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February 10, 2010

Like an ice storm, only with more volume
Posted by Teresa at 03:20 PM * 106 comments

We’re getting hit with vast amounts of heavy, wet snow. On the other side of my back fence, my neighbor’s carport roof has collapsed under its weight. Next door, the horizontal members of the Azerbaijanis’ backyard aqueduct are visibly sagging.

If you’re in the path of this monster, consider reaching out your window with a long broomstick and VERY, VERY GENTLY tapping the accumulating slush off your power and cable lines. Don’t fall out.

UPDATE: A Flickr collection from Patrick, Snowpocalypse 2: The Slushination.

Comments on Like an ice storm, only with more volume:
#1 ::: J. E. Richards ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 04:18 PM:

If it's any help, it roared through Ohio yesterday, and today the street, shoveled sidewalk and driveway are clear and "almost" dry.
Can't even blame the groundhog on this one...

#2 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 04:26 PM:

We're receiving the tail end of the storm now. We seem to be getting snow amounts on the low end of what was estimated, the wind is something fierce and changed the plows off the street some hours back. Of course we had 2-3' already. There's been another roof collapse in the area, over at the Garber facility, but they say nothing was damaged. I'm just waiting for the power to fail. Our kids won't be back in school until Tuesday.

#3 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 04:30 PM:

There's a small amount of accumulation in my yard--a centimeter maybe--and it was actually I think above freezing earlier today up here (five miles north of Readercon). There was a small amount of snow in the air around ten; when I went out at 1 PM the pavement was wet and the air just above freezing. There was some snow coming down starting slightly before 2 PM and varying in intensity thereafter. It's very lightly precipitting out now, on the boundary of solid versus liquid H20.

#4 ::: Dave Langford ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 04:31 PM:

In the British equivalent a few weeks ago, two rather large high branches broke off the cedar in our front garden. (Luckily, nobody was underneath at the time, nor their car.) The cedar needle-leaves are naturally structured to shed such burdens, but this time the stuff was freezing in place as fast as it it landed. Tree surgeons have since been called in at enormous expense. I'm glad our power lines are underground.

#5 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 04:33 PM:

Are backyard aqueducts common in Brooklyn?

Or is that an Azerbaijani thing? ("In the old country, the who town shared an aqueduct. But here, ah, five arches my friend, all good solid stone and all ours.")

#6 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 04:37 PM:

Seattle is acting like it's spring already. Go figure.

#7 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 04:42 PM:

wait; you mean you can see azerbaijan from your house?

#8 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 04:47 PM:

We had a lot of snow yesterday in Chicagoland, but not the malevolent sort (no ice; visibility not too bad). We also had a friendly little earthquake, just to keep us on our toes, or off of them, as the case may be. Hopefully your storm won't head our way.

#9 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 04:52 PM:

It's been coming down since about 11 in the Hartford area, but it's not much of a muchness. Enough to make things rather pretty, but not a big heavy layer. It doesn't seem to be trying very hard.

#10 ::: Janet K ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 05:09 PM:

Yikes. Wet heavy snow also is very hard on evergreen trees.

As much as I love snow, I've had enough already. Blizzard conditions today. The Washington DC area just set a National Weather Service record for snow accumulation in a season: 54.9 inches (139.45 cm), breaking the old 1898-99 record.

Stay warm, dry, and safe. Backyard aqueducts are probably not a good idea.

#11 ::: Nona ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 05:23 PM:

Yikes. Over the weekend, our power lines were coated in snow until they had about a 6" diameter, but it was very powdery and knocked off easily.

Right now the wind is blowing so hard that the wires stay clear, but that introduces a whole new set of problems. My roommate's already had a call from her parents about the giant oak tree that went over in their backyard.

#12 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 05:25 PM:

Apparently the temperature of the air over the water in Massachusetts Bay spend the day being 37 F. Because the storm's a nor'easter and the winds are circulating bringing in above-freezing air from over the ocean rather than the below freezing temperature air from the west over land, the anticipated snow for Boston and north of the Massachusetts Turnpike, has been mostly absent, and the precipitation that came down, was mostly not in the form on sticking snow.

South of the Mass Pike snow was sticking and colder air, from the west, having a greater influence. The western half of Cape Cod has been getting snow, Nantucket's got four inches already, and Rhode Island and southern Connecticut have several inches of accumulation.

There's a live picture of Logan International Airport with the tarmac wet, and snowpiled left from storms days ago. Logan's open, but most of the flights got cancelled, due to the weather in other parts of the USA. There are some snowflakes showing behing the reporter now, and with sundown and the air getting colder, there will be some snow coming down and sticking in Boston, 3 -5 inches there.

The heaviet

It was odd talking to my sister this morning, she was describing the snow situation down in Gaitherburg, MD, while I was looking out the window at mostly bare ground with the occasional remaining patch of snow.

#13 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 05:27 PM:

We've got a damp half-inch. Again, New England fails winter this winter.

SNOWPOCALYPSE LOSE!

