March 2nd, 2009
04:45 PM ET

A snowball's chance in Manhattan

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/weather/03/02/winter.weather/art.generic.snow.cnn.jpg]

Jack Gray
AC360° Producer/Writer

A snowstorm in March.  I know it’s still technically winter but, nevertheless, it feels so out of place.  Like Christmas in July or a healthy economy.

I can’t say I’m happy with this weather.  If I wanted to walk around with wet socks and fall on my butt then I would have just gone to Sam Donaldson’s retirement party.

At least I live in New York City, which means I don’t have to shovel.  I’ve never been a fan of shoveling.  In fact, as a general rule, I am opposed to anything that builds character and/or makes sidewalks safer for the elderly.

It is, however, tough to argue that snow doesn’t make everything seem prettier. Maybe it’s the Robert Frost in me talking but there’s just something special about a mugger fleeing by toboggan.  Then again, maybe it's the Peppermint Schnapps in me talking.

My dog Sammy is a Labrador Retriever so, of course, she loves the snow.  Her favorite thing to do is to get on her back and wriggle in it.  It’s behavior that raises far fewer eyebrows at the dog park than it did during her brief stint sniffing out cocaine at the airport.

When I was younger I welcomed snowstorms because they brought with them the possibility of days off from school.  Unfortunately, the television news business does not operate on that system.  You can’t call in and say, “I’m not going to make it to work today, the roads are too dangerous.”  If you do, mark my words, ten minutes later Lou Dobbs will be outside your apartment on a snowmobile.

There are lots of people who, obviously, do love this kind of weather, skiers being chief amongst them.  I myself have never been one for skiing.  I think it’s because I – what’s the word I’m looking for, ah yes – can’t.

I know, a New Englander who can’t ski.  It’s sacrilege.  Though it’s not for a lack of trying.  I just get too nervous way up there on top of that bunny hill.  Crashing into trees, avalanches, polar bear attacks…I’ll just meet you in the lodge, thank you very much.

I can’t water-ski either.  My only experience water-skiing was watching that scene in Jaws where the woman gets picked off by the shark.  As a result, I have about as much interest in water-skiing as I do in being shot out of a cannon or going to see Confessions of a Shopaholic.

As for today, it’s difficult to determine exactly how much snow has fallen in New York.  I suppose I could turn on the TV but that would require getting out of bed.  And looking out the window, well, that just seems like cheating.

I think I’ll just sit here, hoping that it melts before the polar bears arrive.


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Filed under: 360° Radar • Jack Gray • Severe Weather
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Helen, Reading, UK

    Ooh, Jolene, hot chocolate with Baileys..mmm..(does Homer Simpson type drool) It's getting colder over here, might have to do myself one tonight now..

    March 3, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  2. Anna, NZ

    Hi Jack,

    Guess you don't 'chase winters' then? Admittedly, if you're not a fanatical skier it's pretty hard to be passionate about snow. And, trying to manouvre oneself onto the ski field IS jolly hard work.....

    In the modern world, households have remote controls for their tellys, so you don't really have to get out of bed to find out about the weather....

    I've always preferred winter myself... maybe it's a backlash from all the times when I've gone home looking like a lobster (though you can still look like one after a stint on the ski slopes too...!) Anyhow, it's pretty sunny (plus sunblock) where I am at the moment, so no complaints... Stay warm, if you have progressed from your duvet....

    March 3, 2009 at 12:18 am |
  3. Alex (Aliso Viejo)

    Snow/Cold weather = warm milk, socks and bed and/or movie. Unless......I get to make snow angels with Sammy, I think it will be a bit tolerable. 🙂 Btw, I hope you put a helmet on Sammy specially at night. I just saw the dreaming dog who slammed into a wall. Ouchee! 🙁

    March 3, 2009 at 12:13 am |
  4. Jacqueline, NY

    Oh my gosh! Jack, did I read some weeks ago that you had not yet watched "Brothers and Sisters?" Well, I just watched last night's episode online. I'm speechless. I absolutely love this program. I have been watching the show and have been a fan since the first.

    If you haven't yet, do yourself a favor, get into it. Sally Fields' the BEST. She never siezes to amaze me with her skills. But really, the entire cast is WONDERFUL.They are all at the top of their game. They deliver with truth and a purity seen back in the 70's on TV dramas like "Family" and "The Walton's." The really heartfelt, mushy tearjerker stuff. I LOVE IT!

    So, my guess is that if you can submit your heart to this show, you'll be like putty. A softer, kinder, gentler, Jack. LOL!

    Now, I think I'll watch it again now. Goodnight.

