Nearly six years ago the area where I lived, much like the rest of the East Coast of the United States, suffered through not one but two different blizzards that same week. This happened just a month after I started this blog so it was kind of jarring that I started to write about these two snowstorms with snow accumulations are generally more typical in places like Buffalo or Minnesota than Washington, DC (a place where people freak out over getting even six inches). Digging through that snow was a total nightmare since it was a challenge to place all that extra snow. I wrote all about the first snowstorm on February 5, 2010, when I quickly ran out to BestBuy and get a new Dynex TV set that I still have with me. (Ever since I got rid of cable because I grew tired of having the monthly bill jacked to over $200 per month I use the TV mainly to play console games and watch DVDs.)

Three days later I wrote another entry about the second of the two back to back snowstorms that literally wrecked havoc on the area (including the fact that our power went down so we spent hours sitting in a cold house).

During the entire digging out process I shot video footage of the aftermath of the two storms, which I later compiled together into one video. You can see the piles of snow along with brief appearances from my then-husband and a few of the neighbors digging themselves out of our trapped homes. I also shot during the times when my then-husband and I drove to the nearby town center where we saw huge piles of snow.

The only reason why I’m even writing about this is because for the past few days there have been this media hype about another snowstorm that I’m dreading. First the weather reports say that it was going to be at least a foot but every time I would check the reports would get worse and worse. Now they are saying that it’s going to be an epic blizzard that will rival the two back-to-back blizzards back in 2010.

I’m really hating this because I have a lot of things that I should be doing but I’ve had to put them off because I’ve been spending the past few days dealing with jury duty followed by making special preparations in case this blizzard is as bad as the weather forecasts make it out to be.

In the meantime I’m having major trust issues with the weather forecasters. Yesterday my AccuWeather app on my smartphone said that it was going to be a cloudy day with the exception of snow flurries. I had spent the bulk of the day decompressing from jury duty the day before and I really didn’t want to face the frantic crowds at the grocery store. So I decided to do the same thing that I did a few days before Christmas when I needed to make a few purchases at the supermarket but I didn’t want to face the last-minute shoppers. I waited until after 9 p.m. (when the bulk of the crowd had gone home) before I went out to the supermarket.

So I figured that I would have an easier time if I wait until after 7:30 p.m. before going to the supermarket. I had planned on going to the Aldi that’s located two towns over because their food prices are way lower than the other supermarkets (which is how I’ve been able to slash my food bills without doing something extreme like skipping meals). My AccuWeather app said that it would be a snow flurry. I saw that the streets were covered with snow but I believed the app when it said that it would be a snow flurry that was supposed to stop by 9 p.m. and it would be cloudy and cold for the rest of the evening.

As I drove out I saw that the road was very slippery. In fact, I didn’t dare drive too fast because my car was prone to skidding if I drove faster than 15 mph. As I drove out to the main roadways, I saw that it was the same situation as in my neighborhood where the roads were completely covered with slippery snow.

The road conditions were so bad that I didn’t make it beyond the Target that’s located just three miles from my home. I saw that the store wasn’t too crowded. I purchased a few food items that I felt were priced just as reasonable as Aldi while I walked around the store trying to get over that treacherous drive. My AccuWeather app still said that the snowstorm was going to end by 9 p.m. so I waited until then. When I walked outside I saw that the streets were still treacherous, contrary to what AccuWeather was forecasting.

It took me about a half an hour to return from what is usually a 10-15 minute commute. Here is what I saw while I was commuting home.

AccuWeather Said This Was a "Snow Flurry"

AccuWeather Said This Was a "Snow Flurry"

I made it in one piece. But it could’ve been worse. I learned through Facebook about how many of my friends had unusually long commutes because of this so-called “snow flurry.” One of my friends spent seven hours commuting from her job in Northern Virginia to her home in Laurel, Maryland (a commute that normally, depending on traffic, takes anywhere from a half an hour to an hour).

The next day I found this Washington Post story titled Inadequate forecast communication, lack of road crew readiness led to commuting nightmare.

A mere dusting of two inches of fluffy snow Wednesday evening brought traffic to a standstill.  Some commuters were stuck in traffic for more than six hours, well past midnight, on major roads throughout the region.

Ineffective weather forecast communication and lack of preparation by road crews converged to cause the nightmare.

The forecasts for the storm weren’t, by themselves, horrible.  Most outlets predicted a dusting to an inch for the evening, just a little less than what actually fell, and also communicated that roads would be slick because it has been so cold recently.

But the forecast communication for the storm was overshadowed by efforts to prepare the region for the blizzard forecast for Friday and Saturday.  Media coverage, somewhat understandably, focused on the bigger-ticket item.

Another Washington Post headline was even more blunt: An inch of snow, icy roads unleash 9 hours of traffic chaos across D.C. region.

I was totally peeved about this because I would have never stepped foot outside my home last night had the weather forecasts been more accurate. It was definitely not fun driving very slowly while hoping and praying that my car didn’t skid into a ditch or another car. I was fortunate that I had a relatively short commute.

So if the weather forecasts are correct (and, as you can understand, I’m not very trusting of them at this point), there will be a snowstorm starting tomorrow, Friday, at 3 p.m., which will then escalate into a full-fledged blizzard by Saturday morning and everyone will be trapped in their homes because the entire DC Metro system and many other businesses and government agencies will be closed down. There are also worries about potential power outages as well. In the meantime the foreign media, such as BBC News, is also hyping this story on the front page of their websites since it’s going to affect the entire Mid-Atlantic region of the United States with DC bearing the brunt.

I’m just going to wait and see about the whole thing.

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