Blan­ket of snow may be win­ter’s part­ing gift

The Washington Post Sunday - - LOCAL OPINIONS - BY MARTIN WEIL

In win­ter­time Wash­ing­ton, an­tic­i­pa­tion has been grow­ing in the two op­pos­ing camps: in one those wish­ing for one good snow­fall be­fore sea­son’s end, and in the other those hop­ing spring ar­rived be­fore an­other flake could fall.

It be­came clear that this week would an­swer one of this win­ter’s ma­jor me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal ques­tions: whether Wash­ing­ton was fi­nally to see sub­stan­tial snow.

As Na­tional Weather Ser­vice fore­cast­ers said Satur­day in a dis­cus­sion of their pre­dic­tions, “All eyes con­tinue to be on Mon­day night/Tues­day.”

That is the pe­riod around which hopes and fears re­volved.

Then about 8 p.m. Satur­day, the Weather Ser­vice weighed in, with a sig­nif­i­cant state­ment. Putting the re­gion for­mally on no­tice, the Weather Ser­vice is­sued a win­ter storm watch to be in force from Mon­day evening to Tues­day af­ter­noon.

The watch, in this case, meant es­sen­tially that the po­ten­tial ex­isted for five or more inches of snow in 12 hours dur­ing the pe­riod.

Such a storm, the Weather Ser­vice said, had the po­ten­tial of mak­ing many roads im­pas­si­ble, and could pro­duce power out­ages, as a re­sult of heavy snow on tree limbs and power lines.

Cit­ing pos­si­ble north­east winds of 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph, and tem­per­a­tures in the lower 30s, the watch ap­peared likely to buoy the hopes of those who have nur­tured a wish to see true win­ter here.

At the same time, the an­tic­i­pated storm could pro­mote a new re­spect for the whims of na­ture.

After all, would it not seem odd, many might ask, if after day­light sav­ing time be­gan, sun­light in­creased and the spring equinox ap­proached, more snow fell in a few hours than the 1.4 inches mea­sured in Wash­ing­ton for the en­tire win­ter?

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