Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Driving into the Norlun Trough

Though I'm well aware that Old Man Winter has many heinous weapons at his disposal, I'd never heard of the phenomenon called a "Norlun Trough"....until late yesterday that is, when I noticed that the TV weatherman on the evening news seemed more excited than usual.  He was quite knowledgeable about this somewhat rare phenomenon, and was predicting that one would be happening right where I would be heading early this morning.  What really caught my ear was his mention of possible snowfall rates between 1 to 3 inches per hour and accumulations between 6 to 10 inches or perhaps even more!  Yikes!
After a fitful night's sleep I arose at 3:30 am to find only a dusting of snow in my hometown 40 miles to the west, and no snow falling from the sky.  However, he'd mentioned this might be expected inland from the coast.  So, with a considerable amount of trepidation, I began my drive to the east and north.  I encountered falling snow in Lexington and readied myself for what lay ahead.
But the snow soon stopped and no more was seen all the way to Ipswich.  In fact there was even a lighter dusting in Ipswich than at home.  If the dreaded Norlun Trough did occur, it must have been out at sea where it wouldn't be such a big deal.  So, while I felt a little cheated, I'm certainly not complaining as my day went a lot smoother without the drama.  As to what a Norlun Trough is, there's the long scientific explanation which is fairly complex (at least to my puny brain), or one can think of a localized blizzard similar to what occurs in Buffalo, NY when 'Lake Effect Snow' is generated.    

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