#14 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 05:39 PM:

Delaware's had moderately heavy snow falling since about 6 or 7 last night, and we lost power for 5-6 hours today (fortunately after we'd had breakfast.) I'm guessing there's about a foot of new snow, but that's from looking out the window and guessing (there was already a lot of snow from last weekend's record storm; the forecasts say 12-22" before it's done.) Temperatures have been around freezing in the daytime, a few degrees colder at night, and unlike the Christmastime storms, it's not likely to get warm or rainy enough to all melt off any time soon.

#15 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 06:12 PM:

You know, if you box all that snow up, you can probably make a fortune shipping it to Vancouver for the Olympics!

#16 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 06:14 PM:

I talked to a friend in Delaware today. He is officially tired of winter. He's gotten far more snow this winter than the usual "half dozen inches."

IOW, what Paula@12 said. I also feel a little foolish. I worked from home today mostly to avoid the forecasted heavy snowfall during the evening commute. (OTOH, that it didn't materialize is overall a good thing.)

On the plus side, the weekend forecast looks promising. (This is good as I will be spending a lot of time going to and from Boskone.)

#17 ::: Mikael Vejdemo Johansson ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 06:35 PM:

@6: In San Francisco, the cherry trees are blooming.

#18 ::: Zeynep ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 06:48 PM:

At age 32, something I never thought would happen has happened to me after the sixth consecutive snowbound day: I am tired of it.

And I cannot forget that it is a luxury, that I am snowbound in a home where I can work from.

#19 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 06:53 PM:

#16 John

The roads had little traffic tonight apparently. This is a good thing--down in the southeastern part of the state the snow is coming down hard apparently, even though up here the snowcover was slight (but slight slow, and temperature dropping ==> slippery icy roads, uh-oh!

#20 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 07:00 PM:

Nothing but heavy leaden-gray clouds and a stiff wind up here in central Maine. And lots of dirty crusty snowbanks and dead grass.

Our winter, you peeps in DC has it. Plz tell all the politicians to face north and blow hard. Kthxbye.

On the other hand, the river is back down out of flood stage, but the enormous ice jam is still in place and will wreak havoc come the next warm (rain) storm. A couple of pictures here and here. (taken this past Sunday; the flood was January 26-27th).

#21 ::: Daniel Martin ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 07:00 PM:

Our large ailing pine tree dropped two very large branches (each about 10 inches across at the broken end) into our back yard this afternoon about half an hour after I'd told my daughter that no, we couldn't go out back now and build a snowman there because I had job stuff that needed doing, and no, I couldn't watch her from inside, so she needed to be inside too.

It's going to take many more hours still, but I'm really okay now with all the annoying work stuff I still have to do.

The tree branches managed to miss both our shed and our fence, too, so that went surprisingly well.

#22 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 07:04 PM:

Zeynep @ 18 ...
At age 32, something I never thought would happen has happened to me after the sixth consecutive snowbound day: I am tired of it.

To my intense annoyance, I appear to have one of the seasonal icks, and am finding it a chore to be awake for all of 8 hours, let alone being able to focus on anything, including television.

#23 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 07:07 PM:

The campus police lost their training lab to a roof collapse today. And this happened north of the river.

#25 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 07:39 PM:

Dave, ice storms are under-rated for infrastructure damage and general peril. I once drove through a forest in North Carolina where almost every tree had suffered catastrophic ice-breakage the previous winter, and the heavy litter of broken branches on the ground had turned it into a tinderbox thereafter. I gather the ice storm of 1998 in Québec was worse, but I didn't see it in person.

Thena, can't you station someone on the bridge (perhaps in one of those little ice-fishing shelters) who's armed with a stick of dynamite on a long string?

#26 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 07:56 PM:

Naomi: Quite right. Here's a photo of it this past summer. I checked just now and the aqueduct's two center sections have collapsed. Also, the roof of my neighbor's carport now touches the ground.

#27 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 08:07 PM:

@TNH Wouldn't do much about the five miles' worth of blocked up ice downstream, though.

I was going to link to the local newspaper, but the story's move than a week old and they've got it behind a paywall. Good luck with that.

The short layman's version of the story is: The river had frozen up, as it properly does around here. Then the beginning of the end of January we got a warm storm (rain not snow), and the combination of rain and associated snowmelt was enough to put the river near but below flood stage (12 feet) and lift the ice crust, which broke loose that Tuesday afternoon and jammed up against the green bridge in exhibit B above. The resultant obstruction caused the water level above it to spike from 12' (about where it is in the photos) to about 18' in the course of about 15-20 minutes. (Graph available here below the webcam picture, which doesn't show much in the dark.)

The jam then loosened itself and proceeded downstream where it got hung up on something else and caused another spike and left a bunch of ice all over the place (exhibit A above) and flooded several businesses in Hallowell, being the next town downstream from Augusta. Then it came loose again and got hung up again a couple miles further south and there she is stuck but good on some pilings a few hundred yards on the wrong side of the bridge that's too low for the Coast Guard icebreakers to get under.

I am told that when they built that bridge, they assumed they would never need icebreakers that far upstream. If this ice goes out in the wrong way, they'll have an opportunity to amend that.

