December 3rd, 2006

CMI

Another weather bullet dodged

Well, there's apparently 8 inches of snow on top of a half inch of solid ice 100 miles to the west of here, and no power in many areas for over 48 hours now. And when I talked to my mom tonight, she said that the first winter storm of the season presented her with over a foot of snow.

I was really worried Thursday about the pretty constant rain with the air and surface temperature in the upper 20's; that scary coating of clear ice was accumulating on trees and power lines, making them droop low, and the sound of cracking branches could often be heard. It didn't look like it was going to stop raining, so I was just about ready for a repeat of the February 1990 "Valentine's Day Massacre" ice storm.

But miraculously, about 11:30 Thursday night, the temperature started climbing. We were just far enough south and east for the warm sector of the wave cyclone to intrude. It continued to rain, so as the temperature rose above freezing, the rain started melting ice off the trees and power lines instead of accumulating more. I fell asleep at that point despite my anxiety; I woke up around 3:30am and the temperature projected on the ceiling of the bedroom now said 36 degrees, and I knew we'd be okay.

Sure, the cold front eventually passed, dropping the temperature back into the mid 20's and changing the precipitation to snow, but we were already out of danger. The executive summary is that we got about a quarter inch of ice which then nearly all melted back off, followed by about an inch and a half of snow, which Saturday's bright sun melted nearly all of.

Given what I have been hearing and reading about this storm's effect on communities to the west, north, and east of us, we were very lucky indeed.

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