Another Windy Day

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Our one fallen tree, toppled into the woods

Last Sunday we had some wind. Lots of people had some wind. OK, lots of wind. Strong wind. Hurricane-force wind. It didn’t really start up until after dark. We went to bed. We slept little.

Wind buffeted the house. Meaning, the house literally shook. I have not felt wind like that here before. It whistled through windows and any other crevice it could find. It blew stuff around outside. We tried to sleep, but it was just too dang loud.

In the morning we saw our aluminum porch chairs scattered on the lawn. Another chair, plastic, was in the neighbor’s field. While searching for it, my wife discovered the flipped trampoline. The wind lifted that puppy up and tossed it against the garage. Imagine what would have happened if it had blown into the field. It might have rolled right into town.

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Unfortunately, it didn’t fare well. It’s frame is made from steel tubes. Several of those tubes are bent and ripped. Not safe. We managed to right the thing, four of us leveraging it to standing again. It looked, however, pretty sad.

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Sad trampoline

The thing is, it is still windy. The wind has not kept up constantly but we have had some stiff winds every day for a week. Right now, trees wave back and forth. Hang on to your hat. I have been to the lake a few times this week to look for shorebirds and waterfowl. Whitecaps. Rain has fallen frequently among all this wind. At least the convection is keeping things somewhat dry.

Some of our neighbors had their power restored only yesterday. We lost ours for less than a day. That makes hygiene easier. Plus checking the weather. I baked blueberry raspberry muffins this morning. Electricity makes that possible. Eating a hot muffin and drinking hot coffee while looking out over the windblown field makes for a fine Sunday morning. The wind keeps blowing and the house still stands.  On to next week.

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Blizzard Situation

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I just came in from outside. It is dark out there. And snowing. And a tad windy. Looking into the wind is a bad idea. The snowflakes are like needles on my face. Snow is drifted so the ground is close to bare in some spots and up to my waist in others. We have ourselves a blizzard.

The phone call came at 5:30 a.m. No school today. No school for my children and no school for me. A phone call at 5:30 a.m. means a bit of adrenaline in the system. There was no going back to sleep. I got up and got cracking.

My daughter and I rallied early. We popped into town. We picked up milk and seltzer and candy. All the essentials. I had made a stop in town just yesterday so mostly we were good to go. But I hadn’t gotten enough candy for the crew. We topped off the car with gas and parked it in the garage. No more driving today.

By mid-morning it was snowing. By late afternoon it was snowing like stink. The wind picked up. It became hard to see much in the distance. Cold, wind and snow, and lots of all three, means a blizzard. We have not had a storm like this in years.

About 6:30 p.m. the call came. Same guy, calling to let us know school is cancelled for tomorrow as well. The snow and wind will continue until late morning. Then more snow. We aren’t going anywhere. We tromped around a bit today and will do more tomorrow. Fun stuff. Exciting. It makes me appreciate my warm home. This place is awesome.

Still Ready for Snow

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Today it was cold. It was 9 degrees when I rose this morning. But the sky was clear. It was so cold because the sky was clear. I would have liked to see some snow.

The photo above was taken a couple of days ago. I wanted to capture how little snow we have. Then it rained. I could share a photo of the same spot, snowless, now, but that would sting too much.

Plenty of people complain about snow. I guess part of what makes a culture is complaining about some aspect of the weather. Those people are missing out. Snow is amazing.

Just the fact of snow is amazing. Snowflake Bentley had it right. He really looked at snowflakes. Have you done that? They are beautiful. They are all different. I know you know the cliche about no two snowflakes being alike, but have you checked them out? Seriously, they are all intricately unique. Mind blowing. For real.

But I’m not just talking about flakes. I am talking about that big storm that lasts for two days and dumps feet of snow. The kind of snow you have to wade through. The kind of snow you work up a sweat to shovel it out of the way. The kind of snow you can just fall back into. Heavenly, deep, lovely, cold, fluffy oodles of snow. I miss that.

We have not had a storm like that in years now. We had a couple of inches not too long ago, but I want a storm. We used to have this thing called the January Thaw. Maybe you have heard of it? That quaint idea that it would warm up, temperatures rising above freezing, for a few days in January, and then it would get back to proper winter temperatures? Now we get these January freezes, where it gets cold for a day or two and then gets back up above freezing. It was 50+ degrees the other day! Shameful.

I guess I need to get used to this. It isn’t going to get any colder. We might have a winter or two that gets cold again, sure, but I am afraid this is the new normal. So you get what I’m taking about, even if you don’t get what I’m taking about, here is one to remember from March, 1999; shoveling the driveway. That was some snow.

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Not Spring Now

Snow coming down hard

Snow coming down hard

It started snowing early in the day. School was cancelled. Then the snow let up. I went to work. Luckily I only was in town half the day. The drive home was slick and slow. Then it really started to snow. By late in the day it was coming down and the wind picked up. And the temperature dropped. We had ourselves a snowstorm.

I went for a ski around the field. It was fine when I had my back to the wind but heading into the wind–ouch! Those little crystals of ice are painful when they slam into one’s face. My hood was a handy tool. By my second lap my ski tracks were almost filled in.

Skiing in the blowing snow

Skiing in the blowing snow

This morning the snow was still falling. Drifts piled against the house. I could only see out half the bedroom window. No school today. I will get some work done from home. First, however, I plan to rekindle the fire in the stove and to brew some coffee. And to appreciate being warm inside.

