Wicked Big Blizzard! January 28, 2022 7:45 PM   Subscribe

Hey East Coast, we're about to spend our Saturday indoors hoping the wind doesn't knock our power out and dreading clean up Sunday morning. We might as well have a thread where we can check in and ride it out together.

Be safe, friends!
posted by bondcliff to MetaFilter-Related at 7:45 PM (52 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I'm in the Boston suburbs on the edge of a 12-18" and 16-24" band but it's been so difficult for them to predict this one so who knows. There's a couple 30" bands which is kind of insane. My wife is currently staying with a friend on the coast of Maine and is a bit more worried about losing power without any backup heat.

I think we'll all be ok but it's going to be an interesting day.
posted by bondcliff at 7:52 PM on January 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

::waves from the 16-24+” band:: ☹️
posted by DiscourseMarker at 8:03 PM on January 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

This is bullshit we're getting hardly any snow!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:08 PM on January 28, 2022 [6 favorites]

We stocked up on beer and nacho supplies!
posted by backseatpilot at 8:10 PM on January 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

Last February, sitting through whatever storm in central MA, I swore it would be the last winter I’d go through that. During all the tumult and stress of moving this summer, I second guessed and thought maybe I had made a mistake. Reading this thread tonight from the Valley of the Sun, I know it was all worth it. This is the time to start planning your escape if you want this to be *your* last winter…

Seriously though I will miss the x country skiing after…
posted by Tandem Affinity at 8:41 PM on January 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

I wish we had some snow.
posted by janell at 9:33 PM on January 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

Valley on the surface of the Sun

posted by Greg_Ace at 9:52 PM on January 28, 2022 [3 favorites]

That said, I wouldn't wish multiple feet of snow on anyone. I hope everyone stays safe and warm!!
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:54 PM on January 28, 2022

Greetings from Dukes County, MA! We have at least two inches of snow here, almost evrything is closed tomorrow, including my workplace, so day off woot! However, they are saying up to 2 feet of snow on the Cape and islands, 30-40 mph winds with gusts around 60, maybe more, and flooding, so much flooding. All ferry service is cancelled tomorrow, I imagine all flights as well.

My only real worry is losing power and that means no heat, and Sunday temps are going to drop into the 20's and stay there. We have a plan if it gets too cold to stay here, gas in the car to get there if we have to, plenty food and booze and whatnot. We'll be fine. Glad I don't live closer to the water though, high tide tomorrow will wash out several roads and maybe some houses.

I'll check in later if the juice stays on. Have fun!
posted by vrakatar at 10:53 PM on January 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

Where in central MA, Tandem? I grew up around there, little town called Paxton.
posted by vrakatar at 11:01 PM on January 28, 2022

My wife and kids are home in northeast Rhode Island, ready for the snow. We tested the generator the other day and I showed my son where the extension cords are.

Me? I am on vacation somewhere a dozen degrees warmer, hanging out with my parents and siblings: I avoided the cold and snow by going to Minnesota.

(Don't worry: the karmic payback will be swift when I get bumped from my Sunday afternoon flight home, I'm sure...)
posted by wenestvedt at 11:24 PM on January 28, 2022 [7 favorites]

Also, the Governor of Rhode Island just banned all non-emergency vehicle traffic from 8am-8pm. *boggle*
posted by wenestvedt at 11:26 PM on January 28, 2022 [3 favorites]

Checking in from central NJ, where we have about 4-5 inches on the ground at the moment. At least some semi-main streets remain unplowed, but hey, it's still early and it's still coming down. They were predicting 6-12" total here last time I checked; I've charged up all my devices and my power banks, but this is my first winter in this house/city and I'm nervous about not knowing how likely it is that I'll lose power (and I have no idea how having gas heat interacts with electricity - will my heat stay on even if my power goes out?). Other than that, I have nowhere to be all weekend and am happy to snuggle with my cats and some books and ride this one out.
posted by Hold your seahorses at 4:43 AM on January 29, 2022

