February 6, 2010 [LINK / comment]
Another day, another blizzard
What was supposed to be the "storm of the century" didn't turn out to be quite that bad here in Staunton, but it was bad enough. Coming on top of five previous significant snowfalls this winter, it is starting to cause severe psychological distress, a.k.a. "cabin fever." This is really getting old: ¡Ya basta, caramba! In certain places such as Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, they had almost three feet of snow, so I guess we shouldn't complain. I was watching the radar maps on TV today, and it looked like the snow was already gone from the Shenandoah Valley, but here it kept snowing at a fast pace until late in the afternoon. "The wind outside was frightening" (REO), but after the snow finally stopped, it warmed up enough for the parking lot to melt, at least.
I spent about an hour shoveling snow late yesterday afternoon, when there was about four inches on the ground, and headed out again in the middle of the morning today for another round of hard labor. First the sidewalks, and then the top and sides of
our Jacqueline's Ford Escape. (The Hyundai can wait.) I was surprised by how wet the snow was, even though the temperatures seemed to be in the low-to-mid 20s. Must have been the wind chill factor. I paced myself while shoveling, as any prudent middle-aged person should do, and avoided any muscle strain or exhaustion. It's hard to estimate how much snow fell here, because we already had a few inches on the ground, but I figure it was about 18 inches, less than the "big blizzard" in mid-December. I must say, I was surprised by the number of people who had not thought to buy snow shovels of their own, in spite of all the recent snowfalls and the dire forecast for this weekend.
We should have known it was going to be a rough winter, when the early snowstorm surprised us on December 5. The big blizzard of December 18-19 set records, and the temperatures stayed near of below freezing for the next couple weeks, preventing the snow from melting. Two more minor snowfalls in January and one last Tuesday evening set the stage for today's "apocalypse." Here are my unofficial records for this season:
Snowfall totals (est.)
|Dec. 5, 2009||5|
|Dec. 18-19, 2009||22|
|Jan. 7, 2010||2|
|Jan. 30, 2010||6|
|Feb. 2, 2010||2|
|Feb. 5-6, 2010||18|
Late this afternoon I went for a short walk to take some "winter wonderland" pictures, and will try to do so again tomorrow. I'll post some photos in the next day or two. Here's a preview:
Global warming update
It's too bad that this awful winter will set back the cause of reaching a consensus on global warming, or "climate change," as some people now prefer. (Speaking of which, since our president campaigned on a theme of "hope and change," what's so bad about climate change?) Those who were true believers in the "new religion" of global warming will strain to find rationales to explain the contrary evidence, and those who denied the very possibility of global warming will now scoff. Too bad, on both accounts. Actually, North America is not alone in suffering from extremely cold weather this winter: the same is true of China, Britain, and the continent of Europe. What's worse, this trend "is likely to last for 20 or 30 years, say some of the world's most eminent climate scientists." Read all about the worldwide "mini ice age" at the Daily Mail of London.