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Where were you when the bombogenesis hit?

Winter of '15

Today's the fifth anniversary of the start of the Winter that Never Ended, the winter that got, for a bit, boomers to shut up about the Blizzard of '78, the blizzard that the normally taciturn National Weather Service introduced by declaring "HERE WE GO" and "ITS BOMBOGENESIS BABY!"

Of course, it wasn't just that we got blizzard after blizzard after blizzard, but that there was no melting between the storms, so Boston became Hoth, the Winter Planet, where people rented out igloos on Airbnb, the mayor told us to stop jumping out second-floor windows, the United States Secretary of State got a ticket for not shoveling his sidewalk, even the spaces savers got big and the space-saver wars got ugly (and in Cambridge, of course, wordy), a coyote traipsed across a frozen Boston Harbor, the T stopped running and the last of the snow didn't melt until July.

Oh, and the Somerville Stop & Shop ran out of tofu.

Even more.

Free tagging: 


Loved that meme that went viral.

I tried 3 times to see my surgeon pre-op. Two times there was a blizzard, 3rd time my car got stuck on some ice sticking up between my driveway and the street so I couldn't move. Ended up just talking on the phone and seeing her the day of the surgery.


I was in Beth Israel having surgery that day and got out when it was all over. Fortunately the bed I was in while recovering had a window view.

That I didn't touch a shovel that winter until January 24. Three weeks in a row, I walked on Monday nights to my trivia venue, because parking wasn't happening.

"We're so close now, what's a few inches more? BOSTON SNOW! BOSTON SNOW! BOSTON SNOW! "

Same. Because, honestly, a near miss after all that would have pissed me off lol


Nothing like '78. You brats.


That was one storm. And most of the mayhem was due to people not listening.

This was six storms in three weeks, each nearly 1978 sized.

No. Comparison.


Even if 1978 was forecast (it was, but not with a ton of lead time) forecasts/models in general were far worse than they are today, so no one really believed them.

Today they would have canceled school/work for everyone and ordered the roads closed on Monday, plowed all Monday night and Tuesday, and would have been back in business by Wednesday morning. (JFK wouldn't)

Massachusetts doesn't do much well, but the proactiveness of Massport and MassDOT closing roads to keep them clear works.

Remember than it was only 5 days until the next big storm hit Boston in 2015. Had that occurred in 1978, the state wouldn't have even had the roads fully reopened before the next storm!


I was going to say this very thing about the weather forecasting! It has improved tremendously. People went to work and to school, because they had NO IDEA what really was going to happen. That wouldn't happen today.

... came close to ‘78. No one died in their car stuck on the highway. Trains were running. Forecasting gave plenty of notice. People had the internet and mobile phones.

Trains were NOT RUNNING!

What planet were you on?

And in '78 the T came back up very quickly - without prisoners shoveling!

"trains were running" literally where do you live? The T shut down enough times that instead of letting you stay home, my workplace sent out an email saying that if you lived within an hour's walk you would be expected to come in anyway. With a list of names.

The (early February) blizzard of 1978 was preceeded by the (late January) blizzard of 1978. People tend to forget that first storm. I was around for both 1978 and 2015, and each was memorable--by which I mean awful in every sense of the word. However, we didn't need the National Guard in 2015, because all the snow didn't fall at once.......

The famous Blizzard of '78 was the *second* huge snowstorm that year. The January storm several weeks earlier had not had time to melt very much before we got slammed with the big one in February.


Were snow emergency parking rules invented as a result of the blizzard of '78?

parking bans first came into use in a quick internet search). Surely as long as there have been roads, cars and snow, there have been strategies to systematically clear the roads for travel after snowstorms. But there were a lot of abandoned cars around Boston in 1978, which resulted in no one going anywhere for at least a week after the snow stopped, while the major roads were slowly cleared of snow and all the cars and trucks were towed. So maybe that experience made everyone focus on which were the most important roads and how much easier it would be to remove snow from them, if there weren't cars all over the place. So you could be right.

Speaking of big snow winters, how can we not mention 1994-95? (or was it 1995-96?) The front page of the Globe had a little picture of Kevin McHale, a really tall Celtics player, with the snow total slowly creeping up around him, day by day. Poor McHale needed a snorkel before that winter was over!

Yes, 78 was worse, but 2015 was second. We can discuss it and we can do without this "you kids don't know for winter" nonsense. It isn't about you.

but a friend and i saw what looked like a wolf (later researched to be a coywolf) at the intersection on enniking and turtle pond. the snow banks were too high for it to get back in the woods. the thing was huuuge like the size of a german sheppard.


are in fact "coywolves". The Eastern Coyote is a cross between the western coyote, western wolf, eastern wolf, and dog.

So probably you're not wrong, but it's an eastern coyote.

Some are coywolves, not all

My poor back.. after that winter I wanted to buy a snowblower.

I was so tired of shoveling out my side walk. A very narrow walk between the houses. Eventually I just ran out of room and had to start shoveling it to the backyard. You could walk onto my porch from the pile of snow from that.


I was amazed at how fit I was just from all the fucking shoveling!

In a grand fit of "can't take this anymore" I finally flew screaming to PDX at the end of the month where I literally rolled in the lush green grass and shoved my face into heavily blooming Camilla trees. I grabbed my bike from the store room and put like 30 miles on it while softly humming "don't carry it all". I logged another 20 the next day while goggling at the cherry blossoms.

