Thursday, February 13, 2014

Winter Weather Update: 2/13/14

Alright, brief timeout from curling to talk about the weather. This week, we got the most interesting sinter storm we've had since I moved to North Carolina in 2006. Woohoo! (The Christmas 2010 snowstorm doesn't count, because we were out of town for that.)

Wednesday, we kept an eye on the weather situation, so that we wouldn't get stuck in snow-induced gridlock craziness, the kind that happens in any major city in the South if it starts snowing mid-day while everyone is at work. The right time to leave work was right about noon, which is exactly when we did. (Marla's day care closed at 1.) Because at 12:30, the snow came, and it came fast. Ground temperatures were cold, and so, everything stuck immediately, causing complete chaos! Although I wouldn't say it was anywhere near as bad as it was in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago, because the roads were mostly clear of gridlock overnight, whereas in the infamous Atlanta episode, the issues bled into the next day. Not that roads are really all that good right now; it's just that most people aren't on them anymore. Fewer people live here than in Atlanta, of course, and I think more people heeded meteorologists' advice and made their way home early here than in Atlanta two weeks ago. Although obviously, not everyone did.

(Side comment: I feel kind of bad for Atlanta, because for the foreseeable future, every major Southern snow event that causes traffic chaos will be compared to Atlanta.)

These storms don't always deliver, but this one did! I measured just over 5" of snow at our house before it changed over to sleet. The RDU airport a few miles east of us only officially measured 3.3".

So, that snow shovel we bought three years ago? For the first time, we finally got to use it! I kind of wanted to give the shoveling a try, but Amber insisted. She misses this.

We figured we better start shoveling now, because the shoveling would become much more difficult after the snow became covered in a thin layer of sleet and freezing rain. And, yep...the snow on Amber's car is pretty well caked on there right now. It's not going anywhere today, that's for sure. Thankfully, we both have flexible jobs that allow us to work from home.

I was kind of afraid that the ice would cause power outages, and there have been some. But as far as we're concerned, so far, so good! The power did actually flicker on and off for a second, though. Nervous moments indeed!

And actually, this winter storm isn't done yet. We're expected to get a few more inches on the backside of the low later today, which could push this into "personal record snowstorm" territory. The largest snowstorm I've ever personally experienced is 6", when I was at Penn State. Hoping to break the record later today! Because at this point, what's a few more inches, anyway?

UPDATE 2/14: The Thursday afternoon snow looked really pretty, but it underperformed, giving us no more than an additional inch. So, can't call it a personal record.

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