Snow Open Thread

Brent Finnegan -- February 2nd, 2010

Remember when snow day open threads used to be novel, fun, and rare? Those were the days.

Feel free to add comments and updates about snow, road conditions, closures, and flooding on this post as the winter of ‘010 continues to dump on Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

32 Responses to “Snow Open Thread”

  1. A friend on Facebook just posted a pic of a 5-car back up on Paul St. Cars are having a hell of a time getting up hills in the city right now. Avoid cutting through Old Town.

  2. Emmy says:


    OK, that’s off my chest. I’m seriously hating this. I hate snow anyway, but we’ve had more than enough.

    Rockingham County schools are out tomorrow and were scheduled to have Thursday off for parent conference days. I don’t think my kids will go to school at all this week.

    I went out just a little while ago and things were getting nasty. I almost slid into my neighbors car when I came back.

  3. From taking a look at the road conditions at the 511 website, it seems that The Valley is taking the worst of it all, thus far.

    3-6 inches expected in the Burg and surrounding counties, according to the latest NWS alert.

    Now, I’m actually gearing up for the supposed 2 feet we’re forecasted to get on Friday-thru-Saturday :)

  4. Lowell Fulk says:

    Obama got elected, things started to change for the better. That’s what happened.

  5. Emmy says:

    Obama fixed global warming? Cool!

  6. Jeremy Aldrich says:

    Have and accuweather completely given up on trying?
    It would be fun to track their predictions’ success rates.

  7. Bah, everyone has gone soft thanks to global warming. There used to be winters like this quite regularly not all that long ago here in Virginia. People just do not remember.

  8. Jeremy Aldrich says:

    OK, I am NOT saying these recent storms are due to global warming, BUT more severe storms of all types (snowstorms, hurricanes, rainfall, etc.) are a likely result of climate change. Think back to your lessons about the water cycle: an overall higher temperature worldwide leads to more evaporation, putting more water into the water cycle which eventually becomes precipitation.

    That’s what makes the many DNR editorials scoffing at the concept of global warming every time it snows all the more ignorant.

  9. Frank J Witt says:

    I’ll give you that much Jeremy…but why do you guys keep changing the name to fit the game you are playing? Global Warming to now Climate Change…anything to keep up the assault on the good ole USof A. (and don’t waste my time with your graphs and charts, there are just as many “facts” showing you are wrong), but I’m just ignorant too…Wright?

    Lowell, maybe you can have your man come and shovel my driveway out Sunday morning…or maybe Al Gore can come do it for me….LAUGHABLE !

  10. Emmy says:

    The name hasn’t changed. Some people call it one, some call it the other, some both.

    I don’t think this winter is an indication that it doesn’t exist, but if you don’t believe it exists then there isn’t much point in arguing about it. I really have no clue how believing that the planet is being damaged beyond repair is an assault on the US. You don’t have to believe in global warming to believe would could take much better care of our country and our plant.

  11. Allen says:

    I’m sure you all will label me as one of those Ivy League-educated socialist liberal treehuggers or something, but weather is NOT the same thing as climate. The proper term is climate change, and since the overall climate is warming, people tend to say global warming. This winter, the northern hemisphere is ON AVERAGE warmer than usual. Yes, a portion of the United States has received above average snowfall, but Asia, Greenland, and the Arctic have had above average temperatures this winter. The reason for the colder temps in the US is that because the northern hemisphere is warmer, it has changed the track of the jet stream to swing lower over the US, which has the effect of bring in colder arctic air that is usually much farther north. So just because Virginia has received more snow than usual doesn’t mean the whole world is getting colder. Local short term weather is not the same as global climate. For the same reason, this summer if you experience a month or two of record hot temperatures, will you start posting that “OMG global warming is true!” I doubt it. Those of you who get all your weather and climate info from the Weather Channel and Fox news will only hear what they want to hear, and I’ve found that it is a wasted effort to get these type of people to see the truth.

  12. Drew Richard says:

    I try not to get into political discussions because both sides are too stubborn to give any…but…I’ve heard this too much to let it go. How does more snow mean it’s not warmer? The worst part about the snow this year is that it’s been heavy snow. Do you know what makes heavy, moist snow? Warmer air. The problem is that it has been hovering right around 30 degrees. I remember 15-20 years ago it would get down around 0, if not below 0, at least a few days a year. When’s the last time it even got close to that? Bottom line…more snow doesn’t equal it’s getting colder. The temperature going down means it’s getting colder. More precipitation usually means it’s been warmer or there have been greater shifts in temperature.