The river has found its way through and is slowly falling, which causes the cracked and buckled ice to jam up further. The deepest parts are now some ten feet (three meters) thick and I have heard rumors of somebody's late fishing shack being stuck out in there. And we have had a couple of freeze-thaw cycles so the whole lot is fused together and going no place fast.

Assuming nothing dramatic happens, I may go down and get more pictures this weekend.

#28 ::: MacAllister ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 08:21 PM:

Patrick's pictures always make me happy. I swear to dog I'm going to come to NYC and rent a bicycle just to follow you both around, trying to see things through your eyes.

#29 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 08:30 PM:

We got a little snow on December 13th here in Western Washington.

Now, we've got this

#30 ::: theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 08:34 PM:

Here in DC, we've now had more snow than any year since 1898-9. The Federal Government is about to be closed for the fourth day in a row (something that hasn't happened since the Gingrich Apocalypse in '96). The winds forced Montgomery County to pull the plows off the roads because of whiteout, and the temps are down to about 20ºF.

The side streets where I live (in upper Northwest DC) haven't been plowed since the snow started last Friday. My back driveway (which is on an alley, and 150' from the nearest street) has a 25% slope and is normally unusable with an inch of snow; it now has about three feet of it. I figure I'll be able to get the car up it again around April Fool's Day.

#31 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 08:45 PM:

Lisa Spangenburg @29, okay, that's just surreal compared to what's outside my house here in the DC area. (No point in re-shoveling the sidewalk yet, since snowdrifts will blow back into it overnight.)

#32 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 08:45 PM:

Mac, you can visit any time.

#33 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 08:50 PM:

I thought this time-lapse video of the snowfall over the weekend did a good job of driving home the "AUGH SNOW" levels of precipitation going on. I can't quite decide if it's creepy or beautiful. Both, I suppose.

#34 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 09:00 PM:

Teresa, Any Yankee Fule No that ice storms are the most destructive storms of all.

#35 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 09:01 PM:

Fade - why does that make me think of marshmallows in the microwave?

(Note to southerners, it will melt eventually. Mind the random slicks of ice while it's doing so, and watch out for flooding due to ice clogged storm drains.)

#36 ::: Robert Glaub ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 09:08 PM:

Down here in Laurel, Maryland we got about 10" on top of the previous 33". My agency has been closed and I doubt that I'll be back at work until after the Monday holiday. There were time when I could see nothing outside my window but white. They are telling people to stay inside due to the life-threatening conditions. I'm glad I got supplies on Monday, I'm good for about a week or so.

#37 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 09:29 PM:

29
I'd be expecting a freeze or snow, sometime in the next month. Just because that's what the weather likes to do when fruit trees bloom early.

#38 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 09:50 PM:

Thena, all I can say about marshmallows (or Peeps) and microwaves is 'not my microwave' OR "If you want to do Peep jousting you have to go buy a beater microwave at the thrift store, you may not use our household one."

As for winter, I'm sick of it already. We're getting the b-s waves of crap before DC et al gets it. And here the temps hover, sometimes warmer than freezing (only by a bit) and sometimes enough that it will snow. Sometimes not enough and the light snow turns to what amounts to freezing rain.

I've started a new job, it is close to home but I can't get into the security gate if I can't either a) get my car door open or b) get the window down - Thursday morning. (I'm new, I'm stressed and I called Jim, in tears. He let me take his car and worked on mine. My new work hours for training are 6:45 a.m to 3:15 p.m., he doesn't go in until 10 a.m. Fortunately we live 10 minutes away from my new job.)

And this morning the window would go down but the door would not latch. I strapped it down by running the seatbelt through it and then fastening it. Our parking garage was warmer than outside AND the temps went up all day today. I had some post-its in my purse and wrote a note to "Please do not mess with my car door." because one of the issues is the electronic locks sticking. I went down at our first break and, oh, joy, the door latched. I also had a list of errands I wanted to run that would not happen if the door didn't work.

It can stop. NOW.

And I am also praying once again that it does not get warm, our cherry tree blooms, and then it freezes the blooms off so we get almost 0 cherries.

#39 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 09:52 PM:

I'm ready for winter to be over, for the ant colonies up the hill to clear out their entrances and busily run around our yard, for the snake weed to be green again, for my not having to wear a sweater...

#40 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 10:07 PM:

Here in western Pennsylvania/the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia area, we've gotten off lucky compared to many.

In my own driveway, I had a total of about two feet of snow. But elsewhere in the region people have had three or more, especially rural, hilly and mountainous ones. I personally have spent over four hours shoveling snow, just in my driveway and front sidewalk and steps, and two bags of salt trying to keep them clear, or at least from icing up under the new layers of snow. The Wheeling TV station just said the total snowfall so far this season is over 41 inches.

It wasn't even a good consistency snow for making snowpeople or snowballs -- I thought about doing that, but it was too powdery. It would have been good for skiing, for people into that, but some local skiing places did not have power for their ski lifts!

