Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Sat. Dec. 19, 09 -- Snow hits hard; a.m. report

Late-day snow report: The snow keeps coming, though at a slower rate of accumulation throughout the afternoon then picking up right after dark. It looks like we’ll top 20 inches – possibly by a long shot. I saw no rain despite reports of same. Still, it looks like more flakes until midnight or even a bit later, per the Weather Service.

The oddest thing of the day is how many people have gone out -- and regretted it. I had the scanner on all day and the number of vehicles off the road was almost laughable. What the hell did they expect? The odder part is the way those that got stuck expected law enforcement to drop everything and pull them out.

I offer one very timely and disparaging word to SUV and even truck owners: That 4-wheel drive is not spectacular in snow. I kid you not. So many neo-SUVers think its time to shine when snow piles up. You learn real fast that using 4WD you often have 4 wheels spinning all over the place, sometimes worse than just two. The top vehicle in snow and ice is front-wheel drive. The problem there is most of those front-wheelers are sedans that can’t handle the deeper snow due to the lack of bottom clearance.

There were also a couple significant fires and transformer explosions. The local cops and emergency response folks have really risen to the emergency occasion. Great job, A-company.

Saturday, December 19, 2009: Waves: 10 to 12 feet.

Well, the worst case scenario has reared its ugly head. We are getting pummeled. I just called in my snow gauge report to the Weather Service and it’s 8.5 inches at 9:45 a.m. – and the real bad part of the storm may be yet to come. This is not good, at all. LBI is experiencing some power outages. This is catastrophic for those with electric heat or even electric thermostats controlling fueled heating units. Also, if you have vehicles parked on roadways, try to get them into driveways and such. It’s the law in some towns.

I did a short walk-about to the beach and while we aren’t officially at blizzard conditions, we’re not a whole lot off. Official blizzard conditions entail snow (usually moderate or heavy and/or blowing snow) pushed by minimum 35-mph winds leading to ¼ mile or less visibilities for at least a three-hour continuous period. The term can also mean any kick-ass snowstorm.

The beach is getting hit hard by medium-period waves, not short-period as in a usual nor’easter. Still, it’s yet another sand stealer.

The winds have that northern cant I talked about yesterday. If only they had even a touch of east to them we’d be in the pink – all rain. No such luck, especially by this afternoon when the winds will turn more northerly. Blowing snow tonight could be as bad as the falling snow today so I wouldn’t be too quick to dig out until all is said and done. Note: The initial half-foot of snow came down with light winds. Everything is caked in snow. When howling west winds kick in tonight, all that is going to blow to the ground meaning plowed roads will get covered even after the storm has departed.

Note to neighborhood watch and other civic watch organization: Keep an eye on older folks. Most of you have their numbers. Check on them by phone. There is a high correlation between storms (low barometers) and medical crises.

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