Anatomy of a snow storm

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Monday, February 8, 2021. The weekend in New York was The Weather. Another snow storm had been forecast back on Thursday or Friday, for Sunday. Saturday was mainly a bright sunny day. Cold, of course, but not brutal. People were out — some digging out cars buried by the snowbanks from the plows the week before. Parents pulling their little ones on sleds. All anticipating the forecast storm for Sunday (yesterday).

And so it was. The original expectation was the snow arriving in the wee hours of the morning and staying all day through the early evening. But by 8 a.m. there was no sign of it other than it was overcast. Then, a little after 10 a.m., it started. Unlike the storm the week before, this one was basically gentle; just snowfall — sometimes heavy, sometimes light. It ended somewhere around 4/4:30. It wasn’t a storm although it had volume. But it was gentler. Both JH (who returned Friday from 3 weeks in Palm Beach) and I always take photos of these storms. We do it for the Diary of course, but it’s become a habit that is a pleasure — watching and recording the weather.

Snowstorms are a perfect pleasure for a cold and grey Sunday mid-winter in New York. That is, as long as you’re in a spot that’s warm. Because the snow brings beauty that softens the natural hardness of a world of bricks and mortar/steel and glass/concrete and macadam.

Sunny Saturday. Five days after last week’s two-day snowfall, the main problem was all the parked cars buried by the snow plows. With the snow covering tops of the cars, the plows did the rest. Many cars are still locked in by snow (now grey and black) all over the city.


Park Avenue in the upper 90s looking south. People have shoveled out by throwing all the snow in the middle of the road where it is flattened out by traffic and then begins to melt. But in many cases, it’s real labor moving that old, cold and icy snow out into the road.



In many cases, the city’s snow plows were assisting in moving the old away from the curbsides. Saturday was a good day to do it because the sun could assist in the melting. As you can see some of the old cold snow was almost as hard as ice.





There were lots of these instances of drivers getting stuck in the icy snow tracks. The man in the red cap pulled his bicycle over to the side and helped the man driving the Cadillac. Like a good neighbor.



There are lots of cars which look like they’re hibernating for the duration. Or a few more days. One thing I never noticed before: when the snow has melted away much of its ice, it will slide off the car, often in sheets, revealing the shining surface, cleaned and wiped down by the snow.



More car owners turn their windshield wipers up off the surface when anticipating a storm. I’ve noticed more of it this year and often with foreign cars.

Snowing Sunday. The first hour was dropping snow that was sticking, including to the branches of the trees.


Looking south from 83rd Street on East End Avenue, about 11:30 a.m.

This is a favorite tree across the avenue from me. In its different seasons it is always delicate, exotic, and hearty. I took this photo about 1 p.m. The snow was less and getting wetter.



I am fascinated by the way the snow decorates the trees — with their help. This tree, which is in front of my terrace, is a pleasure to observe as the snow decorates the surface of the branches the same way it decorates the car parked by the canopy of 80 East End Avenue.



The same branches later in the avenue with the snow sticking all the way around a lot of branches. It’s complicated like the outline of a ballerina in rehearsal.



These are the most delicately chic-and-elegant looking trees in the neighborhood, in front of 60 East End Avenue, a 43-story co-op.



Looking toward the eastern side of Park Avenue between 95th and 96th streets, photographed by JH observing from his building’s rooftop when the snow was just beginning to fall around 10:45 a.m.



The same view 30 minutes later.



And a live-action vid 15 minutes later. It gets really intense.



As it was letting up, JH took a quick walk in the park.




Snow’s over. The east side of Park Avenue between 95th and 96th Streets.



And the view of  East End Avenue and 83rd Street looking south at 6 p.m. People getting ready for the big game.


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