Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I'm shuddering these days. And not from the near-freezing chill in the air!

I feel like the dread I have anticipated all winter is finally on the verge of hitting us.

We're likely to get hit Tuesday with a heavy snowfall -- possibly the heaviest of our winter season.

JUST AT THE point in time that we're supposed to be thinking our winter season is over (even if you believe prognostications that the stinkin' groundhog saw his shadow), we're now getting the snow.

We had a few days last week of snowfall that built up into a few inches.

Now, the National Weather Service says we're getting hit with a snowfall that could build up to six inches by Tuesday night. Or maybe up to nine inches -- depending on whose weather forecast you decide to trust.

The 2012-13 winter in Chicago that went for several months without a trace of snow is ending on a bang! We're getting hit with the snowfall as though Mother Nature is trying to make up for the lack of flurries she gave us earlier this season.

OR MAYBE MOTHER Nature is upset by Chicago because she thinks we somehow tried to fool her. You remember the old Chiffon margarine commercials?

So now, I wait to see just how bad our weather will get, and how much will it wind up disrupting our life schedule. That, after all, is what the big deal was about that February 2011 storm that dumped nearly two feet of snow on Chicago, and caused the shutdown of Lake Shore Drive -- among other inconveniences!

It really is the snow, not the temperature. Because the one thing we have to admit is that we haven't had any sub-zero days of winter weather in Chicago this season.

It has all been about the slop of snowflakes that some of us can't cope with to the point that they become a nuisance to the rest of us!

WE OUGHT TO be able to handle the cold. Just put on another sweater, or make sure you have a decent heavy coat for the winter season. It is the Midwest.

As I look out my window while writing this, I see the residue of last week's snow -- which wasn't that bad because it came spread out over several days. Except for a litle slippin' and slidin' that my automobile did on the streets on Election Day, it was bearable.

Will this be the unbearable storm?

The one that causes people to panic and start stocking up their cupboards with canned goods as though the "End of the World!!!!" has really arrived upon us?

AND ALSO TO start driving their cars as though they're once again 15 years old and back in high school driver education class all over again?!?

Although I have another reason to wonder what will happen. I do some work for one of the daily newspapers in the suburbs, and I recently wrote some copy that is meant to be part of a bigger story about how this year's "mild" winter is a boost (less salt on the streets, not so much overtime paid to workers for street cleaning) for municipal governments.

That story is now on hold. It will be interesting to see when it will run, and if people will shake their heads in wonder if they read it right after having to shovel their driveways clear of the fluffy stuff.

Although those same National Weather Service forecasts that are predicting six inches on Tuesday also are figuring that by Thursday, temperatures will shoot up into the 40s (degrees). Which could mean a slushy weekend some Saturday.


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