On Monday night, as the entire country eagerly anticipated the inauguration of our 44th president, citizens of Tidewater Virginia were doubley anticipatory. Weather forecasters from local news affiliates to the Weather Channel were promising snow…and lots of it. Now lots is relative. I grew up in the Midwest where negative temperatures and blizzards were commonplace occurrences in January. Since moving to Virginia almost a decade ago I have not experienced negative temperatures and only twice have I seen snow. So to those who live in Southern Virginia, any accumulation of snow is considered lots. Well, on Monday, forecasters predicted 3-5 inches of snow to fall Tuesday. You could feel the excitement. Everyone’s Facebook status reflected the anticipation and excitement. And my guess is several trays disappeared from William & Mary’s cafeterias with high hopes (because sleds aren’t sold in this area one must improvise). I meanwhile contacted my boss to formulate a contingency plan. The last time it snowed over an inch in Virginia it took me four hours to make what is normally a 45-minute commute.
I woke up on Tuesday morning and looked out my window. No snow. I checked weather.com and the local news affiliates and they were staying on message. There was still a 90% chance of snow and they were still predicting several inches of accumulation. As I drove into work I heard school system after school system cancel school for the day. Several local universities also canceled classes. Virginians were taking no chances. Likely that’s because there are like 5 snow plows for the entire Tidewater area. At work, I checked weather.com every 20 minutes. As soon as the snow started I was going to head home. Minutes and hours ticked by. As I headed home at 5:00 not a single flake had yet to fall. In fact, no flake fell all day. I called my parents in Des Moines who have already lived through numerous snow storms this winter. They laughed until they cried.
No snow, no sledding…just disappointment at another missed opportunity. That however won’t stop Virginians from hanging on every Snow Hope Index and weather forecast for the next snowy forecast.
– Wendy Livingston