Juno – Part 1
We had our first real storm of the season over the weekend. It was a wintery mix typical of our area. It gave the kids just enough snow to build a snowman and a fort. The day was warm and sunny and we were all outside enjoying life as New Englanders. These storms are easy, predictable and enjoyable. But no sooner had we hung up our snow pants to dry that we learned another bigger storm was on its way.
Juno was racing up the eastern coast and shaping up to be a blizzard. The last blizzard I “remember” was the blizzard of ’78. I was three. I remember it through a photo of me standing in the walkway to my childhood house with banks of snow well over my head. It was a tunnel with an open roof, which made me wonder, was that our last blizzard? I did a quick search and sure enough there have been others. Do you remember the “1993 Storm of the Century” or the “North American Blizzard of 1996”? I don’t. Probably because I was in college and not a mother or a homeowner.
The idea of a blizzard excited us all: no school, a day in our pajamas, jumping into mounds of soft snow, hot chocolate. We were psyched; until we looked up the definition of a blizzard. A blizzard is defined more by its wind speed than by its snowfall. It must have sustained wind speeds of 35 mph over at least a three hour period with gusts of much higher speeds. Visibility is reduced to 1/4 of a mile or less and snowfall is usually around two to three feet. Snow, no problem but wind, that scares me. Wind means downed limbs, damaged roofs, loss of power and howls that will keep me up at night worrying. My fear is well founded. We lost a huge linden tree during Hurricane Irene. It fell along the dining room side of our house; the trunk just missing the house. So when Juno bears down on us with 35 MPH winds and predicted gusts of 75 MPH, I’ll be thinking about the huge maple tree that Irene spared.
Aside from the usual preparedness there is not much else to do but hope for the best. With any luck, Juno will bring tons snow and be relatively forgettable because it won’t be formidable.