Pat Shingleton: "The Snow There and Here..."
Erie, Pennsylvania recorded its largest, single and two-day, amount of snowfall since record keeping in the late 1800s. More than five feet of "lake-effect'" snow was placed on the city and surrounding counties and states. My first institution of higher learning was Gannon University in Erie, PA. In the Fall of 2016, we visited Niagara, New York and Erie including the old "stomping grounds." I re-visited the University buildings, fraternity house and the location of my first radio stint on State Street. Years ago, students would refer to it as the "Mistake on the Lake." There were no class-closings and getting to class in what is termed a snow, "white-out" meant holding onto ropes tied to the Maple Trees on Peach Street. During the winters of '93-'94, most of the Great Lake's surface was solid and this is expected to occur this year. In 1979, all of the Great Lakes were frozen. On Memorial Day, 1996, picnickers along Lake Superior's shoreline, cooled their drinks with chunks of ice floating in the lake. Here, we use sand on bridges during episodes of freezing weather. In the snow-belt locations, salt is valued and snow fences are placed near highways to prevent drifts onto the roadway. The fence reduces wind speed and increases turbulence, causing the snow to pile downwind of the fence. Our two snow episodes on December 8, 2017 and January 16, 2018 have only occurred three times since record keeping at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport.