There’s a winter storm barreling its way toward the Atlanta area that has all the local weather forecasters shitting their collective pants.
The fun starts tonight with snow, followed by more snow, sleet, and freezing rain. The icy crap will knock the snow accumulations down - we may see anywhere from three to five inches hereabouts, plenty enough to build a Snow-Golem - but will make the roads far more treacherous. And if enough ice coats trees and power lines, power outages will follow just as lobbyists follow politicians.
Those of us who lived in Atlanta twenty-nine years ago will remember the infamous Snow Jam ’82 in early January. Three inches of snow, a nice layer of ice laid down by a night of freezing rain, and another three inches of snow the next day. With the snowfall having begun mid-afternoon on a Tuesday, the late-afternoon commute became a nightmare of snarled traffic, wrecks, and abandoned vehicles. I was able to make it home - a seven-mile trip - in a mere two and a half hours, and I considered myself lucky. We were confined to the subdivision from that Tuesday until the following Saturday morning, thanks to the combination of hills and icy roads that surrounded our neighborhood.
This time, at least, the forecasters seem to be on top of things. Maybe even too much on top of things. With all the breathless predictions of record snowfall (they’ve since backed off a bit, citing an earlier changeover to sleet that will mean less snow accumulation but more of that pesky ice), you’d think the Frosty A-Fucking-Pocalypse was on its way to town.
In my experience, the more dire the prediction, the less significant the storm. Still, you never know... and I’m certainly not planning to be on the roads. Even absent the hordes of moronic Southern drivers, you still have to deal with Mr. Frozen Overpass, Mr. Tree, Mr. Utility Pole, and Mr. Ditch, none of whom are especially friendly when you encounter them at speed.
Update: As of 9:30 p.m., no snow has fallen here in Marietta. It’s a different story just east of downtown, however, where The Mistress of Sarcasm reports two inches on the ground already.
Update 2: 9:45 p.m. - it has begun. Big time... as close to a whiteout as I’ve seen hereabouts in a long, long time.