Snowfall classification codes

I am disappointed.  Sincerely disappointed.

This weekend’s snowstorm flopped.  I had hoped for a Saturday where I could stay inside watching snow accumulate flake by flake, fluffies slithering around the yard.

These are fine days for reading (the best days for reading.)  I love reading and looking out at the snow, satisfied I’m warm and cozy inside.

So it got me thinking about the classification of snow.  What is a snowstorm?

In a city like Los Angeles, clearly a snowstorm would be one centimetre of snow, enough to send cars careening off freeways because of all those low profile tires.

In Newfoundland, a snowstorm would probably be a metre of snow, enough that four wheel drives can’t get through without boaring a little (to use a little Lunenburg County English.)

But what of Nova Scotia?

I’m sorry, but a few centimetres of snow: flurries.  Code yellow.

No need to change your travel plans, but you might not want to drive mach chicken.  Chances are, most of the snow will melt off your car unless it melts and freezes to your windshield wipers until they snap off like dead twigs.  P.S. Don’t turn on your wipers unless you’ve checked them.

Five to 10 centimetres: periods of snow.  Code pink.

Consider not driving for long periods of time, but if you have snow tires, you should be fine.  A good time to stay indoors, unless you have work.  Then your boss will think you’re a chicken.

Over 10 centimetres: snowstorm.  Code brown.

The kids are off school, and if you have a position (not a job) you can stay inside all day, drink copious amounts of hot chocolate, and have a Police Academy marathon.

More than 10 centimetres and blowing like a hurricane: blizzard.  Code red.

Chances are, most of your community is shut down.  Malls closed.  Schools empty.  Only tow truck drivers and snowplough operators should be on the road.  If you only drive a car, there’s no way you’re getting far, even with winter tires.

Half a metre: Snowpocolypse.  Code white!

Call in the army!  You’re not only going to get through all the Police Academy movies, you’ll get the opportunity to watch all the Rockies and Star Wars episodes.  You ain’t digging out for at least two days.  Count your good fortunes though: there will be two days off work.  However, Nova Scotia Power may become your worst enemy when your power cuts out for four days and their call centre becomes swamped with angry customer calls.

Does these classifications help?

In other words, until you see your neighbours’ dog walking level with the windows on your second floor, you should be okay.

No need to panic when the weather calls for certain amounts of precipitation.  Just break out the hot chocolate and warm blankets.

And hey, if the weather flops, go for the chocolate anyway.

If you can still see things in your garden, it's not a natural disaster. Just flurries.

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