Thursday, March 7, 2013

Timeline of a Baltimore Snowstorm

Friday, 2:50PM: In spite of its name, AccuWeather.com publishes a story about an upcoming blizzard, which would hit the mid-Atlantic region sometime early next week. The writer draws parallels to the historic Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962, which killed 400 and caused $200 million in non-inflation-adjusted damage. At Constellation Energy headquarters, BGE executives leave work early to avoid the preemptive angry calls that start flooding in.

Friday, 3:17PM: The last roll of toilet paper on store shelves within a 35 mile radius of Baltimore is purchased from Giant in Towson.

Saturday: Some anonymous jerk on the internet (probably from D.C.) coins the term "Snowquester." National media sources seize upon this and a Twitter frenzy ensues, to the chagrin of everyone. In response, local redditors suggest the term "Bohquester" as an alternative even though that term has absolutely nothing to do with weather.

Sunday: Local evening news leads with reporters checking in from Inner Harbor. The upcoming blizzard's impact on nearby local restaurants (Starbucks and Quiznos) is discussed at great length. The anchor wonders aloud whether any conventions will be impacted. When someone tells him through his earpiece that there's nothing scheduled anyway, he looks embarrassed and cuts to commercial.

Monday, 12:00PM: On NPR's Midday Maryland with Dan Rodricks, the previously scheduled topic (income inequality) is dropped in favor of a storm discussion. The irritated guest from the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies struggles to make a connection between snow removal and food deserts. A caller gives a lengthy oratory lamenting the storm's likely effects on some Chesapeake Bay species of fish that nobody else has ever heard of.

Monday, 4:00PM: AMC TV decides to move the day's filming for The Walking Dead to the parking lot of the White Marsh Costco, to take advantage of the whole situation there.

Tuesday, 1:00PM: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley give a joint press conference from MEMA (Maryland Emergency Management Agency) headquarters to reassure a weary public that government officials are prepared for the upcoming mayhem. O'Malley is wearing an Under Armour golf polo, so it's clear that he's ready for just about anything. For starters, Wednesday's trash collection will be cancelled, a move which the mayor explains will also allow the city to immediately cut property tax rates by 10%. Someone in the audience asks whether parking tickets will still be written tomorrow.

Tuesday, 11:00PM: Dozens of drunk patrons in The Brewer's Art whip out their smartphones to try to figure out what the hell is taking so long. Forecasts now predict the precipitation will start at midnight.

Wednesday, 12:05AM: The forecast is again updated; precipitation starting at 1:00AM. A few of the now extremely drunk people who are also MICA students start to worry because they didn't bother doing their art projects due on Wednesday.

Wednesday, 8:30AM: Everyone who can work from home has already arranged to do so. Some light rain starts to fall, causing minor irritation to a Canton woman trying to walk her dog.

Wednesday, 9:05AM: The Baltimore Police Department issues a tweet reminding drivers to slow down and allow extra stopping distance given the weather conditions. This immediately causes Baltimore drivers to "jump" from the 2nd worst in the nation to the 4th worst. Just kidding; they ignored the tweet completely.

Wednesday, 2:05PM: An area man gets excited when he looks outside and sees a single snowflake falling slowly toward the ground. When it melts immediately after landing, he's disappointed. But in the back of his mind, he's secretly glad, having already drank through what was supposed to be three days' worth of beer.

Thursday, 12:30PM: The Baltimore Sun meteorology department decides to have an impromptu staff picnic in the sunny park.