Snowmageddon ’11: When Accu Does Not Stand for Accuracy

Take a gander at this weather forecast from our local Peoria Journal Star on January 30th 2011.

Pay particular attention to the Monday and Tuesday forecast.  Just taking a close look at the icons (which is exactly what I do 99% of the time) you would think that it will be cloudy on Monday with a few flurries and a mixture of sun and clouds on Tuesday.  This seemed a tad odd based on a report I had heard a few minutes earlier regarding a large front that was heading our way.  Maybe a closer inspection is required here.  Monday: Mostly cloudy, a BIT of snow; colder (okay match with icon).   Tuesday: Mostly cloudy, snow or flurries possible (this does not match the selected icon seeing as how I see no flurry symbols).  Note, this forecast was in our Sunday paper making the Monday and Tuesday forecast slightly harder than looking at a rock on the days in question.  At worst case you could look to the West, see what is happening on the plains and assume it will be on top of Illinois shortly.  But how could this be wrong, it’s from ACCUWEATHER (tm’d none the less).  For the entire rest of the day the local news and CNN were declaring “The Big One”  was on its way and would be hitting Illinois starting Monday and then pounding the entire state into submission on Tuesday.  How can this be, I’ve got ACCUWEATHER telling me to plan a picnic?   To top it off, the TV weatherman literally told everyone he expected us to be trapped in our houses on Wednesday.

So, want to know how accurate ACCUWEATHER’s forecast was?  How should I put this?  Let’s go with “A Pile of Feces”.  Monday actually turned out somewhat right in the sense it snowed a few flakes, but essentially nothing at all.  That day was not the one I wanted to focus on.  Tuesday started out with a rain and sleet mixture around 11:30am.  Shortly thereafter can only be described as a polar bear’s wet dream or an Inconvenient Truth for the gloBULL warming clown Al Gore.  From that moment on until early Wednesday morning, Peoria was in the midst of whiteout rivaling records set back in 1967 (a fantastic year by the way).  Once the storm moved out, we were left with about 18″ of the white stuff.

Score one for the TV forecast and a big fat ZERO for ACCUWEATHER. Sure enough we were snowed in. The plows never even made it out to us in the country until late Wednesday afternoon. Concerned about the amount of snow we were getting on Tuesday, I decided to do a pre-emptive plow late Tuesday afternoon in hopes of leaving enough space to put the rest of the snow. After two hours of this, the driveway was relatively cleared, but filling up fast from the blizzard. A last look outside before hitting the sack confirmed that the early plow was a wise decision. Well, a wise decision until I woke up the next day to discover all my work had been humbled by Mr. Snow Miser. Crap!!!

Hit the jump to see more pictures of Snowmaggedon

To be honest, it would probably have been too much for the ATV had I not shortened the pile a tad the day before.  Unfortunately, even with that clearing there still was a shortage of space to put all that powder.  This resulted in the need to raise the blade and drive the previous snow piles deep into the grass.  The extra push brought on a lot of heartache every time I slapped the ATV into reverse revealing all the stray rocks caught up in the snow … and now sitting 10 feet off the driveway.  I told Linda to remind me why this was done when I start complaining come springtime.

At this point I am indebted to Polaris for their fine product.  It rarely flinched out in the open, but the wall of horror you see in the background proved too much after awhile for the big engine that could. After close to three hours, the driveway (all 300′ of it) was at least cleared enough for us to get out if we had to.  It didn’t really matter since the street plows were missing in action.  Of course, all work and no play makes Bri a boring guy.

A thing of beauty if I do type so myself.

In closing, I would just like to express my gratitude for all the shovel training received as a child growing up in the Midwest.  This life training provided me the skills to survive SNOWMAGEDDON ’11.  On the other hand, I would like to express my opinion of ACCUWEATHER as a piec…. wait!  I think Kerby has already created a visual that captures our feelings perfectly.

Happy Snowballs Everyone!

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