Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snow day, sequel

kw: weather, snow, ice

The radio shows this morning are full of talk about the snowstorm yesterday morning. It seems the President's girls also had the day off, and people are echoing his "learn from Chicago" ribbing. I'd be tempted to join in, but really, this isn't New England. Washington, DC was built on a subtropical swamp. It is just far enough north that it gets at least some snow most winters.

I've been there a few times in winter, and the problem is just its mid-Atlantic location. It is cold enough to get snow, but not cold enough to keep snow in solid form. Snow in the mid-Atlantic region quickly turns to slush, which is much more treacherous. The icy rain that fell on yesterday's snow made it that much worse.

A couple hours north of DC, where I live, I could get around by taking it slow. I knew before I started that I'd be late at work, and decided that was OK. The troubles on the roads were caused by people's impatience. It seems the most impatient people have a blind spot about weather. They don't plan ahead so as to have extra time, so they get twice as impatient with the slower drivers (like me) who did. I'm glad I didn't get rear-ended, but then, I drove at a time with less traffic, on the better-kept roads.

A reminder to everyone driving a four-wheel-drive vehicle: it is easier to get into trouble, because you have a false sense of security. Every vehicle has four-wheel stopping, so you actually have no advantage, there.

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