City Paper is not for tourists
There is no time for pleasantries this morning. There is time only for panic.
If you haven’t begun to panic, it is too late. True panic must begin early. Otherwise, it is not true panic. And it doesn’t help.
Anyway, listen up, City Desk!
*PRECIP TYPE... SNOW *ACCUMULATIONS... HEAVY SNOW WITH ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 10 INCHES THROUGH SUNSET SATURDAY. LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE... MAINLY IN OR NEAR SOUTHERN MARYLAND. ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATIONS EXPECTED SATURDAY NIGHT. *TIMING... SNOW WILL BEGIN LATE FRIDAY NIGHT AND WILL CONTINUE THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING. *TEMPERATURES... UPPER 20S TO LOWER 30S THROUGH THE BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA. MID TO UPPER 20S ACROSS WESTERN MARYLAND. *WINDS... 10 TO 20 MPH THROUGH THE EVENT... WITH GUSTS OF 25 TO 30 MPH SATURDAY AND SUNDAY.
A winter storm warning, by the way,
MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW... SLEET... AND ICE ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. STRONG WINDS ARE ALSO POSSIBLE. THIS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE.
I mean, how is everyone supposed to get to the mall this weekend?
To divert you for a moment from your true panic, or your delayed onset panic over having not started to panic early enough, I offer a few fun snow facts, brought to you care of Richard J. Wild, a British meteorologist who is really, really into snow. On his Web site, he answers questions like how big can snowflakes get (up to 5 cm in diameter; Brits use the metric system, remember? since I am American, I have no idea how big this is), why is snow white (because its color is related “to its opaqueness, its transparency and its ability to reflect sunlight”), and why people build snowmen (in days of yore: to ward off evil spirits; now: for fun!).
If you would like to know more, you can download Wild’s Ph.D thesis (£9.95; since I am American, I have no idea how much this is).
But back to the panic: How much toilet paper is enough for the type of storm predicted by the National Weather Service for this weekend?
Surely someone has come up with some kind of algorithm to determine how much is enough. (If you are my father, no amount of toilet paper is ever enough.) I asked my husband this morning, and he said the rule is one role per person per inch of snow. So, in our household, assuming we get the full 10 inches (one must prepare for the worst but hope for the best), that means we would need 20 rolls. I just counted, and we have only 11. And two of them are not even full!
I wonder how much they have over at the National Weather Service.
Now go count your toilet paper! Panic! And follow me on Twitter!