    March 2, 2009 at 9:27 pm |
  5. Don, WA

    Looks like this is the "March" of the penguins.

    March 2, 2009 at 8:28 pm |
  6. Annie Kate


    I live in the South – in Alabama – because I don't like the cold or the snow. When I grew up in Tennessee we used to get 2 or 3 good snows a year – some good enough to get you out of school for a whole week. It doesn't do that much anymore. But in Alabama, you only need about half an inch to shut down everything so imagine our surprise when for the first time in the 10 years we have lived here we woke up to at least 3 inches of snow yesterday morning. It didn't accumulate on the roads but it did on the yards, bushes, and holly trees. There is nothing prettier than a holly tree with bright red berries and heaps of snow on it.

    We were like hillbillies on our first trip to the big city. We ooohed and aahed over it all and took pictures and generally had a good time since there wasn't any ice to fall on. And then my daughter found the one bad thing about the snow – it was Sunday – they didn't get out of school for it!! And all the snow melted by lunchtime. Nice and brief.

    Glad Sammie liked the snow – some of the dogs down here didn't know what it was but it was fun to romp around in. Hope your snow doesn't last too long and thanks for the really great post on it!!

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    March 2, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  7. Terry D - CT

    Fun day for all. Lived in CT all my life and even learned to ski when I was younger – Not any more. But now the comapnies give you a laptop, a wireless home router, a VPN, and now my whole team was working from home the entire day. Spent the day at my kitchen table working remotely. Glad I didn't have to travel on the roads today. So maybe there is something good in working for corporate america!!!

    March 2, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  8. Barbara in Boston

    Jack, I grew up in Colorado and live in New England and I don't ski at all.

    You could always get a Snuggie for that warm all over feeling...

    March 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  9. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    Understand the skiing thing...I live and grew up near bayous and used to sit in the boat drinking and tanning while watching my friends attempt to water ski. It just seemed safer that way. Still does. And as for snow skiing, I'd rather play in NYC or San Francisco for a week if I'm going to blow that kind of money.

    Hope the snow means lots of warm blankets, hot cocoa, and a really good book or movie. And lots of Bailey's with coffee.

    March 2, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  10. Marilyn from MO

    Betty Ann and Jacqueline, glad I gave you a laugh! You made my day! Pitiful I have soooo much time on my hands!

    March 2, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  11. Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    Jack: Where I live, amazingly, we lucked out....absolutely NO SNOW! I guess Punxsutawney Phil wasn't kidding about his winter prediction. Afterall, who would ever question a groundhog even though Staten Island's groundhog, Charles G. Hogg was too busy biting Mayor Bloomberg of which BTW, I found to be very amusing!

    Regardless, I've never been one for snow skiing either nor sledding down the dunes here in Michigan with TV Trays. It can be rather exciting but I prefer to avoid any activity that could cause extreme bruising and pain to the buttocks area. Point in case as to why I don't like ice skating either. It's bad enough to balance yourself normally, let alone on ice and I'm tired of ruining good pairs of mittens because I'm really not skating...it's more like hugging the wall of the rink or should I say more like a death grip. Perhaps I'm just getting too old to participate in winter sporting activities. I'd much rather observe or better yet, watch the videos and pics afterwards near a warm fire with a big cup of hot chocolate laced with Bailey's Irish Creme...oh yes, now that's a winter sporting event I can sign up for!

    Great blog posting today...enjoyed it and the laughs. Take Care!

    March 2, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  12. Sharon, LA, CA

    Grew up in the snow in PA. Lived in OH for 10 years. I'll take CA anyday.

    My experience with downhill skiing is being entertainment for the 3 to 5 year olds sharing my bunny hill laughing at me. My experience with cross country is stopping to look at a beautiful little pine tree only to realize it's the top 2 feet of a 10 foot tree which I must now climb to get out of the hole I fell into.

    I'll stick with scuba diving thanks very much.

    March 2, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  13. Dean Schindler

    Well Jack...hope you enjoyed your day laying in bed, relaxing and watching the snow. I agree...snow makes everything appear to be more beautiful than it really is. Maybe we should sprinkle some snow over the economy...that could use a bit of beautification these days! I think the puppy has the right idea...we should all just go out and make snow angels...sounds so much better than reality at this point.

    March 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  14. Jacqueline, NY

    LOL! Love the poem Marilyn.

    March 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  15. Presley

    No snow days for you, huh Jack?
    I still claim them, yea, that's right, if the schools are closed and my driveway looks like the Alps, yodel-lay-hee-hoo, no work for moi.

    Soon enough though you'll be frying eggs on the pavement and perma-moisture summer sweat will be the status quo.

