It may have felt like you were just getting pelted in the face with hail last night as curbside slush got blanketed in a fresh coat of snow. But what you were actually experiencing was a weather phenomenon known as thundersnow. Its attributes apparently include thunder claps, blinding lightning, and the uncanny ability to rain furious and unrelenting snowflakes on the few inches of skin you left unbundled. Schools chancellor Cathie Black decided that last night's eleven inches of powder were enough to give New York's public-school children a rare snow day. Buses have been suspended, with service restored on a route-by-route basis. Parking rules are likewise suspended. And most subway lines are reporting delays. Con Edison says more than 300 customers are without power, the bulk of the problem in Brooklyn. The Long Island Power Authority says more than 800 customers are in the dark. Between the tsnownami and the thundersnow, this January has already gone down as the snowiest one in history, before the month's even up. With nineteen inches of snow last night in Central Park, that brings this January's total up to an even 36 inches, beating out 1925's pathetic monthly record of a mere 27.4 inches.
How did Mayor Bloomberg's quest for redemption pan out? On WNYC this morning, he resorted to asking residents to shovel out fire hydrants (he might not be on the best terms with the city's sanitation department right now). But he seemed happy just to be around this time. "When I took the subway down this morning, most people were joking around about the snow and happy," he said, adding that he would try to get around the city without adding to the traffic. See, he's just a man of the people. A billionaire, fly-to-Bermuda-and-leave-his-citizens-stranded man of the people.
Winter Wallop: All City Public Schools Closed; MTA Suspends Bus Service [WNYC]
What is 'thundersnow?' Unusual weather conditions hit city during latest winter blast [NYDN]
Winter Weather Service Advisory [MTA]
SPOTTER REPORTS NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW YORK NY [National Weather Service]
Power Outages Due To Snow Storm [MyFox New York]