There’s a saying in Central New York about the weather.
Blink. It’ll change.
I can deal with most types of weather. Rain, snow, hot, freezing rain, sleet, whatever. Just as long as it’s consistent and in the forecast. You can plan.
Last night was just wacked.
When I went to work, it was fine. When I went to dinner, it was fine. The forecast called for snow showers and all. But there was a warning about the dreaded lake effect snow. However, we don’t usually get it as far down as we are. But, it will sometimes hit.
At about, eh, 9:30-9:45, we started hearing about minor accidents on the scanner in the office. They were all on this one mountain I have to go over to go home. Like three cars and a bus went off the road. Cops radioed in that they couldn’t get to one of the cars because it was so icy and couldn’t even walk over to them.
However, with two or more hours before I leave to go home, I knew super DOT would be on the spot salting and all that to make sure I’d be able to get home. No biggie. Been there done that.
At about 10:45, one of the news reporters leaves and informs me that “You shouldn’t look outside.” So, of course, I do. And now? There’s about an inch of snow on the ground and it’s coming doewn hard.
Snow showers my ass.
I don’t know if this was classified as lake effect snow or not. But being I’ve driven in the Syracuse area when they got the lake effect, this seemed like the same damn crap.
Deadline came and went, the paper was put to bed and I got out of there as quick as I could. On my car? About two inches. And when I got done sweeping the car, there was already a dusting on it again. So it was coming down pretty decently.
Needless to say, the ride home was just great! [/sarcasm]
First, let me say this: The Jetta is a champ in the weather. I didn’t make it much out of third gear most of the ride and went down to second several times, but man, that thing is killer in the snow. Now, on with the story.
I got lucky enough to get behind a truck for the ride home. Well, most of the ride. So I had tail lights to follow. Only problem was that there were times when the truck slowed down too much and it scared the hell out of me.
The snow was crappy. It was slightly windy and the road was completly covered. When I hit mountain No. 2 on the ride home, I knew what to expect. At the top is a flat and there are always drifts and the wind blows them hardcore onto the road and makes it hard to see.
We reached the top and bingo — just what I figured. The truck, you could tell, was scared. He ended up turning on a back road and I was all alone in the white. I got a mile down the road and it started to clear up. As I drove closer to sweet Delhi, it became clear. Flurries and a clean road. Unreal.
It’s like last year when I was covering three events in the Syracuse area. I left Oswego and things were fine. Got outside Syracuse and there was like seven inches of snow and it was hard as hell to drive. Lake effect at its finest.
Needless to say, I was happy last night when I got to shift to fourth gear. A 20-25 minute ride took me 40-45, so not too bad. And I made it home safe.
And I have today off, so that’s a bonus.