    XXO ♥

    March 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  16. Elaine C., Ambler, PA

    In like a lion; out like a lamb. We always get snow in March in this neck of the woods. Get used to it.

    March 2, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  17. vanessa, El Paso, TX

    hey Jack...too funny..wow, Lou Dobbs on a skimobile? NICE... so no snow day for us...we've got 80 dgrs temp here in good ol' sun city El Paso. I hope you enjoy your snow day in NYC, i'm certainly enjoying our heat wave.
    Thanx for making me laugh this monday 😉

    March 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  18. BettyAnn, Nacogdoches,TX

    @ Marilyn~I love the poem! LOL GOOD ONE! xoxo

    March 2, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  19. Maria

    Happy Day Jack,

    The storm in Manhatten is scary, yesterday, I remembered a dream that I had on last November, where my old boat was talking to me, it is kind of strange, but it happened, I think he was threatening me if I sail in this stormy weather, but I never leisten to him in the dream, becuase I thought it was a joke. Then last weekend, i had similar dream, but it was 3 boats ??, my old boat, which I was under his radar since probably October 2008, he is demanding me to comeback, but I don't know for what, is it for heavy duty excercise, because I gained wait since I start eating happy meals in McDonald, or just to put me supermodel statu in his collection, despit the fact he looks seroius, he also came in my dreams several times to be sure I am still alive??Bail me out of this scary dreams and I wish you have warm chocolate drink at this snowy winter.

    March 2, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  20. Chris Sosa - Boston, MA

    I get back to VA to visit my family, and what do I find? A foot of snow. Since when does VA get a foot of snow? I actually had to get out the scraper for my car, which, in my opinion, is only a step above shoveling, something which I refuse to do on ideological grounds.

    When it snows in Fredericksburg, the world stops. People drive 5 mph. Panic ensues. Polar bears descend. My dog flips out. And, unfortunately, a pack of smokes and the New York Times won't cut it for Fluffy. She requires an inhaler and a bubble bath. Fluffy then proceeds to completely monopolize the very individuals I came here to visit, all the while staring at me with a mocking derision.

    So, if you want to send Lou Dobbs down on his snow mobile to cart me over, I'd be more than happy to take your shift. In fact, I'm waiting at the front door with my suitcase packed.

    March 2, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  21. Marilyn from MO


    There once was a man from New York City.
    He was warm and funny and witty.

    He hated the snow because he was afraid he would slip.
    Hated boots because they weren't "hip".

    He just couldn't ski.
    He might hit a tree.

    So he bundled up in a coat and gloves,
    And slogged his way to the job he loved.

    When he got there, the floors were wet and like glass.
    So he went for a skate and fell on his a–!

    The moral of this story is plain to see.
    Jack should have just stayed home and watched AC!!!

    March 2, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  22. BettyAnn, Nacogdoches,TX

    P.S. I do love NYC! I have been there in the winter and the summer and it rocks no matta the weathea! XO

    March 2, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  23. BettyAnn, Nacogdoches,TX

    Holy Snowballs in Hell Jack!
    Yaawn! Excuse me! I just woke up from a long winter's nap and looked outside. Spring has sprung in Texas! Have you ever seen a redbud tree?
    They are a sight to behold! When they are blooming (now) they are the most beautiful shade of violet. I have one in my yard but the countryside is full of them and it looks like a fantasy. Trouble is, when they bloom people confuse me with my rottweiler. You see they are so beautiful they make me drool.
    Some come to watch and others run.
    I've never been snow skiing but I have been water skiing. I don't do it anymore. Once I was in a swampy area and this huge water moccasin got caught on the end of my ski. Just my dumb luck as always.
    I can't win. But I sure could swim like Michael Phelps on pot that day.
    I wish we could have a chance to have just a little snow shoveling here.
    My problem is when I build a snowman I always get a crush on him. They are so damn cute! Then, the sun comes out and well you know the heartbreaking rest of the story, (rest in peace Paul Harvey).
    Take care and you and Sammy stay inside. Get her one of those baby pools and fill it with water. Your apartment will be nasty but Sammy might put down those cigs! labs will prostitute for water! And we all know that Sammy has some addictive issues, shall we say?
    In the meantime. I'll we watching my azaleas bloom while I listen to the "bling" jingle in my ankle! I can't wait to go through an airport metal detector! eye-yi-yi!
    Sending you WARM wishes and lots of smiles from the miles~
    XO's and tailwags

    March 2, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  24. Corey

    Jack – great blog as usual. Let me tell you, there's nothing like waking up to the sound of your roommates jubilantly celebrating the fact that they don't have to teach due to a snow storm that will promise to dampen my commute to work, along with my newly pressed suit. I hope Sammy's making some great snow-angels.