Central Maine, 12-18 inches territory according to Accuweather, which also loves to give me really detailed but irrelevant information. (You'll be glad to know the grass pollen count is low.) It's just getting started here but the wind doth ram so it's serious. I have lots of sandwich fixings if the power goes out and lots of wine whether it goes out or not and most important of all there is plenty of cat food and litter. I just got an email that says my federal freebie covid testing kits are arriving today, but I'm betting not.
posted by JanetLand at 6:06 AM on January 29, 2022 [4 favorites]

Western CT: Hard to tell how much has fallen because it's all blowing around. The power lines in my complex are underground but we have managed to lose power on rare occasions. Once it's all over we'll have to go out and dig out so the plows can clear everyone's parking spots. Usually this is kind of a fun time because all of the neighbors come out and help each other and there's a lot of laughter and comraderie. This storm isn't supposed to let up until after dark tonight, and I'm not looking forward to doing this in the dark.
posted by sundrop at 6:15 AM on January 29, 2022

Coastal Georgia: wishing for just a bit of snow pleasepleasepleaseplease
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:49 AM on January 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

North of Boston here; based on what the snowplows have done so far, yeah maybe a couple of inches. But as per usual with blizzards, we have drifts of several inches next to patches of bare grass/pavement. I was watching the snow fall on my sunroom roof and then immediately get blown off by the wind. I kinda find the physics of it all rather fascinating, but then again I’m a weirdo who actually likes winter so. Still not actually looking forward to removing 2 feet of snow from my front steps though.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 6:55 AM on January 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

NYC, upper Manhattan: there is about 6” on the ground but it’s super fine snow and blowing around like a MF. My work is closed today so I’m gonna chill out, clear the snow off the car round one, and watch cyclocross world championships, which are being held in Fayetteville, Arkansas (which is sunny and in the 50s, go figure).

Speaking of moves to warmer climates, a longtime friend has been trying to convince me to move to Tucson. And I really like it there, but only if I could decamp for someplace north during the summer.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:58 AM on January 29, 2022

Upstate New Yawk here: we got a foot and a half on Monday, but so far, this bomb has just left us a dusting. Though Dark Sky says Thursday we could get another foot. My daughter in Boston is looking at three feet, but she lives in a condo and doesn't have to shovel. Hope everybody in the snowbands stay safe! (I'm thinking about buying another snowblower next year, the one I have is puny and doesn't work, and is back in the shed anyway, and I'm old.)
posted by valkane at 7:07 AM on January 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

The biggest problem is that Fairport (where I live) is great at plowing, and I live on a pretty busy street, so they plow and plow and plow, and I end up with a two foot wall of heavy-ass salted snow at the end of my driveway that is a PITA to remove. I worry about the old ticker, so I do it a little at a time. I know all you other snow-folk know of what I speak.
posted by valkane at 7:10 AM on January 29, 2022 [4 favorites]

Anyway, here's the best theme I can think of:

Cooo, loo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coooo!
Cooo, loo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coooo!

--Bob and Doug McKenzie
posted by valkane at 7:21 AM on January 29, 2022 [5 favorites]

It doesn't seem that bad right now but I guess the worst is yet to come. It's blowing pretty hard out there so it's tough to tell how much we have so far. Usually I can see it stacked up on top of the grill or the bird feeders but those things are all bare. I may throw on some polypro and Gore-Tex later and venture out into it.
posted by bondcliff at 7:36 AM on January 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

It's wicked windy heah in Meffa, MA, guy. But for real, my mom is on the coast on the North Shore and she says they're getting belted. Both of us still have power, knock on wood. And a couple of reporters and camera ppl have fallen over on live TV. So that's been entertaining to watch.

Stay safe everyone!
posted by danapiper at 8:21 AM on January 29, 2022 [5 favorites]

Portland Maine. We are expecting one to two feet. Maybe a couple inches so far but it's hard to tell with all the wind. There have been brief moments where the neighbors' houses start to disappear in the swirl and even though the wood stove is blazing, I shiver. Chicken is roasting, huge pile of wood inside, and the dogs have been instructed that they will be doing their business without supervision today.
posted by donnagirl at 8:29 AM on January 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

Still have power here on MV, though it has flickered. Radio reports Nantucket is getting pounded. Making corn muffins.
posted by vrakatar at 10:17 AM on January 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

It's 1 PM here in the outskirts of Boston. Because the snow is so icy and granular, the size of the snow drifts is tricky to gauge as noted above.

