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MIT student blogger Laura N. '09

Winter Storm Warning by Laura N. '09

Brr, it's cold out there. And snowing.

Issued by The National Weather Service
Boston, MA
7:49 am EST, Sun., Mar. 1, 2009

… WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 5 PM EST MONDAY…

TODAYS SNOW AND FLURRIES IN SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND IS JUST A TEASE FOR WHATS COMING TONIGHT.

SIX TO 12 INCHES IS FORECAST FOR SOUTH CENTRAL NEW HAMPSHIRE WITH 5 TO 10 INCHES IN THE CONNECTICUT RIVER VALLEY.

THE JACKPOT… 10 TO 15 INCHES… WILL PILE UP IN THE HEAVILY POPULATED BOSTON PROVIDENCE INTERSTATE 95 CORRIDOR… WESTWARD INTO NORTHEAST CONNECTICUT AND NORTHWARD THROUGH WORCESTER COUNTY INTO THE MERRIMACK VALLEY OF NORTHEAST MASSACHUSETTS.

SNOW… WILL BE HEAVY AT TIMES BETWEEN 10 PM TONIGHT AND 10 AM MONDAY CAUSING NUMEROUS DELAYS OR CANCELLATIONS IN ALL SORTS OF TRANSPORTATION DEPENDENT BUSINESS.

SNOWFALL RATES OF 2 TO 3 INCHES PER HOUR ARE EXPECTED FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS NEAR OR JUST AFTER MIDNIGHT IN MASSACHUSETTS… CONNECTICUT AND RHODE ISLAND. THUNDER MAY ALSO BE HEARD.

SNOW WILL TAPER TO LIGHT ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATIONS LATE MONDAY MORNING OR AFTERNOON.

THE MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE WILL BE QUITE SLOW AND HAZARDOUS DUE TO A COMBINATION OF STILL HEAVY SNOW… RESULTING IN POOR VISIBILITY AND RAPID ACCUMULATION ON ROADS. TEMPERATURES WILL BE IN THE TEENS TO LOWER 20S WITH GUSTY NORTHERLY WINDS CAUSING BLOWING AND DRIFTING OF THE SNOW AND WIND CHILLS IN THE 5 TO 15 DEGREE RANGE.

————————

My thoughts?

1. The National Weather Service has apparently never heard of netiquette.

2. Isn’t winter over yet? *grumble*

45 responses to “Winter Storm Warning”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Gah! I can’t wait for spring!!!!

  2. sepideh says:

    i think it is officially spring now…isn’t it?

  3. Stacy says:

    “Isn’t winter over yet? *grumble*”

    My thoughts exactly. Ugh, I have an assignment to complete and probably won’t get to it because of possible school cancellations.

    It’s times like these that I hate Boston.

  4. ngolsh says:

    Its not officially spring until the Vernal Equinox, March 20th at 11:44 UTC.

  5. ngolsh says:

    just in case you wanted to count down the seconds with me.

  6. Chris says:

    Whoever was writing the weather dispatches today seems to have a sense of humor.. “the jackpot”?

    I would guess NWS is saving space by not using both caps and lowercase (some special encoding maybe?) and all caps looks better than no caps.

  7. Shosh says:

    Depends on where you are. In the former USSR, spring officially began on March 1, just as winter officially began on December 1. I imagine this is still so in the former Soviet Republics, and in many other European countries, at least. In the US, however, common practice awaits the equinox, setting the beginning of Spring at ~March 21 (or as nglosh pointed out, March 20 @ 11:44 UTC). The division of seasons is an arbitrary, man-made mechanism that really tracks progressive amounts of daylight more than weather (daylight is more obviously more predictable, also).

    The National Weather Service *clearly* should read up on netiquette…very rude, these caps. smile

  8. deng says:

    haha, yea, I read the whole thing in my head as if someone was shouting it to me.
    and… cross fingers for another snow day for RI schools tomorrow? xD

  9. deng says:

    where I used to live in hainan, china, spring begins Jan 1st and every season thereafter lasts exactly 3 months

  10. Quentin '10 says:

    I’m pretty sure the NWS style of all-caps dates from when the technology was limited to all-caps. They probably have some old style guide kicking around, and probably more than a few old computer systems, that still suggest or require that style. I think there’s even some weird abbreviation system that they use that gets expanded by sites that display it.

  11. Oasis '11 says:

    “a tease”, “the jackpot”?!?!

    This is the National Weather Service? Geez, who are they hiring now to write these announcements?

    Also, public service announcements are usually written in all caps (for some odd reason). I don’t understand why but I know a few governmental organizations that still publish emergency announcements in caps.

    Boston spring begins April 1, IMHO. smile

  12. Ilyanep says:

    Hey guess what. It may be storming, but who cares? It’s March! The shortest and ugliest month of the year is over.

    And haha all-caps. Maybe they’re still using morse code to broadcast their weather announcements.

  13. Kiss '13 says:

    @Oasis and all

    Caps are typically used in any sort of public broadcast or official governmental release (you see it in the FAA alllllll the time). Mostly stems from the days when this sort of thing would be sent over wire and they made it all caps for better “readability” and to not place false emphasis on anything. Count yourself lucky that the NOAA has moved away from abbreviations for public broadcasts. Most aviation releases, Notice to Airmen, Weather reports, Weather forecasts, and Significant Meteorological Event reports are broadcast purely in non-intuitive abbreviations (who thought that BC should mean patches or that CIG should mean ceiling, thats what I wanna know).

    Just a bit of info :D

  14. hcs says:

    We’re supposed to get the same weather here in South jersey, I think.

    Thundersnow for the win.

  15. Anonymous says:

    yayay snowstorm! i hope i have a snow-day tomorrow!

