Anatomy of a Snowpocalypse

The entymology of Snowpocalypse is a little hazy but it seems to have started around here back in ’05 or ’06.  I think it’s fair to say that any time a couple of inches of snow falls from the sky on the greater Seattle area and actually stays on the ground, it’s a snowpocalypse.  I’m not going to get into the justifications or explain why in Seattle that’s a big deal where in other places they just deal with it, but these things do have a sort of rhythm to them.

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It starts with a lot of breathless weather reports, of course.  A lot of doubt, and at least one false alarm.  Eventually though, it does happen.  It can snow in Seattle.  At the same time, you usually have to go looking for it, at first.

And then it comes down.  The city goes to sleep.  Everyone looks around and enjoys themselves as their employers try and figure out how to wrest some productivity from the cold disaster.  About this time the local news starts driving around the city in the van they’ve dubbed “Snow King” and crashing into parked cars.

I always forget how quickly a neighborhood of asphalt and dirt and grass and cars can be turned into breathless white.  After it all stops, when everything is calm and before the melting starts, there is one moment before the snow turns brown or yellow or other colors you’d rather not think about, when everything is perfectly clean and white.

Snowpocalypse Seattle, 2012 edition.  A good time to give thanks for the ability to work from home.

This Is How It Starts

It isn’t usually that cold here.  Seattle isn’t known for snow, or freezing, or any real extremes.  This week, however, is not effing around.  My computer is telling me it’s 25 degrees out right now, on its way down to 16 overnight.  This is not normal or ok.  So far, it’s been freezing but dry.  At this temperature, however, just a little moisture and you get what we had last year, almost to the day:

Nighttime Snow in Seattle

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Right now it’s all happy and bare out there, but never forget people – this is how it started.  You remember what happened after that, right?