However, in my area, we're just entering peak snow fall for the next four hours, with predicted rates of 1-2 inches/per hour.

Then, the storm won't wind down until 10pm-midnight. Gulp.
posted by jeremias at 10:20 AM on January 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

2pm, Just did my second shoveling of the storm. We’d gained at least a foot since my first shoveling around 9, though some of that is definitely snow blowing into the spaces I’d previously cleared. Here in New England’s most densely populated city, we’re getting to discover all the oddities of the wind currents between my house and my neighbors. There’s a circular current that keeps the space right behind the house scoured clean, and the wind whipping around between our house and the garage next door built up an impressive two foot tall pyramid on the left side of the car while keeping the right side and windshield bare.

I’ll probably need to shovel at least twice more between now and tomorrow morning.
posted by firechicago at 11:28 AM on January 29, 2022

my mom in NW NJ reported 4 inches this morning. I think they will miss the worst of this. I sure don't miss this sort of weather! don't worry, any smugness I might be feeling will be gone in a few months when my entire state is on fire :(
posted by supermedusa at 11:57 AM on January 29, 2022

I just got an email that says my federal freebie covid testing kits are arriving today, but I'm betting not.

They came! Bravo Post Office!!
posted by JanetLand at 12:04 PM on January 29, 2022 [10 favorites]

I'm in the red 12-18' band, according to the NWS; I called the plow guy because that's a lot of snow to shift, esp. the mess the plow leaves at the end of the driveway. I love weather graphics, and this site is great. Fairly chilly, 12F/-11C, and the snow is fluffy, which pleases everybody. Earlier in January, we had about 4-5" of wet snow, then a good rain, then very cold weather, so there's a layer of concrete that is a pain. The weather forecasters on Channel 6 are wearing their sweaters and playing the scary storm music, because that's how they do. This is a thing locals both deride and enjoy.

I appreciate weather forecasting; there were different models for this storm, but advance warning means that a lot of businesses closed, which people like to criticize, but it's so much safer to keep people off the roads. AFAIK, Dunkin is open. I have food, beer, wine, coffee, and just put cookie dough in the fridge to chill (Salted chocolate chunk). I hope the power stays on until I've made cookies, but the wood stove is putting out heat, I have a good book, and stuff is charged. I hope others are at home, safe and warm.
posted by theora55 at 12:18 PM on January 29, 2022 [4 favorites]

I just came in from a walk. It's not that bad out, though I guess the storm is only half over here. I went out on the lake and on the local rail trail, and I wasn't the only one. A couple of x-country skiers were taking advantage of the fact that the trail isn't yet plowed.

Parts of my driveway have two inches and other parts have over a foot. It's going to be difficult to figure out totals.
posted by bondcliff at 12:55 PM on January 29, 2022

Also, the Governor of Rhode Island just banned all non-emergency vehicle traffic from 8am-8pm. *boggle*

At least he cares about some aspects of public safety.

I’ve been hiding indoors. Haven’t lost power, which would be the real problem.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:09 PM on January 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

Stopped snowing here about two hours ago, winds seem to be diminishing, never lost power knock on wood. Provincetown on the cape has no power, and Chappaquidick has no power, so how we still have power is a mystery and a blessing.
posted by vrakatar at 5:47 PM on January 29, 2022 [5 favorites]

I'm in western MA. We were forecast to get between 6 and 12 inches. We got 4ish.
posted by plinth at 6:42 PM on January 29, 2022

The only thing worse than getting hit with a major storm, is getting hit with weather that amounts to far less than you were told to expect...such a letdown.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:11 PM on January 29, 2022

We got 19 inches here, according to the reports. I still haven't cleaned up the driveway since the wind is blowing all over the place.

Glad you have power, vrakatar!
posted by bondcliff at 7:15 PM on January 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

My totally unscientific measurements (blue painter's tape on tomato stakes) say a little over 2 ft. here in Cambridge. I walked a few miles early this morning before shoveling. I think I was programmed in childhood to head out in the snow to the convenience store for a loaf a bread, a container of milk and a stick a butter, but none of my local shops were open. So then I also made a cornbread cake, vrakatar. Is it a New England thing? I dunno, but cornbread is very comforting. Then another round of shoveling, plus clearing two driveways and sidewalks with a snow blower my neighbors and I share.