  13. Lowell Fulk says:

    Hold the phones!

    Wait one cotton pickin’ minute!

    Do you Barkley, Allen and Drew, mean to tell me that the world doesn’t revolve around this Valley?

    That what happens in the rest of the world isn’t simply a ripple from something that happened here to begin with?

    Don’t even try to tell anyone that polar ice is melting any more, I’m looking out my window at snow, “right now!”…
    They’re calling for even more snow beginning on Friday for crying out loud! Know what I had to drive on to get to the office? Ice, that’s what! Know what I had to shovel from the driveway this morning? Snow, that’s what!

    That should be proof enough that Climate Change and stimulus money is an Obama plot to sell us out to socialist communist Islama-facists in order to destroy America and put Grandma to death and take our guns so that we can’t protect against gay immigrants having abortions! This was Obama’s plan from way before he was even born in some country other than America!

    Note: The above does not represent the opinion of this blog and further is not intended in any way to disparage or demean Climate, Change, Ice, Snow, Weather, Temperature, Gay or straight people, Guns, Grandmothers, America or any of them heathen foreign countries, or anyone who has any opinion about anything at all.
    Just sayin’…

  14. Deb SF says:

    To the points many have made above, this site traces colder and warmer-than-average places planet-wide. Data is for the previous 7-day period. It’s been interesting keeping track this winter.

  15. Lowell Fulk says:

    Other than that, the snow is beautiful and is doing the ground water tables some good.

  16. Good News!

    Bubby’s Snowblower Service is having a sale; just in time for the Snowpocalypse! Just say no to socialized snow removal, hire Bubby, he’s a proud capitalist!. 25% Discount for Democrats.

  17. Lowell Fulk says:

    I wanna get me some of that free market snow blowin’ done there Bubby, what would you charge to do our lot(s)?

  18. JGFitzgerald says:


    Interesting (and no reflection on you) that you discussed something scientific and referred to it as part of a political discussion. I agree with your points, and think climate change is real not because Al Gore tells me so, but because Nobel Prize winning scientists tell me so. If Newton had had to contend with this political climate (you’ll pardon the pun) we’d still be arguing whether gravity was real. Thanks for the info. It will be relevant Friday.

  19. Lowell Fulk says:

    Gravity? Real? Sounds suspicious… ;o<

  20. cook says:

    Kind of pathetic if my long-awaited weekend trip to Snowshoe is cancelled due to … snow.

  21. MB Green says:

    The Grocery Store Weather Report says we’re getting 40 inches this weekend. very onimously just says “snow.”

    Remember everyone – it’s going to snow this weekend. Your presence is REQUIRED at your local grocery store. It doesn’t matter if you don’t need anything. It’s a requirement.

  22. Lowell Fulk says:

    Will report to grocery store as ordered!

    Hope that doesn’t happen Cook, it’d be ironic…

  23. seth says:

    i understand the condescension towards skeptics of global warming, but i don’t think it will serve the cause any better than drastically overstating the case or manipulating data has thus far.

    i think we can reach a middle ground where everyone agrees that we need to take care of this planet as best we’re able, regardless of whether our actions have instigated some sort of doomsday clock.

    or you can continue with the inflamatory rhetoric. that way you can just assume you’re stereotypes of the skeptics are accurate and avoid having to make any real logical or convincing points.

  24. Renee says:

    cook, the solution is to go there now so you’re there when the snow hits :)

    p.s. I tend to ignore conversations about climate change in which people reference “when I was younger the weather used to be…”. I don’t think people’s memories of a weather event 20 years ago makes a very good global-warming-or-not argument (and I’ve seen the argument used on both sides).

  25. Well, I don’t care what you all do. I just know that you all are a bunch of wimps! Heck, I am off to Wisconsin this weekend to visit my 96 year old mother, and they have a whole lot more snow up there than is around here, despite this being more than in over a decade or so. Heck, back before global warming it used to go below zero about every other year (the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation), but that some people got below zero around tere the other day was treated as the End of Time. (!)

