Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Chit-Chat Over Coffee Swirls (9)

To start the morning off I would like to quote this expression that was said by Philander Johnson, in 1895, "Oh, what a blamed uncertain thing this pesky weather is; It blew and snew and then it thew, and now, by jing, it's friz"

Looking at the weather channel this morning, it seems like it is going to be another one of those days of freezing rain, etc. For those of us who have to go to work,traveling in bad weather conditions, is not something to which we have to look forward to. At least, we should be grateful that its not a blizzard like in 1888, which occurred during March 11-14, killing about 400 people and, dumping 21 inches of snow in New York City. For an overview of this blizzard, I have provided this link for your benefit:

Americans have always talked with despair and horror about the weather. We have been a witness to the total destruction that has come about from hurricanes that have battered our shores, causing floods and devastation such as in "hurricane Katrina" and hurricane Andrew in Miami", leaving thousands homeless and billions of dollars worth of property damage. How many people vow each year to leave the intense cold of the mid-west and new England States, to move to sunny Florida, only to find themselves in another weather crisis. Let's face it no matter which part of our country we move to, there is no escape from these weather conditions.

Although the early colonists were acquainted with rain, sleet, and hail in England, I don't believe they were forewarned of the severe American climate, with its blizzards, tornadoes, and Hurricanes. Its interesting how some of the terms that we are familiar with today, such as "snow shoes," and "flurry of hail" have dated back to 1664 and 1686. I am going to list a few such as: "snow storm-1771," snow shower-1779," "snow plow-1792," snowed in-1859" and snowed under which was used by 1880. Not until 1870 did the term "blizzard" come to mean a snowstorm with gale winds and low temperatures. The word "hurricanes" which in spanish is "huracan" means "big wind". "Tornadoes" is (Spanish tronada, thuderstorm, influenced by another Spanish word tornar, to twist), 1804.

"New Englanders have called a gale wind from the northeast a "northeaster" since 1774, and we have referred to a strong, cold wind from the north as a "norther" since 1776."

"The first weather forecasts in New York City newspapers was published in 1853. The weather bureau was not established by the Signal Corps until 1870. After being part of the Department of Agriculture from 1891 the Weather Bureau was moved to the Commerce Department in 1940, becoming the National Weather Bureau in 1970."

Articles of weather conditions affecting the New England States as well as New York City such as extreme heat, thunderstorms, floods, snow storms, ice storms, extreme colds and the famous hurricane of 1938 all find their way to thehistorybox.com

So for us here in the Northern states, brrrrrrrrrr..... bundle up because baby, its cold outside. Oh, and most of all, don't leave the house without your ice-scraper and cell phone too.

contact: miriammedina@earthlink.net

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