Everything's aglisten right now!
posted by cocoagirl at 7:36 PM on January 29, 2022 [7 favorites]

I did have to flee an hallucinating killer out into my apartment’s hedge maze, but the ghosts said they are sorry, and it’s all ok now.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:27 AM on January 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

Is it a New England thing? I dunno, but cornbread is very comforting.

I wouldn't say cornbread is specifically a New England thing, but comfort food during a snowstorm surely is.

My diet yesterday was ridiculously carbo loaded: bagel with smoked salmon & cream cheese, cheese and crackers for both "snack" and lunch, chicken pot pie, eating potato chips straight out of the family-size bag somehow happened.

My body is like: "dude, you're not 18 anymore, I will make you pay".
posted by jeremias at 6:28 AM on January 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

We got about a foot of snow. It was a blizzard, not nearly as much snow as it could have been, classically windy. By 11:30 p.m., there were stars out, pretty much exactly when the weather guy said it would end. Started exactly on time, too. I love a punctual storm.

Neighbors are out on snowmobiles, the landscape is pretty in today's sun. The cookies are good.
posted by theora55 at 6:30 AM on January 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

I was in the 8"-12" band in west/central MA and we got 4ish. Hey, I'll take it! Nice and light for shoveling, too.
posted by restless_nomad (retired) at 6:48 AM on January 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

Is anyone else in the Boston area having flashbacks to the record setting winter of 2015 (aka the winter when I was this close to moving out of New England)? As I recall, that was one of those winters where we got minimal snow fall for until the end of January, when we had a massive snow storm (like this one). Which was followed by us getting hammered by similarly massive snow storms for the rest of winter.

I really hope this is not a sign of things to come for this winter. With everything else going on right now, I don't think I could handle a winter where we get 100+ inches of snow or whatever it was.
posted by litera scripta manet at 6:59 AM on January 30, 2022 [4 favorites]

Late to the thread as I was at work yesterday (in a large greenhouse full of amazing plants - and o damn the orchids are really starting to put on a show) and did overtime today behind a snowblower, snow shovel and a spreader filled with salt.

Driving yesterday before dawn from north of NYC into the Bronx was not fun. High winds and snow meant that roads were covered in snow so if there was ice you couldn’t see it. Apparently a tractor trailer jackknifed on the Tappan zee bridge not long after I crossed it.

Snow removal wasn’t bad as it was all fluffy.
posted by sciencegeek at 1:57 PM on January 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

Late to thread as I didn't know it existed....

Brooklyn: we got about a foot, and the biggest hardship I faced was on Sunday morning. I have a bird feeder suction-cupped to each of my bedroom windows, and one of them needs a daily restocking each morning; on Saturday, during the storm, I think some snow fell into the track when I was closing it becuase I couldn't quite close it all the way. Enough to keep the wind and snow out, but I think it was still open a crack...and then Sunday morning, after the storm was over, my window was frozen shut and I had flocks of mourning doves and sparrows perched along the fence around my building's back yard glaring at me. Fortunately I was able to thaw things out by cranking up the heat a bit and waiting a couple hours.

My roommate had a date cancel on him (she said she needed to dig out yesterday) but we were otherwise unaffected. I dragged out the crock pot, puttered around the house doing little crafty things. My roommate ventured out to his bowling league on Sunday and it sounds like the subways are okay. However, I ventured out myself on Sunday for a basic shopping run, and it looks like one of the sidewalks I take for my walk to work is unshoveled and I am not looking forward to getting to work today (I can take another route, but how unshoveled is THAT spot?).

I'm hearing the Cape got clobbered; I'll have to call my parents and check in on them.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:16 AM on January 31, 2022

Is it a New England thing? I dunno, but cornbread is very comforting.

Johnnycake -- it is very comforting, and a very Yankee thing.
posted by jgirl at 6:59 AM on January 31, 2022

Born in Kentucky, moved to NY: The problem with northern cornbread is they do in fact make it cake-like: way too much sugar, it's too sweet. Cornbread should be a savory deal; In fact, stick some sautéed onions/peppers in there, with some grated cheese. That's the deal.

