Juno Descending
By R. D. Flavin


Juno, classical sculpture; in the National Archaeological Museum, Naples.

     2015 Winter Storm Sespeis Mater Regina or Juno made quite the impact this week. The nor'easter blizzard, named after the ancient Roman goddess of marriage and childbirth, dumped 17.6” to 20” of snow on Boston and made life miserable for millions spread out over five or so states. The descent of the Roman Queen Mother was ...exceptionally harsh. It kinda' put concerns about Global Warming on the back-burner...at least for those with working stoves. Sometimes Nature is kind, while at other times ...She's not. This one hurt a lot!

     The newly elected and installed Gov. Charlie Baker put the Commonwealth under a state of emergency, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority suspended ALL services (commuter rail trains, subway trains, and buses) all day and night on Tuesday, January 27th, and ...lots of folks just prayed their power stayed on and the plows were doing their best. Sunday and Monday were frenzied nightmares at stores who quickly sold out all the usual stuff – shovels, dry ice, and some alcoholic beverages. Tuesday was eerie with empty streets except for the stray Japanese college student taking pictures of snow...

Tuesday morning at around 10AM and Comm. and Harvard Aves at around 1PM, 1-27-2015.

     Juno barely nudged NYC (9.8”; fortunate ...ah, folks), Philly got around 6”, Hartford recorded some 13.8” of fluff, Rhode Island picked up 19.1”, and Eastern Massachusetts got wicked slammed with 33” in some areas. Nantucket went underwater and beachfront properties in the Bay State experienced ...a severe pounding. Yes, I know; New Jersey to the south, and New Hampshire and Maine to the north also got some 'weather', but I'm realistic (read: selfish) and only concerned with Beantown. Gov. Baker seems proud that only 25,000 homes are without power, as most “experts” were predicting 250,000 powerless families... After a fashion, I guess Boston (and other none-beachfront cities and towns in MA) did get lucky.

Wednesday morning at around 8AM.

     The rest of the country and the national media (i.e., newspapers, magazines, television, and radio programs) seem eager to blame the meteorological forecast prediction algorithms used to warn the East Coast that Winter Storm (aka 'blizzard') Juno were flawed because NYC didn't get slammed. It appears the same system was successful in tracking Hurricane Sandy, but ...express a desire to lynch those who use the current European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). The competing forecasting modeling systems (the U.S. Global Forecast System or GFS and the North American Model or NAM) 'accurately' predicted the blizzard missing NYC. The spice must flow and feces is evacuated from time to time. Reasonable, rational, and non-agenda critics agree it's time to move past exclusive reliance on the so-called European system. All I can add is, Beantown is getting another inch of snow today, another inch tomorrow, and still another on Monday. Hey, it's Winter and snow falls from the sky. Now, some do predict Global Warming will likely produce more than usual nor'easters for New England in the years to come, but I'm personally just concerned with getting through this one first...

Friday, 1-30-15; Man v. Snow: snow lost...

     Discussion of weather aside (like we have ANY control over events), the coincidence in naming the Winter Storm “Juno” is ...kinda' cool. [Note: Yes, Boston is expecting 6”-12” Sunday night/Monday morning.]  Juno... is the wife of Jupiter, in ancient Roman reckoning. Yet, in fairness and with consensual historical accuracy, ...she's much more than just a wife to the head-god in the ancient Roman religious pantheon. ...And, IF you can't appreciate that 'Jupiter' ('Iuppiter' or Jve) is actually *Iou-pater from the Indo-European *Dyēu-pəter ("O' Father Sky-god"), maybe you should skip over what follows. Juno was much more than just a wife...

Though some have argued the ancient Roman goddess Juno (Latin Iūno, as the letter 'J' didn't appear until ca. 1500 CE in Germany) was the continuation of the Etruscan goddess, Uni, a surer analogy is with the Greek goddess, Hera, as both wore a goatskin cloak (Greek aegis), a sign of their battle attire. Ancient etymologies associated Juno's name with the Latin iuvare or "to aid, benefit", while some extend the form back to the Proto-Indo-European root *yeu- or "vital force." Besides contributing to the naming of our month, June, more than a few scholars see her role as the feminine counterpart to 'genius', the male spirit of a family. Such an aspect would be glamorous, indeed!

     As far as a blizzard descending upon us – it's Winter and we should expect such from time to time. May your shovels and backs remain strong!

Pining for a snow-blower,

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