂 Martin:

    Hmm. McConnell is under 50% against Grimes. He’s in real danger of being defeated.

    Cue McConnell’s demand for Obama’s impeachment in 10. 9. 8….

  156. 156
    tybee says:

    @scav:

    gee, short bus, seems you have a very thin skin. it amuses me that you can dish it out but can’t take it in return. :)

  157. 157
    Tractarian says:

    But I don’t live anywhere near Nome or Chicago.

  158. 158
    tybee says:

    @askew:

    that pretty much matches up from what i’ve heard from friends and relatives that were caught in that mess.

  159. 159
    Geeno says:

    @chopper: Yeah – in Rochester we actually went out and bought huge garbage trucks with attachable plows. Nothing can stand in their way. The signs are posted – no parking on the street between November and March in many areas, alternate side parking in others. Obey the signs. Ignore them at your peril.

  160. 160
    Debbie(aussie) says:

    If we ever get snow storms here in sth/e QLD- Ipswich we are truly tucked. Although our apocalypse is more likely ,burn to The ground/drought.

    I am sorry for all your travails. Help your fellow man when able, take a few deep breaths and hope for the best.
    Regards and best wishes from a fellow lefty now living in rwdb territory. Debbie

  161. 161
    rikyrah says:

    Being from Chicago, Bilandic’s loss changed everything.

    No Mayor in Chicago was gonna be defeated because of snow.

    There is Snow Street Etiquette.
    Once the snow has stopped, within 24 hours, the expressways and the main streets should be bone dry.

    I mean, bone dry.

    The city gets another 72 hours to clear off the sidestreets.

    Don’t wanna hear no bullshyt about how much the salt is costing or how much has been used.
    Don’t wanna hear nothing about how much overtime is being paid for with Streets & Sanitation, and what that’s doing to ‘ the budget’.

    The only thing that matters is that our streets are clean.

    The former mayor, King Richard II pretty much did whatever the fuck he wanted to.

    And came out a few years ago with some new-fangled snow removal plan, basically trying to skimp on plowing side streets.

    Took him less than a week to take that nonsense back and go ‘ sorry’.

    Folks were not having it.

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