    March 2, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  25. Kim

    We have a grand snow day in North Carolina too ! Building a snow man with a magical top hat dancing like Frosty ! No school ! Yahoo ! Homework is read Tom's letter on education and send stimulus check Federal Express for Public Education ! Happy snow day's !

    March 2, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  26. mave

    Oh and Jack, note to first time skiers...Do not wear new levi's! The only way I located the Mr. after his first "exciting" journey down the slopse was by following the tracks left in the snow created by the blue dye dripping from his denims!

    March 2, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  27. Cal-G

    The second paragraph of your article has me laughing out loud!

    March 2, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  28. mave

    Thanks for the Monday morning laugh. Husband and I were talking about skiing just last night. We live in the Rocky Mountains and he doesn't ski either. He said he never could understand why someone would take all that time to go up a beautiful mountain only to come flying down on two pieces of wood. Not to mention, trying to avoid trees, other skiers and the occasional avalanche. In his opinion, the smart man goes directly to the lodge, grabs a hot toddy and settles in front of the fire to gaze out at those same beautiful mountains (I suspect ski bunnies might have something to do with the gazing part too). Personally, I think his aversion comes from an episode early in our marriage when he tried to learn to ski and ended up getting trampled by a herd of quickly moving pine trees! To add insult to injury (literally) he was ticketed by the ski patrol for reckless skiing!

    March 2, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  29. Isabel, Brazil

    Hi, Jack!
    You took the weekend long? 🙂

    Dude, I'm loving to read about the snow.
    Are the news here talking about the snow of you, is the Morning Buzz from Penny Manis and now your post.

    Jack, I'm the 38ºC (100.4 F) and the forecast for tomorrow in my city (Rio de Janeiro) is 39ºC (102.2 F) ...

    Some suffer from the snow and others with the heat!

    But I wanted to be there in that cold ...

    A kiss and until the next!

    March 2, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  30. Helen, Reading, UK

    Hey Jack, happy snow day! At least your country stills functions when it snows. We get a couple of flakes over here and the entire country shuts down! It also dominates the news, but then you know that all us Brits do is talk about the weather.. I've never seen the attraction of throwing myself down a mountain on a couple of planks either, it's the apres ski for me, hot chocolate, lots of schnapps and hot ski instructors! So did Sammy do the old St Bernard thing and go out to stranded skiers with the brandy barrel round her neck? Bet none of them got any of the booze, ha, ha! Does she write her name in the snow when she's made an angel? Coop probably has his own snow plough to get to work on, maybe you two could plough pool! That's assuming your new position allows you within ten feet of him, of course. Have a good day, don't forget your thermals! Lots of hugs and tail wags x x x

    March 2, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  31. Michelle D. Ontario ,Canada

    The snow is only a dusting here Jack but it's colder than the inside of a mother-in law's heart that 's bitteerly cold .please do a good service a shiovel the sidewalk for the elderly what have they done to you ? Sammy loves to wriggle and make snow angels and you problobly have poeple throwing snowballs at you ! ha !

    Stay warm Jack !

    March 2, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  32. Pamina

    Hi Jack,
    This is wild!! I can't believe they closed the city schools this morning! This would be a good day for Anderson to try out that hologram! The whole staff could all be "beamed in" and do virtual work.
    Good luck getting around. Stay dry and warm!

    March 2, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  33. Larry L.

    --OH MY GOD,this can not be happening !!! Mother nature must not believe in global warming.

    March 2, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  34. Fay

    I'm not happy about the snow either. I'm ready for warm weather!! Brooklyn is covered in snow 🙁

    March 2, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  35. Jennifer - Michigan

    Hey there, good morning Jack.
    Enjoy the snow today! Some storm ey? It missed us completely – I like the snow. That is, as long as I'm cozy warm in the house of course! I don't ski either. Tried it one time when I was a kid – not a good situation. First, I fell down holding the tow line taking a couple people in front and behind me to the ground. They were all giving me dirty looks (guess I should've let go, sorry). Then, accidently went all the way down the hill backwards without falling until the very end of the slope!! That was it for me – no more. Me and skiing don't mix very well. It's crazy. Anyway, hope you have a good day today. It's a Winter wonderland.

    March 2, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  36. Pati Mc

    Happy Snow Flying Monday Jack....yeesh.

    I second what you said. I just came back from lunch and it is a mess. The snow is not that bad here in South Central PA, but the wind??Forgeddaboutit. It is as if I went to sleep in my humble little town and awoke in Chicago. Nix the wind, it is just making things worse.

