Hey there, New York. How's the weather? Hehe.
Anywho, while we were collectively kicking it by the pool out here in Los Angeles — half scoping Twitter for real-time updates on your misery and half gazing up at the heavens in partly-cloudy satisfaction, post-holiday hair of the dog within arm's reach — we couldn't help but notice y'all hadn't quite agreed on a hashtag for that Zeus-fit of a storm you've got going on over there.
So what'll it be, huh? #Snowpocalypse or #snowloko? Pros and cons of each after the jump, along with fast facts about today's total East Coast devastation and a sweet time-lapse video worth at least a thousand words.
#Snowpocalypse is actually a term coined during the February blizzard circuit that swept the nation earlier this year (along with #snowmageddon), although Twitter.com wasn't huge enough to play such a viral role in its coinage until this December.
And it does really get down to the heart of the thing: This is the end. Like, yes, the world is ending, and so will life as we know it. Even if Newark Mayor Cory Booker doesn't want to think so.
Now let's consider #SnowLoko. OK, we're totally biased. But even if we weren't, while it's cute and nostalgic to equate this storm to the great white onslaught of yestermonth, nothing can describe a tree falling on your car while you try to shovel your way out the passenger's-side door with snowflakes burning holes in your eyeballs, ankle socks and ass crack like an excruciating chug of Four Loko. Liquid cocaine? More like liquid snowcaine! And as long as we're free-associating, can we point out how utterly bomb a Four Loko snow cone would be right now?
One last deciding factor in the -pocalypse vs. -loko snowdown: Tweeters tagging with the latter generally have way less shitty things to say, such as: “Planned snowball fight on Boston Common tomorrow at 7:30pm. Meet under the Christmas tree. #snowloko.” and “Don't drink the lemon flavored #snowloko.”
As opposed to: “Don't want to venture out into the #snowpocalypse but have a meeting you can't cancel? Stay at home & do it online [promotional link here].” Or buzz-killers like: “This #snowpocalypse got me looking like the lonely kid at the window wanting to go outside.”
So that settles it. Loko for the win!
Speaking of hashtags, here's one that's been on meteorologists' radar since way before Twitter, but that they haven't had the pleasure of throwing around since the great Blizzard of 1978: thundersnow. (Well, actually the March #snowpocalypse of 2009, but still, they're stoked.)
Say it: Thundersnow. Pictured, above. Shit's so unique, even spell check don't recognize!
Scientific American has reposted a March 2009 article on the phenomenon, in which many impressive scientists get many pleasures out of describing its peculiar brand of rarity. Here's a flabbergastic clip:
Thunder and lightning during a snowstorm is different from a run-of-the-mill snowstorm; it is extremely rare–fewer than 1 percent of observed snowstorms unleash thundersnow, according to a 1971 NSW study. But recorded observations of the phenomenon date back to 250 B.C., say ancient Chinese records translated in 1980 by atmospheric scientist Pao-Kuan Wang, now of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Today, researchers are interested in thundersnow for its predictive value. According to Patrick Market, an associate professor of atmospheric science at the University of Missouri, a 30-year study of snowfall found that when lightning is observed during a snowstorm, there is an 86 percent chance that at least 15 centimeters of snow will fall within 113 kilometers of the flash.
ABC7 did its best to post some thundersnow video footage in lieu of the hype, via tipster dashboard cam. See if you can make out some flashes through the fluffy downpour:
Yeah, neither could we. Thundersnow sounded way cooler on paper.
National Weather Service meteorologist Neil Stuart tells Scientific American that “seeing thundersnow come down is 'like watching a time-lapse movie of the snow building up, because it falls so quickly.'”
So what would happen if we had a time-lapse of a time-lapse? The mind-boggling answer, below, courtesy of Vimeo user Michael Black's New Jersey backyard. Thirty inches in 30 seconds, baby!
For another snarkstorm the size of Loko herself, visit our sister news blog at the Village Voice to peruse the day's crop of sloppy snowplows killing Ford Explorers and dumb politicians dealing with disasters. If only they could see the view from here…