Our library has had, over the last six days (Friday through Wednesday), just one full day open (Monday), two part days (closed early Friday and Tuesday), two days that we were closed altogether due to snow( Saturday and Wednesday, i.e. today), and one Sunday when we're closed anyway*.

Last weekend nearly everyone on our staff, and many other people in the area, had at least some power outage at home; one of our staff had no electricity from Friday night through Monday afternoon. (Again, I got off lucky; the electricity in my neighborhood was off only six hours, and overnight at that, when I was asleep anyway.) There are still some people in the area who have not had power since Friday. There are "warming centers" at fire halls and such for people who have no heat at home. My sister and her family had to depend on the gas fireplace insert at their house for heat for over 24 hours while their electricity was out; she was especially worried about her mother-in-law (age 94), who lives with them.

The snow of Friday and Saturday was the fourth largest snowfall in the recorded area of our region. The largest was the Thanksgiving storm of 1950, when I was less than a week old. (Mom and I were snowed in at the hospital**, and my dad at the railroad yard where he worked.) The third largest was the March 1993 blizzard, known in my family as "Daddy's birthday blizzard," it having happened on March 13, my dad's 76th birthday.***

*We used to be open Sunday afternoons but that had to be dropped due to lack of funding.

**Once the streets started to clear, we were able to get to my aunt's apartment, which was not far away, thanks to some kind policemen who drove us there. Yes, my first automobile ride was in a police wagon!

***His antepenultimate birthday, as it turned out; he died in November, 1995.

#41 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 10:20 PM:

Paula @38

Car door latches are a Known Issue with winter. I suggest procuring for yourself a very small can of WD40 (or industrial spray lube of your preference) and when your door latch is warm enough to be operational, give the mechanism a few good squirts and open/close it a few times to make sure all the parts are well lubed.

I am told that if the key goes into the hole but the lock won't turn, it is possible sometimes to thaw the lock by warming the key shaft with a match or cigarette lighter, then putting the warm key into the cold lock and waiting a few seconds before turning. I have not tried this and don't know whether it works on newer vehicles with electronic locks.

Depending on how cold your cold is, household isopropyl alcohol can be used to unfreeze things like aluminum-track sliding doors, etc. This does work; I have done it.

#42 ::: VCarlson ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 10:36 PM:

Not quite a month ago, I and my cat moved from King of Prussia, PA (near Philadelphia) to Kailua, HI (near Honolulu). I'm pretty pleased with my timing, especially since this stuff is *wet* snow, and snow always drifted onto my front walk and carport.

#43 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 10:42 PM:

theophylact @ 30 is wrong; the 1899 DC snow record was broken at about 2:00 this afternoon. We're now up to 55.7" for the winter, 1.3" above the 1899 total.

I ventured across the street for dinner. It is very windy and there is a lot of snow. It's going to take the city a while to dig out.

#44 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 11:14 PM:

Thenia, thanks. I did that last time it froze and stuck, with the WD40 and it appears to do no good. Mostly because the rubber gaskets at the windows are failing and letting water sprinkle in.... (it's an old but low-mileage car/15 years, ~105,000 miles) and the stuff that is getting bad is weird to me, I'm used to driving cars to death at over 200.000 miles.)

Once it is warm enough I'm going to spray the heck out of it with WD 40. In the past and when I had my own time to waste (and I still have the power cord accessible in my dining room) I have brought down the hair dryer and blasted the door until the thing went "pong" and started working okay (we had stupid weather around Christmas and I had stupid door problems then).

I've started a new job at a gigantic government agency in our city and my worries about being on time have pushed me over the edge in some ways. So the car door thing just made me slightly beserk. (even when I worked from home my bosses could count on me being available from about 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

On the other hand, I spoke with my manager today and our work hours are in a range, and I can work in a range that is more with my body's day cycle than the training range (6:30-3) is. I can't eat anything before 6 a.m., my body just refuses. When we were hired, we were told, "your hours are 6 a.m. to 2:30," our training manager polled us and we came up with "well, how about 6:45 to 3;15." We all agreed. And I asked my real manager today and she told me that we could work in a range of hours, not just the set ones we were hired for. YAAY

#45 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 11:14 PM:

Thenia, thanks. I did that last time it froze and stuck, with the WD40 and it appears to do no good. Mostly because the rubber gaskets at the windows are failing and letting water sprinkle in.... (it's an old but low-mileage car/15 years, ~105,000 miles) and the stuff that is getting bad is weird to me, I'm used to driving cars to death at over 200.000 miles.)

Once it is warm enough I'm going to spray the heck out of it with WD 40. In the past and when I had my own time to waste (and I still have the power cord accessible in my dining room) I have brought down the hair dryer and blasted the door until the thing went "pong" and started working okay (we had stupid weather around Christmas and I had stupid door problems then).