    If only I could have Lou Dobbs on the snowmobile. Wait...what am I saying? Heh heh. Instead, put me down for Anderson on a toboggan. Just don't forget to tie his mittens to his overcoat before he goes out. Yes, there are not snow days in news, true that.

    Ah, skiing. I skiied for many years; unfortunately I've busted, bent and battered so many areas of my body that I can no longer participate. Works for me. Meet me at the fireplace in the lodge. I will be the one holding court with Sammy and throwing back Hot Toddies whist she regales the masses with her tales of rescues gone wild.

    Very funny post Jack. When reading makes me laugh out loud, you know you have a winner.

    Good day, Jack. Now go put on dry socks before you catch your death. Heh heh....

    March 2, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  37. Lilibeth

    Oh, come on, Jack, the snow makes everything so pretty. And there’s something about it that makes everything seem peaceful. Enjoy it while it’s there. I used to downhill ski many years ago, until I decided I spent more time being scared than having fun. So, now I just do cross-country skiing. You don’t have to worry about falling because, well, you’re already on flat ground. I always tell people, “Flat is my friend.” Take care,

    Edmonds, Washington

    March 2, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  38. Michelle Johnson, Lomita, CA

    Hi Jack! Wish you could come here to sunny California for a bit! Sit in the sun and you cheer up no matter what. I moved from New Jersey at nine years of age, and I remember those winters! I love NY, but don't want to move back; it gets too cold. Smart of you to stay off the slopes. My brother was knocked out cold skiing once when he crashed into a tree, and the crazy guy still skis! Think of springtime, Jack, it'll be here before you know it. Patience; there's gold at the end of the icy rainbow, tomorrow is only a day away, and so forth!

    March 2, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  39. Hannah Marner

    Roughly an hour from Tahoe and Squaw Valley, Jack, and I don't ski, either. The looks I get from everyone when the season begins and I refuse any and all invitations! I can't stand the sport. Can't balance on the darned skis. But, since I have "issues" with the same on my own two feet, that might be contributing....

    March 2, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  40. Dee from CT

    Jack I'm with you on the whole ski thing ... the top of the bunny hill is enough to drive me into the lodge for a hot drink and a video camera to capture all those crash and burn moments!

    Meanwhile, I braved our own snow conditions today and drove myself to work this morning ... at a turtles pace, but I made it without incident ... then because I took forever and left home earlier than I normally do – therefore no breakfast – I decided to venture to the vending machine at work for a snack, only to get stuck in the elevator for 15 minutes because the power went out.

    Some days a person should just stay on bed.

    March 2, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  41. Heather,ca

    Morning Jack

    Oh how I love your titles. Its nice to know that Sammy doesnt give a snowballs chance in hell if its too cold for you to walk her. I have never understood why anyone would want to balance all their body weight on two flat pieces of wood down a hill at top piece. Then again why would anyone want to jump out a perfectly good airplane. Stay warm

    March 2, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  42. Jacqueline, NY

    Jack, you funny bunny,

    Why ski when you could make snow-angels? Take it from Sammy. She's got the right idea. So get your butt out of bed and head on over to Central Park with Sammy. Dive in the snow and make some snow-angels before going in to work. Trust me, you'll feel so lighthearted with a fuzzy warm feeling inside, it would make you want to help an elderly person walk safely along the slippery, icy, snowy streets.

    Go ahead. Give it try. And call me to tell me how good you feel inside afterwards. LOL!

    Have a great Monday, Jack!

    March 2, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  43. Stacy

    Keep the snow up there, Jack. I don't want it. Oh, sure, I suppose in theory I like snow. It is pretty. But ughh what a pain! Forget the shoveling part. My favorite is discovering my driver's side door is frozen shut, leading to the ever-graceful crawl across from the passenger side, all the while muttering under my breath while the neighbors look on. And that's before venturing out onto the slippery laneless road. Fun times. So if I could just view your snow from afar, that would be good.

    March 2, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  44. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    Good morning Jack! Happy Monday! Snow in March? That's nothing....last year we got a huge snow storm at the end of April! We know snow around here in the upper mid-west and here you have to get at least a foot of snow before they'll even consider canceling school! And the 40 below weather with the 100 below wind chill....its great! But we are a hearty people! 🙂

    March 2, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  45. vanessa from silver spring, MD

    Jack your hilarious. My college closed today too. Which is a shock because it never closes. Fine with me. And your not the only one who doesn't like to ski. I mean i never been skiing before, but the pictures and stories i see and hear of people dying out there and crashing into stuff, is enough to keep me away from the slopes.

    Why don't you want to make sidewalks safer 4 the elderly? lol

    March 2, 2009 at 11:39 am |