Sunday AM: The weather report on the AM news states a possible 1-3 inches this week. Nothing more. It's Chicago, we do that every week.
Snowpocalypse- Social Networking & The 2011 Blizzard
Noon: A post on Facebook says we're in for the storm of the century. What? Where did this come from?
3 PM: Posts from all over the midwest claim a storm is on its way. Tad, in Indy, states their weathermen have already declared the impending storm to be "Catastrophic". This storm is still 3 days away, but already- such doomsday predictions. Not many things in life are deemed catastrophic (especially in advance). Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake come to mind, how would a blizzard be even described thusly?
Monday: I have now heard on TV the dire predictions. Facebook is full of posts- will it really hit us or is it all hype? The storm is now being called "Killer" on the news. 2 days out, and already, a murderer. New words surface: Snowmageddon. Snowapalooza.
Monday Night: People are posting their preparedness: "I have gone shopping and am armed with movies, snacks and dinners-bring it on." Will there be a snow day? Several schools already cancel classes for Wednesday and they scroll across the bottom of WGN's screen.
Tuesday: People post when the storm has started where they live. If they got off work early. When they made it home. I got to see my niece and nephew's posts: "Just call the snow day already!!" and a few minutes later: "SNOW DAY!!!!!" Ah, that joy brought me back to being a kid again.
Well-wishes pour in from those out of the storms path for those in it to be safe. And, why I love social networking: friends alerting us when their families all arrived home safe and sound to wait out the storm, or we worried over those still out (McGoon), hoping they make it home soon. One neighbor said her power went out, and there were several immediate comments for them to come over to wait it out.
Another new word: Thunder Snow- lightening during a snow storm.
Wednesday: Facebook is packed with PHOTOS! Yards with a 1/2 buried house. Kids on a swing with snow just under them. Shoveling. Dogs leaping. Drifts. Forts. The magnitude of snow and strong winds was impressive. That hype was realized.
The news was filled with stories about cars stuck on Lake Shore Drive for hours. Prompting several to opine- "why wouldn't you heed any warning? There is a monster storm coming. Why head for an exposed stretch of road along the lake?" One man was bringing his newborn home from the hospital. How were they even released in a blizzard? People were seeking shelter in hospitals and they leave one- to drive on LSD? With a newborn? That one bugged me.
Personally, the weather triggered a migraine and I was up all night watching WGN- which started live at 4 AM (dearest Dean Richards, you were impressive out there with your 4' ruler while falling through the drifts). The news reports filtered into my brain while I drowsed. I dreamt that zombies were rising out of all this snow that has fallen, and the news was telling us to stay indoors and off the roads. It's not safe out there.
Of course not, there are zombies in the snow. Now that would be a killer and catastrophic blizzard! Ay, Mama!