Snowy Lane Changes and Time Changes

This morning we had a typical March snowstorm.  Heavy, wet snow that eventually turned to rain.  It was well-predicted that it would do exactly what it did.  Well, almost exactly.  The snow started a few hours earlier than originally expected, and that seemed to catch the world by surprise.  Throw in the “spring forward” aspect of Daylight Savings and the morning seemed upside down from the start.

I spent the night on the Cape as I was worked late into the evening while trying to complete a project Saturday.  There was a lovely pink overcast sky but no precipitation, so I delayed my departure a bit longer to clean up the house a bit.  Leaving the house by 8 AM and believing the storm was tracking from the south, I had no idea that I’d be driving into a mess.  Even when sleet and snow started tapping on my windshield, I thought I’d eventually drive out of it.  Nope – it only got worse the closer I got to New Hampshire.

With heavy snow well ahead of the plows, the roads quickly turned to crap.  The left lane was a fools paradise.  The middle and right lanes were each a pair of tire tracks, and the average speed dropped to about 45-50 MPH.  Passing very slow drivers involved slowing down, gradually crossing the chasm  of snow built up between the pairs of tire tracks, and then speeding up enough to move past the slower car.  Returning to your original lane involved the same procedure in reverse.  With that kind of drama it was no surprise that many drivers just opted to stay put in whatever lane they were in.

Traffic was much heavier than you’d expect in a snowstorm like that, making me believe that I wasn’t the only one thrown off by the timing of the heaviest snow.  But despite the hazardous driving conditions, there were only two accidents on the route that I took through Boston – one on the Southeast Expressway and the other north of Boston in the Somerville area.  In both cases the cars were SUV’s whose driver’s clearly thought all wheel drive made them invincible.

For all the driving I do, I only find myself in these kinds of conditions a few times per year now.  Weather forecasts tend to be more accurate, and experience has taught me to time my drives better.  Today was an exception, and thus a memorable morning.  Worst part of the drive was looking at the clock on the car’s dash and realizing I had to move it forward an hour.  But my car won’t let me do it while the car is moving so the lost hour mocked me the entire drive.

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