  16. Piper '12 says:

    I personally love the weather here :D

    – Californian

  17. Kelly says:

    I’m crossing my fingers for another snow day.

    Although I’m kind of sick of shoveling…

  18. Narce says:

    Last night, it even snowed down here in Alabama. It’s the most snow my city has had in at least three years!

    But unlike people who live up north, I love the snow, because… IT’S BEEN AT LEAST THREE YEARS >.>

  19. Keri says:

    Remember that time two days ago when it was 60 degrees out and I walked around for seven hours without a coat on?

    What happened?

  20. Oh god, the caps lock. It burns. I was not able to force myself to read more than the first two lines of that email.

  21. Anonymous says:

    doh! I was planning on going to office hour from 7- 10 PM… now I don’t know if it will be worth walking in the snow. grr

  22. Maria '13 says:

    “Snowfall rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour are expected . . . thunder may also be heard”
    What?

  23. Cam says:

    @Keri: Yeah, that was great. I went for a run then. Welcome to New England.

    Yay, I get THE JACKPOT. (I’m in that zone.) No school tomorrow?…. yeah, that’d be cool.

  24. Anonymous says:

    “”a tease”, “the jackpot”?!?!

    This is the National Weather Service? Geez, who are they hiring now to write these announcements?

    — Oasis ’11

    My thoughts exactly…

  25. Matt A. says:

    In Memphis, snows a respectable amount about every two to three years, and always at the most inconvenient times.

    Like yesterday, while it was snowing and I had to drive home from my science olympiad competition from across town in my dad’s 13-year-old SUV.

    On a related note, snow also caused the same competition to be postponed by a week my freshman year to the weekend I was out of town for a cousin’s Bar Mitzvah.

    Thus, snow is awesome, except when it decides to come.

  26. Matt A. says:

    Wait, come to think of it, it is more like once a year, just some years “decent” is like 2 inches and others it’s more like 5. (For you northerner’s, I’m talking about a city that is a total mess if we break an inch.

  27. Anastasia T. says:

    Wow, that netiquette page is really old. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have formats in their e-mails, nor anyone who still composes e-mails offline. Now that the netbooks are out, who does anything off the internet?

  28. Anonymous says:

    Yay! More skiing!

  29. Make sure to post photos of the snow!

  30. Reena '13 says:

    Hey, the NWS are people just like the rest of us. Let them show their sense of humor… who says being official necessarily has to throw a wet towel on that? I laughed when I read that warning. It had a welcome touch of lightness in it smile

  31. Anon says:

    Can anyone say CalTech?

    Currently 73° and fair. Tomorrow, rain, but still in the low 70s.

  32. Brian says:

    It’s supposed to be around 90 here in AZ tomorrow. I’ll be thinking about that snow while i’m doing my sprints in track..

  33. TorffickA says:

    Woot woot!!!

    Can any1 say snow day in New York!!!

    “Snow day in New York!!!”

    Yeaaa….another day to sleep it off!!
    lol
    ok, fine…another day to work on more derivatives, ATC/AVC/AFCs, and my 15min movie hmmm

    the irony is that we’ll only receive about 1-3” (total) here and we’re always making a big fuss, while you guys get close to a foot of snow.

    m/d[o_O]bm/

  34. Vivi says:

    >> I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have formats in their e-mails, nor anyone who still composes e-mails offline.

    *raises hand* I type in plain text, kthnx. and when you can’t find a wireless connection, you sometimes have to compose offline wink

    As for the actual entry – I woke up today, glanced out my window expecting blue skies and sun.. and was greeted with the whitewashed Next House courtyard. Needless to say, I just curled over in dejection and fell back asleep in frustration.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Here’s why the NWS uses all caps in its messages:

    the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) establishes the standard for international exchange of weather information. These international standards include weather code formats, alphabet (characters) to be used, and other key elements in weather messages. International and national agreements specify use of upper case. While there is an ongoing discussion within WMO regarding expansion to lower case, any change will take time to implement because it affects many organizations and countries.

    Source: http://www.wcmhblogs.com/youquestion/comments/why_all_upper_case_letters/

  36. Moose says:

    We’re gettin’ some snow down here in NC right now too. However, I’m from South Jersey and I always thought it was funny how they’d let out school down here for only half an inch of snow. But this time it’s supposed to be almost a foot in the “jackpot zone” (the news used the same term down here, but i just thought they were joking), so everyone is getting really excited for tomorrow.
    Hope the weather up there pass on down to here, ’cause I could use more snow days!

  37. Paul says:

    I also occasionally compose emails in plain text, at least when I’m using Alpine on UNIX.

  38. fox says:

    @Laura

    I love winter. I almost live at equator, so no winters here. hey Laura can you put up some pictures of the current snow storm!

  39. Clara '10 says:

    April 1 may be the start of spring in Boston…. but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a blizzard. Note the
    April Fools’ Day Blizzard of 1997. That was a fun day off from school….

  40. Narce says:

    So, anyone for building a weather machine to hack Cal. Tech this spring? XP They sure could use the snow.

  41. Weichen says:

    You guys living in Boston have no rights to complain…I live in Canada, and it is freaking cold. (When will summer come? Oh, that’s right, it doesn’t.) :(

    And caps rule!

  42. Kiss '13 says:

    Ugh!!! 12″ of fresh powder here and no skiing around!! I tried to ski down my road, the 13 degree slope barely got me moving.

    Seeing all this wasted powder makes me cry :(

  43. Jeremiah says:

    Boston weather is ridiculous… but at least it’s nice out today.

  44. swordfish says:

    hey pple, check out varsitynext.com for a great way to meet science oriented students and arguemnts on research at MIT and everywhere else