Nemo the White

Blizzard Nemo was billed as a snow storm of historic proportions well before it got even here. It was certainly epic. Just not within most of New York City. The great winter nor’easter of 1996 left us with twenty inches of white on Central Park (and thirty inches on the outer boroughs) by the time it headed off to sea. And the storm of 2006, which wasn’t even technically a blizzard, dropped a record-breaking twenty-eight inches of snow on our heads at Belvedere Castle, Manhattan’s official weather station, and blew it into drifts five feet high. Nemo’s twelve inches of snow, or so, is deep but not the deepest. It was in the areas to the east and northeast of the City, though, where Nemo lived up to its PR. Long Island and New England got some really, really deep snow. Did I say really deep? Suffolk County was buried under two and a half feet. Boston under twenty-five inches. Hartford, Connecticut, more inland, only had twenty-two. Portland, Maine on the other hand, being right on the ocean as it is, was back up again. It collected almost thirty-one inches. Milford, Connecticut on the Long Island Sound, measured in at an astonishing thirty-eight inches! Now THAT is deep. We were lucky to have dodged the same dubious honors of history.

The first flakes that came calling on Friday morning were big ones, and fluffy. But they were only the teaser. Most of the day was devoted to milder mixes that didn’t stick. The real storm arrived much later in the evening and Nemo did most of its work during the night. Well… we are supposedly the city that never sleeps so I guess Nemo took that to heart. By Saturday morning, when the curtain lifted, the skies were blue and the storm was off on its whirlwind tour dumping really prodigious amounts of snow on New England. There’s something in the transformation of a garden by snow that always amazes. Maybe it’s knowing that the advent is so fleeting. Or the promises of spring that lie hidden beneath. Already it melts back into curious layers and slips from its precarious perches in the trees and on the fire escapes at unexpected moments. Tuesday we’re scheduled for rain. That will wash away more. In the meantime, I will sit by the window and wonder.

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