I've started a new job at a gigantic government agency in our city and my worries about being on time have pushed me over the edge in some ways. So the car door thing just made me slightly beserk. (even when I worked from home my bosses could count on me being available from about 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

On the other hand, I spoke with my manager today and our work hours are in a range, and I can work in a range that is more with my body's day cycle than the training range (6:30-3) is. I can't eat anything before 6 a.m., my body just refuses. When we were hired, we were told, "your hours are 6 a.m. to 2:30," our training manager polled us and we came up with "well, how about 6:45 to 3;15." We all agreed. And I asked my real manager today and she told me that we could work in a range of hours, not just the set ones we were hired for. YAAY

#46 ::: Andrea Phillips ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 11:25 PM:

@ Paula #44: I had a 1981 VW Rabbit in 1996, for my last Michigan winter. The locks and door handle froze shut all the time, and sometimes even the rubber seal of the door stuck to the frame of the car.

I got into the habit of bringing a big mug of hot water with me to unstick my door every time I went out (like from a coffee maker, or a couple minutes in the microwave). It risks continuing or worsening the problem going forward, but it works fast and gets the job done in a pinch.

#47 ::: Andrea Phillips ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2010, 11:25 PM:

@ Paula #44: I had a 1981 VW Rabbit in 1996, for my last Michigan winter. The locks and door handle froze shut all the time, and sometimes even the rubber seal of the door stuck to the frame of the car.

I got into the habit of bringing a big mug of hot water with me to unstick my door every time I went out (like from a coffee maker, or a couple minutes in the microwave). It risks continuing or worsening the problem going forward, but it works fast and gets the job done in a pinch.

#48 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 12:16 AM:

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opposite problem -- the latch on my car door (driver's side) wouldn't latch shut! I drove to the garage (about 3/4 miles) holding the door shut with one hand and steering with the other. The service manager poked the latch area on the side of the door with a screwdriver and when that didn't loosen it, he found another guy who knew where the penetrating oil -- like WD40 but another brand -- was and sprayed a lot of that onto the latch mechanism inside the door while poking some more, until finally between the two of them,they got the latch to work properly.

#49 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 12:25 AM:

Teresa, #25: One of the Nashville ice storms, back in the 80s, was directly responsible for a long-running tradition of the NSFC: Dan's firewood parties. Dan lived on a large, mostly-wooded lot, and after the ice storm he had a LOT of downed wood that he didn't want to waste... and he had a nice 10'-square concrete patch out in the back yard, which was probably where a clothespole had stood. So he invited everybody in the club over to sit around a bonfire and relax and toast marshmallows. 20+ years later, there are still firewood parties on Saturday night whenever the weather is reasonable and Dan's not off at a con.

Thena, #27: I am told that when they built that bridge, they assumed they would never need icebreakers that far upstream. If this ice goes out in the wrong way, they'll have an opportunity to amend that.

Nicely put.

Fade, #33: Wow. That's pretty impressive, in both senses of "pretty".

Fluorospherians in the DC area: My partner is on his way up there for Katsucon. Driving. If the roads aren't going to be open by Thursday afternoon, he'll have to turn back. The con says they're not going to close unless the convention center closes, but that won't help if he can't GET there! If anyone hears anything about projected road closures, please drop me an e-mail at stardreamerATmindspringDOTcom.

#50 ::: Margaret Organ-Kean ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 12:36 AM:

Another voice from Western Washington - my rhody is blooming, and my daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and iris are up.

#51 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 12:39 AM:

Hmmm, think Kim Stanley Robinson might be writing this part. Or maybe this is Obama's freeze.

#52 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 01:00 AM:

#50 @Margaret Organ-Kean

As a native of New Hampshire, and a long-term resident of Southern California, I'm falling in love with the Pacific Northwest. I can't get over the fact that there are rhodies here that are ten feet tall, and 15 foot holly trees, and dog woods that are nine feet tall . . .

I love this place.

#53 ::: Maureen Kincaid Speller ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 04:25 AM:

And here, on the SE corner of England, Folkestone has had snow overnight. A lot for Folkestone. About eight inches of it, althought there are drifts over a foot deep in my back garden, probably sufficient to conceal a medium-sized cat should a medium-sized cat wish to go out and conceal itself. All medium-sized cats so far consulted on the matter have declined to act as test subjects. It's admittedly not a huge amount of snow by comparison with the snowfalls I've been reading about but it's generating its own local brand of chaos.

The main road that runs close to my house is currently all but impassable and there appears to be a large truck stuck on the wrong side of the road, possibly also blocking the junction. I can see lorries stuck up on the ring road behind town. The thing that strikes me right now is the silence when normally there would be daily traffic.

A snow plough would be handy. However, I suspect the local authorities are going to spend today and tomorrow waving their hands and saying 'we haven't had this much snow since ... ooh, about three weeks ago' and doing what they did then, which wasn't very much at all, before shutting up shop for the weekend. All this despite the snowfall being accurately forecast yesterday morning. (I have a theory my local authority was running Narnia during the reign of the White Witch and has never forgotten this.)

Having said that, the snow does look very pretty!

