Thursday, February 19, 2015

Winter Weather: 2015 Edition

You didn't really think we would make it the entire winter without a major snow or ice event, did you?

Prior to this week, RDU Airport's official snow/ice total for the entire 2014-15 Winter was "trace". Now, it's 1.4":

Pretty much every forecast in the 48 hours prior to Monday had more freezing rain potential than the previous forecast, to the point where by Monday afternoon, the forecast discussions mentioned potentially crippling amounts of ice. I was pretty worried about the prospect of a long term power outage, given that this event would be followed by record-breaking cold later in the week (during which it would be nice to have functioning heat), and also because we have two young children. So, one inch of sleet? Great! Just enough to take Marla sledding on Tuesday.

(In defense of the "crippling amounts of ice" forecasts: Winter weather forecasting is extremely difficult, especially when you're in the vicinity of that 0°C line, either at the surface or aloft. And, they did get 0.25"-0.50" of ice accrual farther south towards Fayetteville, which did result in scattered power outages down that way.)

Looks like fun, except that at least one of us has been sick at any given time for the last week, so...maybe this wasn't the best time to be stuck at home for a few days. (Really it was 4½ days, including the 3-day weekend that preceded the sleet.) Working from home is extremely difficult when you have young kids around, especially when one of them, plus your wife, are sick. Honestly, it's been a pretty tough week, and in hindsight, I could have done without this storm. Also...I'm assuming this meant that there was zero construction progress at the Triangle Curling Center this week.

Next up: Friday morning is expected to be the coldest morning in Raleigh since I moved here. I think the coldest temperature recorded at RDU since I moved here (2006) is 7°F, recorded 1/30/2014. Friday's low could approach 0°F. If you ask me, if it's going to be that cold, then let's go negative! But, we probably won't be going negative tomorrow morning. Then, we've got another cold week ahead next week (although probably not this cold), which means if we get any more precipitation next week, it may not be plain old rain.

School closing analysis

The last blog post I wrote about school delays/closings due to the weather got very few clicks, too few for me to justify keeping that up here. So, I'm taking that effort off my personal blog/Twitter and will instead think about directing that info to a more specific audience, for example, a pre-existing Facebook group for local parents.

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