Yesterday morning, folks here in Lincoln awoke to a couple inches of fresh snow. I was up early, watching the big flakes fall in the still darkness. It was beautiful, but from lots of past experience, I knew it would be wise to get an early start on my day: avoid the traffic, head to the office, and watch the chaos of the morning commute unfold.
The roads were slick in my subdivision, but merely wet and slushy once I hit arterials. I arrived at the office without a problem, but still expected Armageddon: it just doesn't take much to make the pending dispatch screen explode with collisions. Sometimes just a little rain will do it, and the first significant snow of the year seemed certain, despite the fact that it was more wet than slick.
The trouble, however, never emerged. We ended the day with 22 traffic crashes, which is just slightly below the daily average. Interestingly, five days ago, on December 10th the weather was beautiful. It was sunny, calm, and the high hit 62 degrees--very unusual for Lincoln in mid-December. About half way through the day I noticed that we were logging quite a few crashes, and sent out a tweet about that fact. We ended the day on December 10th with 38 crashes, far above the average of 23.
Perfect weather, crashes abound. First snowfall of note, all is well. There's no logical explanation for that, but we should take it while we can get it. I can assure you that we'll have our days of 78, 98, or 123 traffic crashes ahead. Anyone remember December, 2009?