Everywhere I went, someone asked me about that snow tunnel at Wellington!

Once we were in the clear I had no problem resuming my commuting or taking longer rides, propping my bike atop lingering snow piles for photos.

We went to brunch for my son's birthday and that storm dropped 6-8" of snow.

I consider that the real start of Snowmageddon 2015 ... although I wouldn't have remembered without all the pictures.

Then we got hit with three Nor'easter's before my other son's birthday. Jan 26-7, Feb 2-3, Feb 8-9. Plus an inch or two each day in between. Oh, and February 15 ...

My favorite meme was the Han and Luke on a Tonton asking if anybody needed anything at Market Basket.


Yes, it was nothing like '78 and it was everything like in terms of both being sui generis.

The Blizzard of '78 was it's own special event that all of us who were around will remember. So was the winter of bombogenesis.

Add me to the list of those who were rooting for the record at the end. Because we deserved one!


to cram onto one of the three surviving Orange Line trains, like everyone else

but thank god the powers that be realized how vital the MBTA is to the region and have plans to make sure this never happens again after the year 2350 or so


the city basically saying....whaddya want us to do?
My trash wasnt picked up one week and the city said you have to put it outside of the snowbank, which would mean the trash cans would block traffic.

We can’t block cars, no no no!

Be my guest, but cars drive on the street and it isn't very safe if an ambulance, fire truck or police cruiser needs to get down your street as well as evil automobiles.

It didn't take long before the snow completely blocked the parking lane on many streets. Instead of prohibiting parking, the city allowed people to park in the travel lane. Even in major streets like Comm Ave it would be down to about 3/4 of a travel lane between the snow and poorly parked cars.

It was a shitty response by the city. If you can't get a car to 12" of the curb, you shouldn't be allowed to park, irrespective of the snow. The snow is the space saver.

And yes, all that illegal parking blocked and slowed emergency vehicles. (And trash trucks, plows, etc.)


But the snowbanks from plowing and shoveling extended out so far that unless you had an empty shoveld out parking space to put your barrels in you were screwed

Those were the good old days.

Before: Furiously reloading amwx.

During: calling the City of Cambridge to get a booted car towed. I was told it couldn't be towed until Tuesday because it hadn't been 7 days and I said "if you don't tow it today, it won't be uncovered until March." I was wrong: it would have been April, but at 10 PM a tow truck showed up (a few weeks later the owner then finally got a resident sticker).

Riding bikes.

Going skiing and getting yelled at by BPD. (Good street skiing conditions, though.)

After: Probably skiing a lot IDK.

having to experience the blizzard of '78, like it's some GD badge of honor.

It was 40 years ago...time to reminisce about/hold high other events in your life than when a mass of snow inconvenienced everyone.

Did I mention, it was a blizzard, and in 1978?!?!?!

It WAS a badge of honor! I'm thinking you weren't around these parts then, as you seem a bit jealous.

Nothing so far a beats '78.

Snomageddon was way worse, because it lasted forever.

1978 was one nasty storm. One. Wasn't even as bad as our 2013 blizzard, except that people were proud and ignored the warnings and stupid enough to run their engines while snowbound.

Not at all sure what you mean by "ignore the warnings." Weather forecasting was not as accurate as it is now, and I don't remember anyone saying "this could be the storm of the century!" till the day before it started snowing. And most people didn't believe the forecasters because, you know, they were frequently wrong! Please have a little empathy for those who were trapped in their cars, each one all alone in a complete whiteout, no cellphones then so they couldn't even let anyone know where they were. It was very cold and the wind was intense. I doubt many had anything to eat or drink, or a blanket with them, either. You'd try to clear the snow from around your car's tailpipe, and then run the engine for a few minutes every hour or so, to try to keep warm, as well.

The blizzard of 78 most people didn’t have credit cards or ATM functions to the checking account. Banks and stores didn’t have the long hours I think, it was a different world.

Right after the storm, stores didn't have food. Because the roads were impassable, they couldn't restock. When the stores did get restocked, people went grocery shopping towing sleds to bring things back on, again, because the roads were not plowed, walking was hard, and walking while holding bags of groceries would have been quite strenuous! It was a weird, very quiet, world (kind of nice, but weird).

out of a South End resident space, didn’t dare move it in the morning, knowing I’d have nowhere to park when I got home from work: probably 40% of street spaces were under five-foot snow mounds. Luckily a work pal / neighbor with a garage space was able to drive me in and back for six weeks. No idea what I would have done otherwise: round-trip on public transport would have been maybe four hours, especially given how broken it all was.

I was at Homestead Air Force Base in Florida having a cookout on a hibachi while my friends up here (including My Girlfriend) where jumping off porches. I think they got the better end of the deal.

considering the number of people who were suddenly able to find other options for transportation once it got a little bit too difficult to dig out their cars.

Should I also get rid of my bicycle if I don't use it for 6 weeks in winter?

What about my skis for 30 weeks?

It would be a lot easier to live without a car if we had small grocery stores within walking distance of all dense residential areas, and functional off-peak transit service to the suburbs.

A lot of folks just had to stay home, because large parts of the MBTA were crippled or shut down. Bicycling was also between difficult and impossible in many places.