Also, John Thorne (a northerner who can appreciate southern cooking) has the best recipe, where you heat up the skillet to like a million degrees before you put the batter in, so you get that crunchy, exquisite dark crust. Heaven.
posted by valkane at 8:32 AM on January 31, 2022 [2 favorites]

The problem with northern cornbread is they do in fact make it cake-like: way too much sugar, it's too sweet. Cornbread should be a savory deal; In fact, stick some sautéed onions/peppers in there, with some grated cheese. That's the deal.

*blink* This is precisely how I like cornbread to be - despite having grown up in New England. And I've always been that way.

Between this and my mania for Cajun cooking I'm starting to wonder if maybe one of my ancestors had some kind of hookup with a sailor from New Orleans on leave or something.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:47 AM on January 31, 2022 [2 favorites]

Seriously, check out John Thorne, start with Outlaw Cook. He writes (maybe not in that book?) about going to New Orleans and trying to sneak a couple of pounds of boudin blanc onboard on the flight back, and deciding to just eat it all in the airport instead.

I'd call him the Hunter Thompson of food writing, but he's much better than that. Even Jim Harrison wrote a glowing review of one of his books.
posted by valkane at 10:18 AM on January 31, 2022 [2 favorites]

Huh. Thanks for the rec!

To bring things within shouting distance of the topic:

1. I caved and took a Lyft to work today; I'll worry about the walk to work tomorrow. We're due for increasingly warmer temperatures throughout the week here in NYC and that will help, no doubt; but there are some gnarly unshoveled patches of sidewalk right now and trying to navigate them with a bad knee has me pretty spooked.

....Trying not to think too much about getting to physical therapy after work tonight....

2. I called my parents this morning - and they DID lose power, but only for a few hours; it cut out just as Dad was finishing cooking dinner, so they were able to eat fine, and then it came back on at like 2 am. They stayed warm and it was more "mild inconvenience" than anything else (although Dad did start looking into getting a generator anyway just in case when they heard about people doing worse). In fact, Mom said she'd considered emailing me "just in case to let you know we actually were fine" but then forgot....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:07 PM on January 31, 2022

It’s southern cornbread that is too sweet! It’s like yellow cake with a little cornmeal sprinkled in as an afterthought.

Rural yankee johnnycake has a true corn flavor and can be very crumbly.
posted by jgirl at 1:25 PM on January 31, 2022 [4 favorites]

We're going out to stock up because we're gonna get hit again on Thursday. But it's only upstate, so probably won't make any headlines.

So I'm planning on picking up ingredients for these johnnycakes everybody is raving about. I'll get back to you with the recipe I use. Also gonna make a big pot of Northern beans. Maybe with some back bacon, eh? Good day.
posted by valkane at 8:16 AM on February 1, 2022 [4 favorites]

Okay, so I made those johnnycakes

I have two observations:

1. It’s not cornbread.
2. It’s fucking delicious.

I would liken it more to a flat hushpuppy, or a corn-based potato pancake. I used the simplest recipe I could find; I wanted to go from base before I got fancy. They have a crunchy, beautiful outer crust with an amazingly satisfying interior.

Also, I’d like to note that while the whole “Rhode Island Johnnycakes” is indeed a thing, they are not strictly a northern convention. Mark Twain was big on corn pone, and corn dodgers was the principal meal of both John Wayne and Jeff Bridges in both versions of True Grit.

Anyway enough about all that, here’s what I made:

Traditional Johnny Cakes (https://www.daringgourmet.com/traditional-johnny-cakes/#recipe)

I served them with maple syrup & butter, per the recipe, and they were a big hit on the table as a respite after shoveling a foot or two from the last 40+ hours of constant snow.

The key in that recipe is the patience, you have to let them cook for a good 8 minutes (at low heat) in a cast-iron skillet before flipping them. That outer crust is the defining aspect, in this outlaw cooks opinion.

I look forward to cooking these again (going the savory route, with peppers and cheese and bacon and such). Thanks for the tip! And now back to our already scheduled program.
posted by valkane at 9:07 AM on February 5, 2022 [2 favorites]

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