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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Winter Storm Jonas

Hurricanes have been given names for years. The National Weather Service set on a pattern of a rotating list of male-female alternating names for storms in 1979. In 2012, The Weather Channel decided to name winter storms as well. I missed that until we started hearing we were going to be hit by Jonas. Jonas? A hurricane in the winter? No, just a winter storm with a name. And, as it turns out, a name that will go down in history as a record-setting blizzard on the East Coast.
There was ample time to prepare as we were being warned all week it was coming. Lots of snow and wind would shut everything down all everything from North Carolina to the New England states. It would begin here about 6 p.m. Friday. I took it seriously and did my usual Friday shopping rounds first thing Friday morning. I prepared some food in advance and filled some buckets with water in case the electric went off. This time the forecast was right on the money and the snow began to fall just before 6 p.m. The ground was white when we went to bed. I thought if we had to have a blizzard that was about as good timing as it could be---after rush hour Friday, snow on Saturday, and clear on Sunday.
There was a thick layer of snow Saturday morning and it continued to fall all day.  The electric did not go off and we were snug and warm in the house all day. We entertained ourselves with our hobbies and let it snow. It stopped sometime after dark and before we went to bed but it snowed about 24 hours.
How much snow did we get? It's hard to tell with the way it drifted but according to the news it was a record breaker. Harrisburg had 34 inches and Allentown had 31. We're smack in the middle so it's safe to say we had 28-30 inches. The windows were plastered shut all day with the blowing snow and drifts piled up nearly to the windowsills.

Cities up and down the coast banned travel except for emergency and snow removal vehicles. Lancaster slapped a $300 fine on anyone who tried to drive in the city.
The sun came up in a clear blue sky this morning and recovery began. Church was canceled so we listened to a sermon on a CD for our "home church." Then Leroy went out to start clearing the snow from the driveways. It was a light dry snow and pushed easily with his little tractor.

The winter had been basically mild into January. All the snow we had been spared up to this point was dumped in one storm. We've had our quota for the season now.
I don't mind being snowed in for a weekend as long as the electric stays on. It's actually kind of cozy and relaxing. I entertained myself with scrapbooking and am not bored. We have had storms with less snow that caused greater problems than this one, mostly because the electric stayed on. But I don't need another winter storm big enough to give it a name.

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