#54 ::: Meg Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 05:22 AM:

Meanwhile, down under, the summer progresses apace. So far most of the country has refrained from going up like a bonfire (probably due to the lack of available tinder - everything burned last year) although there have been a few minor fires near where I'm living (I'm in a relatively new subdivision, about five to ten years old, and there's still a lot of areas which are "scheduled for development" - or in other words, slightly adulterated bushland). Nothing major enough to cause property damage. Actually, this year the major damage is coming from flooding rains (the other Great Australian Weather Pattern) over on the east coast.

Of course, we do have the ongoing cyclical drought (which is currently resident in the South-West of Western Australia) so we're still in chronic need of water. If anyone fancies shipping us over some of that snow, I'm sure we'll be able to find a use for it.

#55 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 07:11 AM:

Andrea Phillips @46. I had a college roommate who used the hot-water-on-the-lock trick to get into her car. The car wouldn't start, and the lock had refrozen and she couldn't reopen it. Fortunately, she could climb into the back seat and get out a back door.

Lee @49 Best source of information on road conditions will probably be WTOP at www.wtop.com or 103.5 once your partner is within range. It sounds like things will be passable though not good.

#56 ::: Janet K ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 07:45 AM:

Lee @49. The Washington Post has a traffic blog about road conditions.

Major roads should be mostly clear by this afternoon.

#57 ::: G. Jules ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 08:14 AM:

Just south of Boston, we got *maybe* three inches. Maybe.

Re: frozen car door locks: I had a terrible time with that on my old VW. (It had keyholes on both front doors, but using the driver-side lock set off the car alarm.) The best solution I've found is to keep a can of lock de-icer -- it's mineral oil and isopropyl alcohol in a little can designed to spray inside the lock. Faster than hot water, and no rust worries. (I usually find it for a buck or so at Wal-Mart, but I imagine most hardware stores would also have it.)

#58 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 09:01 AM:

Acto WJLA-DC they have more snow for the season than Fargo.

#59 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 09:28 AM:

Yesterday I found myself, for the first time, dragging my protesting child away from his books and making him come out and play in the snow. I remember so clearly being on the opposite side of that exact same argument.

#60 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 10:01 AM:

Just west of Boston, we got less than an inch. (More than a dusting, but just barely enough to shove off of my driveway.)

Again, not complaining. I lived through massive snowstorms and am always happy not to be in the midst of another. Just a little bemused that it's not snowing here.

I also feel for everyone who did get caught in this storm, especially everyone in the mid-Atlantic. Two massive storms, one right after the other. Yikes. If you're Baltimore or DC, for example, you don't have the infrastructure to deal with this sort of thing. There's no way they'd budgeted enough money to deal with the snow removal much less any knock-on expenses.

#61 ::: caffeine ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 10:34 AM:

It's not just that we don't have the infrastructure for this kind of snow; the conditions yesterday were so bad that many of the cities here were forced to pull their repair crews and just hunker down. The total here for the two storms was around 27 inches, and it only got worse further north.

I'm extremely grateful I have a job that can be done perfectly well from home, but all the same I've been stuck at home for a week now and would really appreciate a trip to the grocery store.

Despite the lack of any need to be physically in the office, my immediate supervisor has been incredibly antsy about the whole working-from-home thing. Not much I can do about it until hubby manages to free the cars, which are still surrounded. Every few hours one or the other of our neighbors (who have mostly cleared their cars; we have some health conditions that don't let us shovel for long at a time) gets ambitious and pulls out of a cleared parking spot, then promptly gets stuck on the icy street. Cue lots of digging, spinning, and swearing. If the neighbors with pickups and SUVs are getting stuck, I'd rather deal with managers freaking out than trying to get my little sedan down the road.

#62 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 11:39 AM:

I am so ready for spring. I want to clear the vegetable garden and plant seedlings; I want to plant azaleas along the side of the house behind the patio, and rosebushes along the side of the house under the kitchen window, and annuals in the doorway garden. I want to go and walk in the state park, in the woods.

NC escaped a second and third round of snow, but it is still c-c-c-cold here, and has been cloudy and rainy and windy. And I am worried about my several friends in DC, and the friend who will be trying to get to DC this evening after landing in BWI (if his plane isn't canceled).

VCarlson @ 42, my fiancé and I are presently trying to decide on a honeymoon, and Hawaii sounds really, really good right about now. We're getting married on May 30, so I may not be as hungry for sun and warmth by then. But right now, I could so handle a beach.

#63 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 11:52 AM:

And for everyone's amazement, the National Weather Service is predicting this weekend that a snowstorm will hit the Gulf Coast and Southern Atlantic region. Charleston, SC, Tallahassee, FL, and other cities that rarely, if ever, see snow, are expected to see significant amounts.

Of course, "significant amounts" to those places could be an inch of snow stuck to the grass, but still.

#64 ::: VCarlson ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 01:04 PM:

Caroline @63: Even spottily rainy, as it's expected to be for the next week or so, it's still gorgeous. I had forgotten about the colors of the water before I came back here.

