Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Snowstorm (Thundarsnortex)

Cold I was expecting. For the last few days the weather forecasters were predicting temperatures in the mid-20s and lower for this upcoming week, the first of the new spring semester, so I have made sure to have longjohns, ski gloves and cap, a heavy wool scarf, and other Chicago-level weather essentials ready. Then, yesterday, I think C and I caught an evening news broadcast that announced a major storm would be blowing through, beginning in the afternoon. Major it is, but the thundersnow arrived in Jersey City this morning.  Snow has steadily fallen, horizontally, and by noon I received an email alerting me that after 3 pm all Rutgers campuses would close for the day.

The university is supposed to open tomorrow at 10 am. We'll see. If the still-falling snow and polar vortex conditions--thundarsnortex, I think Gothamist labeled it--continue, I may not teach my first class until Thursday. A snowplow has visited our street twice so far, a very good sign, but this afternoon I took the light rail, which was running without a hitch, to downtown, to make sure it was running in preparation for tomorrow, hit the post office, and get out and about. The main streets also appear to be ploughed but outside those, here downtown, some of the streets remain untouched. The snowfall is so thick that it's enfolding the tops of our local skyscrapers and lower a curtain such that you cannot even see a yard across the Hudson. Somehow, though, the seabirds, soaring in undulating lines across the water's shirring surface, know where they're heading.

The Hudson River, with its head of snow (Manhattan, usually visible, is straight ahead)
Exchange Place, looking toward the ferry terminal to Manhattan
The parking lot near Harsimus cove
Near Exchange Place
The light rail platform and tracks

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