Blizzard Conditions

The last few days, we’ve had single-digit temperatures, not varying much from day to night. The wind has been blasting at 25-40 knots, making the wind-chill temperature into the middle of the -20° mark. The pellet stove has had a real workout, and the furnace has been running constantly to keep the house at just under 60°.

The wind outside is so loud, it’s like you’re standing on the beach, at the surf line. It’s almost impossible to have a conversation without shouting.

Yesterday the media was all full of dire warnings about snow, and about 10 AM it started in earnest. People down in town were amazed by snow blowing sideways. I stepped out into it for a moment, and felt like I could have been standing on our deck. By noon, my wife called me to tell me it was really coming down up here on the side of the mountain. Fortunately, my boss is an understanding guy and doesn’t mind if I spend the afternoon ‘telecommuting’.

Good thing I left. When I got home, it was getting a little tricky even for me with my little work car; between the high gusts and the snow on the road, I was pushed around a lot. The car is pretty good in snow, but the lowered traction allowed the wind to push it toward all kinds of dangers on our old narrow country roads.

I arrived home in a blizzard. Even in the middle of the afternoon, it was fairly dark, due to all the snow in the air. There was a moment of calmer air, and I stepped out and grabbed a shot:

Just about all you can see, in a moment of calmer air

This is what we jokingly call a 3-chair breeze: enough to blow three chairs off the deck, or about 50-60 knots.

But this morning, the wind grew conspicuous by its absence: it had dropped to only about 8 knots. Wheaton, the Golden Retriever, wanted to go out. It looked like it was going to be clear for a bit; the weather can change REALLY fast up here. So I stuck a camera in my pocket and we hiked the mile down to the paper-box. Here is a shot up our little country lane, and you can see how the snow drifts. Wheaton appears to be supervising:

Snow drifts across the lane

We’re used to drifting snow up here, and in some of the sheltered spots, it’s about a foot to a foot and a half deep. But there are really no flat, non-sheltered area to measure the snow we did get. My best guess right now is about 5″.

On the way back, it continued to clear a bit, and the clouds lifted enough that we could see Larch Mountain, shining like a beacon. I was waiting until this afternoon to see if I could get a better shot…

Remember how I said that the weather can change almost instantly? As I sit and write right now, it suddenly got darker, and we have snow in the air. It’s a curious sight because it doesn’t appear to be falling, but instead floats around, pushed here and there by the wind, which has picked up a bit to only 10 knots. 

More snow is forecast for tonight.

Thank you Lord, for keeping us safe, keeping us warm, and keeping our house all in one piece. May all others be as blessed.

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