06 December 2007

First Snow

In DC, many people like to pretend that just because we're south of the Mason-Dixon line, that we're Southern. Therefore, we don't get wintry weather. This is in fact, definitely NOT the case. As you can see below, we got more than a couple flakes last night. The pictures below are from our back yard around 7:00pm. I tried to capture good images of what it looked like coming down. My camera was freaking out a little bit because of the light hitting the flakes. These pictures turned out pretty well though:

And now I will rant:

Usually we get our first significant snow around Thanksgiving. This year, we saw our first flakes fly earlier this week. Those 15 flakes were enough to back up traffic on the Beltway for hours during the morning rush hour. Being a Native Michigander, I scoffed at the idea of going 10 mph on the highway just because there were some flurries. Back at home, they'd still be going 80mph on the freeway, and this wouldn't be a problem at all. Not here though, snow that fails to even stick to the ground will shut down Metro, and leave people abandoning their cars on the side of the road.

Okay...so I'm exaggerating; but only a little.

Yesterday morning, we woke up to more flurries, and even colder temperatures. This time, they actually stuck. My daily commute from DC to Tysons Corner showed itself for the offensive thing it is, even though everyone tells me I'm going "in reverse." I laugh in their faces. Yesterday, my commute took 2 and a half hours. I work 14.1 miles from my job. If I'd know that it was going to take that long, I would have spent my 2.5 hours taking Metro. By the end of the day, there was about an inch and a half on the ground. Surprisingly, my drive home only took an hour and a half. I suspect that lots of people went home early because of the "weather."

This morning, I decided that rather than brave the unsalted, untreated, icy roads filled with "inexperienced" winter drivers, I would spend my first 3 hours of the day working from home rather than wasting it sitting in traffic. It's safer for me to just stay off the roads altogether. Not because I can't drive in it (I surely have the experience of MANY Michigan winters under my belt!), but because the city has no ability to plan in advance for snow that they know is coming. It creates unsafe conditions for everyone because they're "shocked" that we got snow this far south. Hello? It snows like this EVERY year, it's about time that we start to learn how to sent salt trucks and plows out to be ready when the first flakes fly. Period. Put a Michigander in the Road Commissioner's office. We know how to handle weather of all kinds, but especially the frozen white stuff.

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