This winter our weather defies all meteoro-logic

We are in the midst of a concentrated series of “weather events” as I compose this Pulitzer-worthy post. Two days ago we got 8 inches of snow before it changed to the dreaded “wintry mix.” Temperatures rebounded well above freezing yesterday, and now we are awaiting more snow coupled with a cold front moving in. This combo will leave roads and sidewalks more slippery than Kellyanne Conway’s answers to all those questions from the so-called media.

But let’s leave politics out of this, shall we? I won’t blame global warming for these wild weather patterns if you’ll stop referring to the last Nor’easter in these parts as “The December 2016 Snow Massacre.”


That late December storm brought some big snow totals. My little hamlet of Winthrop was among the hardest hit, with a total of 24 inches once it was over. Two feet! That’s more snow than some people from “away” see in an entire lifetime. For those of you new to a Maine winter, or who can’t imagine what that storm was like, let me help you picture it:

  • Imagine a foot of snow — and then another foot of snow on top of it. That’s two feet!
  • If you bought two foot-long subs and stacked them upright end to end, most of the fillings would immediately fall out and you’d have quite a mess on your hands. Why would you waste food like that? People are starving in Africa.
  • Picture four feet of snow; two feet is half as much.
  • Imagine lying on your back with your arms pointing toward the sky. I’m imagining it, and you look pretty silly.
  • Try stacking the subs again but this time no onions, please.
  • With snow falling at a rate as fast as 4 inches per hour, you would tire of the non-stop weather updates on TV within 20 minutes.

And let’s not forget the impact of wind during that event. Winds in some areas gusted as high as 45 miles per hour. How fast and intense is a 45 mph wind gust?

  • That’s faster than any Yugo ever built could go, even down a steep grade with the pedal to the floor and a semi crowding your rear-view mirror.
  • That’s more intense than the scene in The Silence of the Lambs where the two cops bring Dr. Lecter his extra-rare lamb chops and they end up eviscerated. I’m talking about the cops here; I don’t think Lecter touches his dinner. Why would he waste food like that? People are starving in Africa.
  • If you want to know what the sting of heavy, wet snow blowing into your face at 45 mph feels like — stand next to me and I’ll slap you as hard as I can after dunking my hand in a bowl of ice water. Now let me do that again. OK, one more time. Stop crying, you big baby! You said you wanted to know what it felt like.

Well, let me turn my attention back to the TV. One of the local stations has just added a “mobile weather vehicle” to their arsenal of forecasting tools. I am anxiously awaiting the sight of their on-air talent broadcasting live while trapped in the car after spinning out on the Maine Turnpike and getting stuck in a snowdrift. Hope they thought to pack something to eat while waiting for a tow. I have a couple of sub sandwiches here that they’re welcome to… Some assembly required.


John Branning

About John Branning

Besides what I contribute here, you can also ignore some of my earlier posts by not visiting my website,, as well as by not purchasing a copy of my books: “Selfie-Facing: Analog Musings in a Digital World,” which made the list of "The Best Self-Published Books of 2016" as seen on the Huffington Post, and my latest, "Keys To The Truculent Me."