Atlanta as a teaching tool

It’s the gift that keeps on giving.  A week after the world witnessed what 2″ of snow can do to a metro area that’s unprepared to deal with it, Atlanta has become the example of what not to do.  I don’t know whether to give myself a facepalm or just laugh.

Courtesy of The Weather Channel:

Portland meteorologists and transportation officials warned drivers “Don’t be Atlanta” as winter weather moved into the region midday Thursday.

The warning comes a little more than a week after Atlanta made headlines during Winter Storm Leon. Heavy snow started falling midday in the metro area on Tuesday, Jan. 28, and road conditions went downhill quickly. Businesses and schools dismissed at the same time, which turned into massive gridlock. Hundreds of kids were stranded at schools while some drivers reported commutes more than 15 or 20 hours long.

Thursday’s heaviest snow in Portland could also begin to fall while people are at work, according to meteorologist Alan Raymond. “Based on model data, the most impactful snowfall will be coming in between 3 p.m and 6 p.m. local time. That said, disruptive snow has already fallen in the higher elevations.”

Last week’s fiasco was a complete embarassment in how officials responded, or didn’t respond, to weather alerts that were given days ahead.  To add insult to injury, the National Weather Service put out a message today, and the Georgia DOT responded by posting Winter Storm Watch messages on traffic boards all across the metro area when no such watch had been issued.  There’s also a conference dealing with weather and climate that made it’s way to Atlanta right after the snowstorm hit.  Maybe we would have fared better had that conference been a week or two earlier.

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6 thoughts on “Atlanta as a teaching tool

  1. Too funny. I grew up in PDX. We didn’t get snow often, but we also joked that “summer came on Thursday & Friday this year.” 🙂


  2. Here’s what’ll happen. In the next 3-4 years, the powers that be around Metro Atlanta will be hyper vigilant. They’ll be ready and then the storms won’t come. Everything will go into a lull and all the people involved this time will die off and/or retire. The new bunch will come in thinking everything begins with them as new bunches always do. Then 15-20 years down the road, when there’s no institutional memory, another storm will hit in the middle of the day (that’s what really was the major problem here, just like ’82) and it’ll be the same as it ever was. Us old farts have been around this block a time or two and seen all this before.

    Anyway, just sit back and enjoy the show, when it happens. 😉


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