John L @64: Don't forget - "significant amounts" of snow in areas that don't usually get snow, though small to eyes that normally see more snow in a regular fall, are significant there for infrastructure reasons. I was living in Austin TX in the early-mid 1980's when we had a significant snowfall - it took
me 5 hours to drive the 10 miles home, and it was that short a time because I had chains ('nother story). Austin did not have salt trucks. They sanded the roads with dump trucks full of sand and a couple of guys shoveling out the back. I still remember the sight of semis, jackknifed, sliding slowly down the hill on I-35. I was on the frontage road, out of the way.

#65 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 01:39 PM:

Should I mention that day before yesterday, after the car had been sitting in (Phoenix metro area) sunlight for a while, I had to run the air-conditioning for a few moments to cool down the inside?

("Go fuck yourself, Bruce" will be considered an appropriate reply.)

#66 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 01:57 PM:

Bruce Arthurs @ 66 ...
How about "May you forget to cool off the inside of your car before sitting[0]" ? ;)

[0] Ideally in those shorts you didn't mention... ;)

#67 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 02:53 PM:

So if you want to ship your snow somewhere, you can give it to Northern California. We can make good use of it. We're in an El Nino year, so we've some good storms, with more to come, but our reservoirs are terribly depleted; we're at about 65% normal. It's supposed to rain again tonight, good. We need about two more substantial storms to fill the reservoirs.

Consider: the Central Valley, that vast flat cornucopia where over half of the country's vegetables come from, is actually semi-arid: large irrigation systems with water draining from the rivers and reservoirs is what keeps it fertile. Without water, it goes back to being semi-arid. Los Angeles turns back into desert.

Could happen. Global climate change, anyone?

#68 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 03:05 PM:

68
It's being proposed for LA that new developments trap water and put it back in the ground, so there's less runoff, or pay hefty fees for that much use of storm drains and sewers.
The developers are, of course, screaming that they can't afford it. (Funny, they haven't had problems letting the runoff go into the storm drains and the sewers, or flooding the streets, at everyone else's cost.)
I'd like to see cisterns and catchments funded for existing buildings and yards, too, so there's as little water running into the streets as possible. Maybe it would become possible to import less water.

#69 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 03:06 PM:

VCarlson @ #42, you live on that side of the island? You'll get a lot more rain over there than we do out here near the Ewa plain, even at 1000' above sea level (he says, watching a mild drizzle and overcast skies which hide the Waianae Mountains from view).

#70 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 03:22 PM:

I'm starting my spring garden this weekend. I'll think of you guys when I'm up to my ankles in warm dirt. :-)

#71 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 03:40 PM:

MacAllister #28
I second that. I love the overall shades of gray effect, with the occasional burst of color.

Living in Los Angeles, where we keep our snow sensibly up in the mountains, I look at Patrick's pictures...
and wish for snow.

#72 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 03:44 PM:

Cygnet...shall we gloat when whatever natural disasters/weather inconveniences your area is prone to come to pass? Please let us know what they are so that we can be sure to do so.

#73 ::: VCarlson ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 03:49 PM:

Linkmeister @70: Yes, that side. The green, lush, mosquito-ey side. There *is* a down side to Paradise. Last time I went to visit Mom & Ned's graves, I got 5 mosquito bites. And I was wearing long pants. No repellant, though. I hate the smell, and my skin tries to crawl away from it.

#74 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 03:50 PM:

VCarlson, I used to get bitten all the time in the summer (in Michigan, not in Hoboken). I found that taking B-complex 50 on a daily basis made the little fuckers leave me alone. Apparently they can smell it and don't like it one bit.

#75 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 05:13 PM:

VCarlson @ #74, we get skeeters over here too, believe me. Bromeliads host the little buggers, but we can't bear to rip 'em out.

#76 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 05:23 PM:

Linkmeister @76:
we get skeeters over here too, believe me. Bromeliads host the little buggers, but we can't bear to rip 'em out.

You know, for a moment there in the dim light, I thought that your bromiliads were hosting skeelers, which is the Dutch for rollerbladers.

Made me blink at the mental image, anyway.

#77 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 05:40 PM:

VCarlson@74: If I ever meet the person who invented blood-sucking insects, we're going to have words.

And if I ever find a nethack-style "scroll of genocide" (remove one species of monster from the game), well. Sorry about the song-birds, but I have my priorities.

#78 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 05:41 PM:

Linkmeister@76: Wait, are you living on Mirabile?

#79 ::: Sharon M ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 06:06 PM:

Meanwhile, from a separate storm system, it's been snowing all day in north Texas. Official counts have as much as 6 inches of snow on the ground in DFW, and we're expecting another 2 to 4 inches tonight. (9 inches of snow in my backyard in Plano)

The roads are fine now, wet but not icy, and the snow isn't just pretty, it's wet - we can make snow people! And pack real snowballs! So today is excellent.

Tomorrow, when all the roads have iced overnight, our inability to sand much at all will be demonstrated with highway-based demolition derby. I'm staying home.

#80 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 07:29 PM:

DDB @ #79, (after looking it up), no. But if you look at them you'll see that the flower grows vertically from a wealth of leaves, and those leaves act like water cups. They hold standing water really really well.