Waiting For Snow

Giant Snowballs Waiting for the Big Storm

 

We might get some snow tomorrow. We’ll see. In one scenario, it falls heavily just as the morning commute is humming. Could be messy. Could be a snow day. In another scenario, we get a little snow to make things pretty, then done. Like I said, we’ll see.

The last almost inch we got the children rolled what they could into giant lumps and made a wall. Once we get more snow it will be a great place to sneak behind when tossing the fluffy stuff back and forth. Or so they think. They are not as tall as I am, but still, it isn’t very high. But those are some awesome giant snowballs and don’t try to argue any differently. They do, however, look a little lonely on the lawn.

I need to drive about 50 minutes tomorrow morning. At least it takes me about that long on a good day. Could be longer tomorrow. Or we get a snow day. That would be great except for the rescheduling hassle. Either way it will work out. I will take what I get.

No matter what I look forward to some snow. It has been lacking. Bogus, if you ask me. Someone pointed out to me the other day that it sure saves on the plowing bill. Truth, that. And you can’t get stuck in a snowbank. But shoot, what is winter for? If we have cold, we might as well have snow. That is the attitude in our house. And that is not changing any time soon.

I hope those giant snow lumps get covered in the morning. It sure would make them look dandy. And who doesn’t like dandy?

Snow All Day

We got the call yesterday afternoon. School would be closed. Work was closed. We weren’t going anywhere. And we stuck to that. And it snowed all day. OK, it did stop for a brief time, maybe an hour, but otherwise it fell and fell. It falls still. The stuff is deep. Typically we get the “January thaw,” a period of warmish weather above freezing. That is when the basement floods and the snow turns to slush and all the dirt starts to show. But not this year. It stayed cold and we got lots snow.

We kept the fire going in the woodstove and cozied up. I made pancakes for breakfast and zucchini bread for the afternoon. I took the failing produce in the refrigerator and made some soup stock. I made homemade macaroni and cheese for dinner. I kept the house warm by cooking.

We skied in the field and sledded on the hill and dug tunnels. We made roads for toy trucks and fell backward into the poof. We had a good time, outside and inside. My gauge for the depth of snow is the snowman my son and I made recently. Here is how it played out:

The Benchmark: Four Days Ago, Just Born

1:19 PM: Snowing Like Stink

4:20 PM: Still More Snow

5:32 PM: Snowing Like Stink Again

And it is forecast to snow all night. Sleep tight, Snowman!

Update 2/3:

8:11 Next Morning: Good Thing He Has That Pipe

Update 2/5: More snow is forecast for today, but our snowman, in the meantime, has some sun to take in:

February 5, 8:22 AM: Melting Has Begun But More Snow Coming

Update 2/6: Lots of snow last night again–snowman buried after I found the hat blown into the trees:

February 6, 8:06 AM: Put Your Hands in the Air...

Zero and Snow

The temperature is, right now, zero degrees. It was cold today, high of eleven, but it is colder now. Below zero is what we will get tonight. I don’t want to harp on the weather. I mean, people talk about the weather a lot. It is a topic we all have in common. Strangers talk about it with each other. People with strained relationships talk about it. Long time friends talk about it. Of course, more people complain about it than talk about it, but still, I love weather. When it gets down to zero, I get excited. Below zero? It’s like a party at our house.

We also have some snow on the way. My wife is a weather junky. She doesn’t just check the forecast more than most people; she reads the detailed forecast discussion. This discussion is the chatter amongst meteorologists. They have their own language and she understands it. Here is an excerpt, referring to Tuesday into Wednesday:

AS OF 348 PM EST MONDAY...WK BOUNDARY MVS EAST OVER SOUTHERN NEW
ENGLAND DURING THE DAY TUESDAY. EXPECTING SNOW TO OVERSPREAD CWA
FROM S TO N BY MIDDAY. HEAVIEST MDL QPF TOTALS REMAIN TO THE
SOUTHERN ZONES IN PROXIMITY TO PASSING FEATURE. GOING FOR 1-3"
NORTH AND UP TO 2-4" SOUTH...WITH MAIN FOCUS OVER HIR TRRN. MDLS
TRENDING TOWARDS BREAK IN PRECIP BY MIDNGT WED BFR MAIN SURGE OF
SNOW BEGINS FROM LARGER LOW TOWARDS 09Z-12Z WED. THIS LOW WILL
TAKE SIMILAR TRACK AS PREVIOUS FEATURE...OVERSPREADING CWA BY 18Z
WED WITH LARGE QPF PLUME.

See what I’m saying? She gets this stuff. That is why I rely on her to keep me in the loop. The forecast changes enough that I think I know what is going on but I am often relying on old (like several hours old) predictions. She updates me when I have no idea, which is more often than I should admit. I do keep up on the forecast quite a bit, mind you, but I’m can’t say I’m sure what a “QPF plume” is.

The actual forecast calls for 8-14 inches of snow where we live over the next couple of days. That would be pretty sweet, if you ask me. Could be a snow day. Of course, a snow day for me is a hassle, as I have to rearrange my work schedule, but I’ll take it anyway. And it won’t be quite so cold. No blizzard for us, just plenty of that fluffy white stuff to keep things beautiful and to play in.

It is sometimes hard to believe that spring is only a couple of months away. I ordered seeds yesterday. At some point all this beautiful snow will melt and I will turn the soil and plant spinach and peas. Until then, however, I am going to slip on my ski boots and enjoy it while we’ve got it. Although, admittedly, I will probably wait until we get at least into single digit temperatures before I head outside.