OTI - Off Topic Island - Phase II

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Re: OTI - Off Topic Island - Phase II

Post by Math23x7 on Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:03 am

Since the number of replies including this post (475) is divisible by 25, this is the first post of the new page.

Anyway, as we approach the OTI recess, I want to give some insight on how this past season went:

As a lot of you know, in mid-December last year, I moved into an apartment on the Upper East Side from my parents house in Bellerose. I wanted to be close to the office but since it is midtown Manhattan, I did not want to live in that neighborhood because of how hard it is for snow to accumulate there. So I basically went one neighborhood north where maybe I would see a bit more snow. In addition, it's not far from Central Park. I looked at several apartments and most of them had a building just feet past the window giving practically no view, prompting me to pass on them. I mean, think about it, you spend hours, days, even weeks tracking a potential snow event. What is the payoff moment? Waking up and looking out the window at the snowy landscape, the same way a kid does. The one I chose had just that: a view several flights up towards an intersection. Nevertheless, I would learn that even this neighborhood feels the urban heat island effect, though not as much as midtown.

There was only one one-inch plus snowstorm that actually accumulated onto the streets of midtown (the January 4th bomb cyclone). I went into the office that day and just couldn't believe that even 42nd street would be buried in snow. Of course, when you have brutal cold air locked in before and during the event combined with high snow rates, it's going to accumulate even there. Also, it was the only one-inch plus snow event that didn't melt right away and we had the coldest air of the season come in right afterwards, which froze parts of the Hudson River. I went to take a look at it myself and it was quite the scene.

Then, we endured a 52 day stretch from January 9th to March 1st in which the weather pattern was generally unfavorable for snow development. While there were cold days, it was overall 5-6 degrees above average, including the warmest February on record. But as I mentioned, when I came to understand the Urban Heat Island, I would go travel outside to snowier locations (the way a storm chaser does). I did just that on February 17th when I took the 4 train to Woodlawn and walked several miles to Yonkers and Wakefield and it was quite the scene. Of course, we had the blowtorch four days later which melted it all away.

Now, once March developed, the blocking developed. For whatever reason, I decided to stay put where I was. The first three events (2nd, 7th, 13th) were all influenced by the UHI preventing me from experiencing big snow (although the 7th dropped several inches). With each one, I was getting upset which prompted me to lower my expectations to not get good snow. And on March 21st, when the next snowstorm panned out, I had to work in the office in midtown. When I learned this two days prior, I was upset thinking I would miss out on it. (Thus getting the nickname "Eeyore"). Instead of going into northern Westchester like I had planned, I had to "settle" to a place south. But as it turns out, I went to the southeast corner of Van Cortlandt Park just after 7 PM. I walked a bit into the Park and saw a somewhat open, untouched, snowy landscape with the tree branches and the grass covered in snow. This moment was absolutely breathtaking. It was at the moment that all of the pessimistic feelings, all that agita, all that aggrevation, suddenly and abruptly disappeared. I just watched in awe as I continued to walk through the Park and saw what I had missed out all that month. And later that evening, I went through Central Park with a similar experience. This was a very special moment for my snow loving part of myself. (And also, had I gone where I initially intended, I would have seen less snow than where I actually went so that was the payoff moment for me Smile )

Now, less than two weeks later, we tracked an event for early April, the day after Easter. I woke up just before 7 AM to see the snowfall. Because of the high rates of snow, it actually overcame the UHI! This was very exciting for me. After taking my stroll through Central Park, it brought me to awe once again.

Overall a very a nice winter given the circumstances. It seems my "Debbie Downer" feelings can be attributed to a dearth of snowfall and once it comes, I lose that feeling. I may post pictures from the snow events for the citizens and government leaders of OTI to see but unless that happens, or unless we get a freak mid-April to early May snow event, this will probably be my last post of the Tourism season.

Over and out.

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