An Imperfect Storm

I’m sure many of you heard about the small winter storm that practically crippled the city of Atlanta last week. I’ve lived here for over 20 years and have never seen a bigger winter mess, but in defense of my adopted hometown, we simply don’t get snow very often, and sometimes there are several years in a row of snowlessness. A flip-flopping weather forecast, unusually cold temperatures and more snow than this southern city has seen in a long time joined to create what I’m calling the imperfect storm. The icing on the cake (the snow on the ice?) was when the entire metro area chose the exact moment in time to hop into their cars and try to beat the storm, their caution unwittingly creating the traffic nightmare that was broadcast around the world over, and over, and over. Okay national news….it’s over! Thankfully, there were more than a few stations who not only broadcasted our snow storm ineptness, but also the great kindness displayed by our local residents to those trapped by the chaos. Through the snow and slush the media recorded Atlantans hand delivering bottled waters, cups of coffee and granola bars to the thousands of cars strained on the interstate, residents invited total strangers into their homes, and teachers spent the night in schools entertaining and feeding their stranded students. It’s the acts of kindness and sense of community that I will remember the most from this extreme winter event, that, and to always re-check weather.com at 3 o’clock in the morning for a final flip from the flop in a potentially snowstormy forecast.

47 comments

  • It’s one for the ages, and one worthy of many retellings (embellished and/or straight account). It always take the first couple of snows to have people realize it does snow in Colorado. When that happens, it’s staying from other drivers until they get their “winter sense”.
    P.S. AccuWeather has a new feature on their web site called MinuteCast. Tells you when the snow, rain, ice, etc. will begin to the minute. It worked pretty well last week saying when the snow would begin. It’ll come in handy tomorrow when winter returns.

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    • David you hit the nail on the head by calling it one for the ages. The sad thing is that is was so NICE to have snow in Atlanta for once, but we sure had to pay the price for the pleasure!

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  • Yes, the weather reports. While I admit to checking them, I do prefer to see nature actual forecast. Sorry to hear about the traffic repercussions from the winter storm. Ah, the imperfections of the human animal: driven (no pun intended) by an inadequate sense of control. Silly, silly human animals. And those daffodils peeking out to encourage our thoughts of Spring–thanks.

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  • Great capture of the bulbs breaking through Elisa 😀 I heard it was a real mess down there the night of the storm but it looks like the goodness of people came through with the people stuck on the roads. We got about 8 inches up here today and I’m really tired of the cold and snow already. Have a great evening.

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  • Nice pic of the buds coming through. The snow here in Atlanta last week is testament to a little snow going a long way.

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    • Thanks! And I’ll say…who would have thought two and a half inches of snow could cause an entire metro area to come to a grinding halt? If we get another “storm” I’m turning off the TV.

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  • Of course I heard the news, but my friend who also lives in Atlanta was telling me stories of the great mess. I was so thankful she and her kiddos were fine and not stranded any place. We had 13 inches of snow yesterday with more to come tomorrow and over the weekend. It has been a wild winter! Glad you at least have signs of Spring popping up! Enjoy the warmer temps and sunshine!

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    • 13 inches and more on the way!!!! I’m glad your area will take better control of the situation than we did last week. Enjoy the snow and take lots of pics so I can see what a real snowstorm looks like.
      Thanks Robyn!

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  • Thank you Elisa for this post, it helps clarify what snow could mean to a city that’s not used to have it. Also, thank you for visiting my blog and “liking” my post. I live northwest of Atlanta, living here for 7 years, moved from New Jersey. I’ll follow your blog from today on. 🙂

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    • Oh, it’s so nice to meet another “transplant!” I’ve noticed your cute icon around WP and I’m glad I clicked on it today…you have a lovely blog. I could sit and watch birds all day I think. Thanks for the follow, I’ll be right over!

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  • I had heard of this and it reminded me of a time I got caught in traffic during a snowstorm in Boston. Boston folks also freak out when it snows since ice is a big issue. I left work at 3pm (my normal time) and spent 1.5 hours in a traffic to get home. Everyone left early and there was only an inch on the ground. It took me that long to travel eight miles. I would have laughed more, but I was running out of gas. Not the best day in Boston.

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    • I’m surprised that happened to you in Boston…the north easterners pride themselves on handling any bad weather with ease. I’m glad you told me about it, us southerners aren’t as lame in the snow as I thought!

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    • It’s funny how quickly the weather changes, Gracie. From a little bit of snow to lots of rain. I’m REALLY looking forward to blue skies, sunshine, and warm temps these days!!

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  • Looks like we are in for another storm next week, Tuesday-Wednesday, snow and ice according to the National Weather Service. Same kind of storm that hit us all last week. Gulf moisture with cold from Canada again!

    Enjoy your weekend!
    Michael 🙂

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  • What a wonderful picture, Elisa! I love seeing the little daffodils peeking out of the snow. Reminds me of my childhood when my mother always had daffodils and crocus and all kinds of bulbs coming out of the ground every year. I miss that. I can’t grow them here since it is too warm. They are annuals here. That seemed the strangest thing to me when we moved here and I discovered it. I thought about you during the storm that hit Atlanta. The snow was beautiful, I know, but the traffic jam was bad. It is heartwarming to see people helping each other in those kinds of situations though. I guess we need a little adversity now and then to remind us that we are neighbors, after all. 🙂

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    • I agree with you, about the joys of perennials. Especially flowering bulbs. I don’t keep too many in the yard…one year I planted dozens of tulip bulbs and the squirrels ate every last one of them. I still growl when I see a squirrel in the garden! Rascals. I just saw the weather forecast and I had to do a double take, more snow for the Atlanta area. WHAT?!?! I hope everyone stays home. And I’m hiding in the closet!

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  • Such a great picture of the bulbs breaking through, Elisa. So glad the weather has warmed up a bit now. Sounds like although you were unprepared for the bad weather, it didn’t take long for the community to come together and help those in need. 🙂

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    • It will always be a storm to remember, all of our friends had a story to tell…some frustrating and others hilarious. I just learned that more snow is on it’s way…I’m stocking up on wine this time! 😉

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  • I enjoyed the photo and commentary. Watching the news about the sudden blizzard that has killed a number of people in several states yesterday – hope you all keep safe!

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