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February 16th, 2003

on dodging weather bullets and reframes

Despite the local public radio station's typical sensationalism about paralyzed roads, power outages, and accumulations of ice (I really dislike the guy), as far as my personal life is concerned we dodged another weather bullet. Aforementioned weather personality did manage to scare poor Kathy into hightailing it back home to Indianapolis several hours early, though; the poor thing canceled three meetings and literally left in the middle of doing dishes: in the sink I discovered a half-scraped-out iron pan with the scraper still in it.

We did get a couple of inches of rain Friday, and had the temperature been below freezing it would have been a disaster. Imagine all that rain freezing on contact with the surface and accumulating on power lines and trees! But the temperature followed the computer models and not the AM radio weather man, and got well up into the 30's (the freeze line was way up near Chicago), so it all came down as rain. Making for a pretty miserable day, but I was actually fairly happy about it.

Saturday, it all turned into snow which came down pretty heavily and was accompanied with a VERY strong wind, so the snow started drifting around. And here I was lucky again... usually the winds around here are out of the west, so snow gets whipped around my house and then deposited in the dead spot on the EAST side of my house... my driveway! In the past I've had to shovel out four-foot drifts after only 12 inches of snowfall. But yesterday, the wind was strong out of the northeast, and even though we got about six inches of snow, there's almost none whatsoever in my driveway, it all having been carried off to the other side of the house, where I really don't care how much accumulates. The sidewalk is extra-drifty, but that's much easier to shovel. And the next couple of days are supposed to be fairly sunny and well above freezing, so if I can get most of this snow removed, the sun and warmth should give me a nice clean and dry driveway in a couple of days.

So it's cold and windy and I have shoveling to do, and Friday was by any account a pretty miserable day, and yet I'm feeling pretty happy about this storm. It's not normal for me to find the bright side of things, but I think having the weight of anxiety about long power outages lifted from my shoulders really made me notice the contrast with how bad it might have been.

Not, mind, that the weather outside is gorgeous by any stretch.

shovel shovel

Well, the wind isn't going to die down any more than this, so I just braved the wind chill and shoveled, and then walked Ajay. I had a (thankfully rather small) 2-foot drift in front of my garage door, and then almost nothing even worth shoveling for most of the rest of the length of it. The sidewalk was much more frustrating, having been trampled down into icy blocks by everyone walking past my house this morning.

And walking Ajay, I noticed that the snow depth even in open fields ranges from practically nothing to 8 inches or more, depending on nearby trees to deflect the wind, subtle hills and valleys in the fields, and who knows what other kinds of aerodynamic effects.

I'm now left with a rough coat of about half to three-quarters of an inch of solid ice in my driveway. Nothing's going to get that off except a couple of days of warmer temperatures and sun. Hope it's not too slippery to drive up and down; I nearly slipped and fell a couple of times while shoveling.



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