Friday, April 28, 2006

Nyarlathotep Part 10 weather

Lovecraft usually brought some portion of his autobiographical life into play when he wrote his stories. The experiences often became abstracted beyond recognition.

inexplicable snows,
swept asunder
in one direction only,
where lay a gulf
all the blacker
for its glittering walls.

The column seemed very thin indeed
as it plodded dreamily into the gulf.

I lingered behind,
for the black rift
in the green-litten snow was frightful,
and I thought
I had heard
the reverberations of a disquieting wail
as my companions vanished;
but my power to linger was slight.

As if beckoned
by those who had gone before,
I half-floated between the titanic snowdrifts,
quivering and afraid,
into the sightless vortex of the unimaginable.

Was HPL remembering the previous record snowfall winter? Records of Providence weather are devilishly hard to locate, but the general New England snowfall was notable. Recall that Lovecraft was fatally allergic to freezing temperatures.

February 1, 1920 - a great anticyclone was over the northeastern United States. Northfield, VT had a high pressure reading of 31.14 inches (on the 31st) and Portland, ME had a reading of 31.09 inches which is the highest ever recorded at sea level in the United States. This caused cold temperatures with a reading of 45 degrees below zero at Pittsburg, NH. 3 days later, a snow and sleet storm paralyzed the region.

February 7, 1920 - a great 4 day snow and sleet storm came to an end over New England and southeastern New York. Accumulations of 15 to 20 inches of ice, sleet, and snow were common, stalling traffic for weeks.

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