  26. Thanks for your business Lowell, you are a Great American!

    I want to know when Mark “Mr. Alcohol” Obenshain is going to get serious about the unspeakable tax burden of Virginia’s beer tax! While Wisconsin residents enjoy their beer at a reasonable $2/barrel tax, Virginian’s are being asked to pay nearly $8/barrel tax.

  27. Anyway, it’s snowing now, so . . . back to talking about snow.

    JMU and the city (government offices) are closed today. I think the question today is not “what’s closed,” but “what’s open?”

  28. JGFitzgerald says:

    The last thing on my weekend calendar to close was JMU. I don’t know the sequence, as I was asleep at the time, but Snowpocalypse II-B was supposed to start at 6 a.m., and the text from JMU came at 5:57 a.m. Trust your forecast, but verify.

  29. Deb SF says:

    H’burg planning/development staff just delivered the materials for Wed night’s Planning Commission meeting to my door- so city government is closed, but they’re still working. Stay safe!

  30. seth says:

    did you catch the whsv facebook thread damning businesses that are open when it’s snowing? can’t look at it myself as i set the bar @ actual friends, but they just showed a teaser on the 6 oclock show.

    logical deficiency at it’s finest.

  31. Thanh says:

    A press release from the City that went out to the media yesterday:


    February 5, 2010

    Contact: Miriam Dickler, 540-830-2240
    Harrisonburg Public Works, 540-434-5928

    Harrisonburg, VA – With snow falling and the National Weather Service calling for a major winter snowstorm through Saturday night, the Harrisonburg Public Works Department, with assistance from other city departments, is working in snow and ice mode and will continue to do so through the weekend.

    Residents are encouraged by the Virginia Department of Transportation, the City of Harrisonburg, and Harrisonburg Police to stay off the roads during the snow storm.
    During a winter storm, city crews respond around the clock in 12-hour shifts to plow snow- and ice-covered streets, and repair equipment. The city has more than 60 employees who use nearly 30 pieces of snow removal equipment throughout the city, and about 400 tons of salt are currently stockpiled, ready for use, to be replaced as necessary during the winter.

    The City’s mission is to minimize the severity of the storm through a comprehensive plan to remove snow and ice from our roadways, sidewalks, parking lots and public facilities. During a winter storm, snow removal crews give first priority to main thoroughfares, main routes to Rockingham Memorial Hospital and public transit routes. Harrisonburg is divided into nine (9) areas operating from two designated staging facilities (Mosby Road Shop in the southern portion of the city and Park View shop in the northwestern section of the city). Each area contains primary routes and primary connector routes that are chemically treated with salt and/or abrasives prior to snow removal efforts. This process allows drivers to travel no more than two or three blocks before having access to a cleared street. Please visit for a map of
    snow plow routes.

    Once the snow has slowed significantly or stopped and these routes are clear, crews begin working on residential neighborhood and subdivision streets.

    During the storm all unnecessary travel should be avoided. If traveling on the roads, the city asks residents to keep in mind the following guidelines for driving and parking in winter conditions:

    • Avoid parking on the street. Snowplows can’t fully clear the street with cars in the way.
    • Avoid unnecessary travel when crews are clearing snow and ice from the roadways.
    • Do not attempt to pass snowplows and stay at least 100 feet behind them.
    • Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles.
    • Be aware of potentially icy areas such as shady spots and bridges.
    • When driving on ice, turn slowly, and do not slam on your brakes. Sudden changes can cause your car to spin out of control.

    The city also reminds residents that according to Section 6-1-15 of the Code of the City of Harrisonburg, residents must clear snow from sidewalks in front or on the side of their home within three hours after precipitation stops falling, or by 10 a.m. the following morning for overnight storms. Citizens should shovel snow to the right side of their driveways (looking toward the street). This way, snowplows will not push already-shoveled snow back into the driveway.
    Snow should not be shoveled into the street as this can cause hazardous conditions for vehicles.

    To assist emergency responders, residents are also urged to clear off fire hydrants near their properties.

    Due to the expected amount of snow accumulation residents should avoid overexertion during clean up. Shoveling snow or pushing a car can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse.


  32. Brooke says:

    Would it be wrong of me to print that and tape it to the doors of certain students who rarely shovel in front and to the side of their houses? LOL

    Seriously, that stuff becomes ice after a while and makes walking REALLY treacherous for weeks.

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