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Posted at 10:05 AM ET, 02/15/2010

Who's flinty now?

By editors

By Michael Tobin

Last year, Chicagoans Barack Obama and David Axelrod issued dismissive remarks concerning Washington’s supposedly fearful and weak response to weather that is yawningly commonplace in more rugged climes. Mr. Axelrod went so far as to scoff that D.C.’s December snowfall would have been a “dusting” in the Windy City.

Such comments not only reveal an attitude of empty bluster, they demonstrate a profound lack of climatological knowledge.

The heaviest snowfall ever recorded in Chicago ended on Jan. 27, 1967, when 23 inches fell — hardly in another league compared with the District. Chicago has received no more than 12 inches in any one storm during this century. It seems tales of walls of snow are figments of these transplanted Chicago imaginations.

Furthermore, Chicago is flat and relatively easy to plow and navigate during its diminutive storms. All of us in the D.C. area would sigh at the ease with which we could weather a Chicago snowstorm.

By editors  | February 15, 2010; 10:05 AM ET
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, weather  
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I would love to see what President Obama and Axelrod have to say about our reaction to snowfall now. And have it as widely reported as their initial comments. I want to see the President in a photo-op shoveling snow in the White House driveway.

BTW, the federal government should have closed last Friday. With a late start, roads not plowed curb-to-curb, sidewalks and bus shelters not fully shoveled, and a Metro derailment, we were lucky there were no serious injuries or even deaths during the commute. And in retrospect, was it worth it to have employees in for what amounted to about 6 hours? They had to heat up all the buildings, stress the transportation infrastructure, endanger all the commuters, have them try and be productive for 6 hours, then send them home again for a three day weekend? That just doesn't make sense. Good job on the foresight, OPM.

Posted by: tbantug | February 15, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Nice research, Michael! :)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 16, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Nice research.

The thing is, Chicago winters are very cold. The low temperatures there and the cold wind is what they mean when they say "flinty".

I definitely agree that this year we have way more snow, no question about that.

But I think the "flinty" remarks have to do with the combinations of cold, wind and some snow.

Ice storms are less common up there, that is why I don't think the Chicago politicians got it when it was icy here.
Snow can be removed safely, but ice is a different story altogether. They maybe didn't get it, but with our traffic volume any ice can send the region into chaos.

Posted by: celestun100 | February 16, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Finally, Mr. Tobin mentioned something which us Meteorology buffs have been stating ever since we heard such ludicrous and arrogant commentary emanating from the Illinois carpetbaggers in town. As a matter of fact, Chicago's top snowfalls aren't even that impressive when comparing them to IAD's record amounts (Near where I live). Yes, Chicago has the consistent wind and reliable cold, but Washington, D.C. has the treacherous hills and erratic, powerful, hard hitting Nor'Easters.

Posted by: TheAnalyst | February 17, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

"Dismissive remarks" from Obama and Axelrod? No. Really?
Did Obama say that we "acted stupidly?"
Maybe not in public....
He's better, smarter, more clever.... oh, bow about unprecedented!

Posted by: parkbench | February 17, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

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