Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tale of Two Cities. Atlanta VS Raleigh and Snowy Traffic Jams

The biggest story so far from this Southern Snow Storm was the traffic jam that the snow created in Atlanta this afternoon. Seems employers sent their workers home at the same time that schools finally made the decision to release the students early and well... traffic chaos as the snow was falling.

Some people left their cars and tried to walk home.

Their own meteorologists at TWC were tweeting and talking on air about how this traffic jam impacted their own personal lives.  Some how it seems they never saw it coming at TWC.  Hey it happens.

Greg Forbes ‏@DrGregForbes
Never seen anything like it.  Traffic at standstill outside TWC for 6 hours straight.

Perhaps the people at TWC were reading the blogs at Weather Nation as they like everyone else seemed to think that Atlanta was barely in it.

Many on air weather people across the web and on the old fashioned television all insisted Atlanta was on the edge and might get some stuff... but all of the emphasis was on the huge snow fall totals in the Sandhills and Coastal Plains of the Carolinas. There was talk on New Orleans getting snow... as well as Savannah.

wxrnation.PNG (601×392)

See the graphics above that I posted yesterday on my blog? Atlanta was in it enough to worry about it.
The snow and ice was going to reach Atlanta BEFORE it reached Raleigh further up the Piedmont road. 
Raleigh cancelled school today being safe rather than sorry. They specifically sited the lack of confidence in the timing of this snow event and rather than take chances that it would come in earlier and students would be stuck on buses trying to get home ....they called today a snow day knowing that most likely Wednesday would also be a snow day.  Raleigh erred on the side of caution. Atlanta did not. 

Instead Atlanta took a chance and hoped for the best and didn't prepare for the worst.

Raleigh prepared for the worst and hoped for the best.

As I said earlier. "Hey, it happens!" In 2005 the City of Raleigh and the whole Triangle area was shut down by a half an inch of snow that came down inconveniently during the rush hour. Students could not get home, some slept at schools the way they are doing tonight in Atlanta. Weathermen had egg on their faces and the city will never forget the mess that a half an inch of snow created with one busted forecast. Now...they always err on the side of caution.

Raleigh never forgets that crazy mess and ever since they err on the side of caution.

An additional problem with this storm was that they relied on ensemble models that did not work well with regard to the timing of the storm. As I said earlier... CLIMO won that battle. 

Common sense wins the battle in places where it's best to shut down "just in case" and build in a make up day for the lost snow day.  Especially when you have a city like Atlanta that mostly relies on their automobiles and highway system and risk them getting stuck in their cars for up to 8 hours as they run out of gas on the highway and have to abandon their cars and walk home in frigid conditions. 

The IRONY here is that one of the Atlanta Companies most impacted was TWC whose employees could not get into work and the ones who were ready to go home... are still stuck there. 

So, the question begs asking:

How did TWC not see this coming? Atlanta is their own neck of the woods. If TWC could not forecast the early arrival of the snow in it's own backyard than well... 

They sent Mike Seidel to Fayetteville for the record snow storm and mostly they got sleet... it started slowing late tonight despite forecasts for it to begin snowing early today.

Jim Cantore had more problems from rowdy college kids then he did from snow blanketing the streets of Charleston. Ice has become a problem there which was more predictable than a snow storm and he did get some great pics of palm trees covered in ice. I sincerely hope the palm trees will be okay. I'm not worried about Cantore...he can take care of himself!

New Orleans got some snow flurries, but mostly ice.

Myrtle Beach ...where TWC should have gone has up to half an inch of ice and there are already power outages reported. Depending on how the rest of the night goes there may be huge problems from the Ice tomorrow morning.

A baby has now been born in the Atlanta Traffic Jam of Winter Storm Leon. It was a baby girl...

Ironically TWC could have done a better job covering the storm by covering the massive traffic jam in their own backyard. 

Weather... as much as we know.. we still are learning. Did the models do a bad job with this storm? Yes, I think so. They were off on timing and off on the type of precipitation most of the cities would receive. Even Raleigh got some sleet after being told by every weather person on air that we would only get snow.

And as for the Florida Panhandle:

Please read the information from earlier today as it is still valid and the links are often in real time and are updated.  Thanks for your thoughts, feedback and for keeping me constantly informed on the storm in emails and Tweets!

Besos Bobbi


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