Last Thursday I had images of Spring in my head. My three weeks in Hawaii had come to an end and the snow in Anchorage was disappearing rapidly. Friday was a glorious wonderful warm sunny March day….and then it snowed. I was sitting in my breakfast room eating dinner when it started. Overnight we got 20 inches of snow. Snow that had not been predicted. Alaska was welcoming me home.
Alaska is a tough place to predict weather. Anchorage has mountains to the East, and sea water to the west. This part of the world has few weather stations so the only data available is courtesy of satellites. Weather men get fooled all the time. This was the second snow storm the weather guru’s had missed in a month.
My daughter lives in New York City. She grew up in Alaska, which gives her a different perspective. We have had more than a few discussions on the regional differences in the good ole USA. New Yorkers appear to have forgotten how to deal with Winter. They have become weather wimps. A little snow and it’s panic city. Everything shuts down.
Allow me to use last Saturday as an example. When I awoke to 20 inches of snow in my driveway, I did make a change in plans. I ate breakfast at home. When the sun came up, I fired up my snow blower and plowed my driveway. At about 11, I drove over to my daughters house (about 2 miles away), shoveled snow off her car and brought her car back to my house where I parked it in the garage. I thought a warm car would be a nice surprise for her.
At about 2:45 PM we went to the airport and picked up my daughter and her family. They were returning from a week in Florida. The 11 mile each way drive was uneventful. The plane arrived a few minutes early. Later in the day, my wife and I went out for a nice dinner. The next morning, my street had been plowed and most of the major roads in the city were clear. Life returned to normal.
The Airport did close for a few hours late Friday night due to poor visibility, but only a few flights were cancelled. A United flight from Chicago was diverted to Kenai and a few flights to Fairbanks got cancelled. UPS and FedEx both have hubs in Anchorage and they operated with only a slight hick-up.
I can’t begin to imagine NYC functioning at anything approaching normal for several days after 20 inches of unanticipated snow. Let’s hope that global warming really is here to stay, because I don’t think New Yorkers are ready for a return to the colder weather of just 40 years ago.