#81 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 07:42 PM:

John L @ #64, yep, here in Athens GA we're predicted to get 1-2" tomorrow, but it will melt off by Saturday (high of 47).

My Aussie mix will be glad. She loves snow, and will try to roll in the frost when there isn't any snow (which is most of the time).

#82 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 07:46 PM:

I think I need to apologize. I am very sorry for the tone of my post earlier. It really wasn't appropriate.

#83 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 08:00 PM:

Linkmeister @ 76... Ever seen 1993's Skeeter on Joe Bob Briggs' show?

#84 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 08:06 PM:

I've been in South Carolina when they had abnormal amounts of snow, and last year in western Washington when it took us over four hours in a Jeep with four wheel drive to get to Seattle, when it usually about two hours. Both times drivers and residents and city infra structure were overwhelmed; there were people without electricity for a week. I expect that in Maine and New Hampshire; you just assume it will happen, and people have coping mechanisms.

It's sort of like what happens with excess rain in Southern California; it has no place to go; UCLA's campus drains, for instance, can't cope with the water, it seeps in buildings and under doors, and creates sinkholes. Hillsides get too heavy, and fall into the highways and freeways, sometimes taking homes with them, and destroying wildlife habitats.

As much as I'm enjoying the early spring here, it's about a month early, and it's not good news for the Eastern half of the state, where the vineyards are. I hope they make out ok; they can't afford even one bad season. I'm hoping abnormal weather for everyone is temporary, and self-righting.

#85 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 09:33 PM:

@85 In Maine and Hew Hampshire, we do assume winter is going to happen (every year so far) and we do have coping mechanisms and sometimes people go without electricity for awhile anyway. But it's normal bad weather. Ditto for, say, hurricanes on the Gulf Coast.

Doesn't mean we can't get damage somewhere on a scale from inconvenient to catastrophic. Ice storms are the worst; snow is bulky but manageable with plows and sand trucks; rain in the winter makes the river unpredictable but some time I'll go down to Hallowell and get a picture of the building whose cornerstone has an assortment of record flood levels carved into it. It happens. We deal.

(Actually, we savor the prospect of dealing with it, deal with it, then regale each other and everyone else with stories of how we dealt with it and/or kvetch about other people's inability to deal with it. But that's people.)

Not knowing how to deal with it, or not expecting to have to deal with it, or not having the resources to deal with it - that's what makes (inter)national news.

#86 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 10:04 PM:

Thanks for the advice, all. And Andrea, the opposite problem happened after we got the door opened, I had to drive to work with the seatbelt through the door inside handle to keep the freaking thing shut. This straightened out by my first coffee break, the garage we park in is a bit warmer than being outside AND my car's heater gets it warm before I stop, even though I work well less than a mile from home.

Part of the problem is that this is a low mileage OLD car (1995, just north of 100,000 miles, we bought it FOR a little old lady--Margene's mom-- and she decided to quit driving after she had it for a couple of years. When I got it, she had not put more than about 500 miles in those three years, probably less.

Things like the rubber window gaskets aren't good anymore, and moisture gets in. The first time it happened this winter, I DID go over everything with WD40, even as inside the locks as I could.

Since I AM working now, as soon as we are done with the other car payments (minivan has one more payment in March, other car has 10 more months), I'm the next one in the queue for a newer car.

#87 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 10:42 PM:

Paula, your car sounds like my car: 1994 Buick, little old lady, approaching 80k miles. There's very little wrong with it that isn't age. Granted, this led to months of my car being unreliable because of a couple weird electrical drains, but at least I have *interesting* car trouble stories.
I have every intention of driving this car forever. I see no reason for it to ever fail permanently.

#88 ::: VCarlson ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 10:43 PM:

Xopher @75: Thanks for the suggestion, but [whine] I've been taking B-50 daily and I got bit.[/whine] So. Either it's cumulative, and I just hadn't had time to build up, or the B-50's done all it can for me, and the little shits might have bit me even more. They do love me. Fleas hate me though.

David Dyer-Bennet @78: Me, too. I would hate to deprive bats of their prey, and fish of tasty eggs, but...

To (sort of) get back on topic: Yesterday, when I was in City Mill (a local hardware/lumber/home goods chain), I saw metal ergonomic handles out of the corner of my eye. I though "snow shovels!!??!?! but when I turned to look, the handles were attached to large-sized dustpans, suitable for sweeping leaf litter and the like into. Whew.

#89 ::: sara_k ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2010, 10:59 PM:

I'm exhausted by the shoveling but I took some nice photos. http://jitteryjava.blogspot.com/

#90 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2010, 01:21 AM:

VCarlson @ #89, it's been cold recently by our standards (low 60s overnight tonight!), but I shouldn't think snow shovels will be needed anytime soon. Barring a trip to Mauna Kea (where it's 33 degrees), anyway.

#91 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2010, 01:43 AM:

Paula @87:
Since I AM working now

We interrupt this weather thread to say YAY! HOORAY! HUZZAH!

Now back to your regularly scheduled Snowpocalypse.

#92 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2010, 02:47 AM:

#64 John
#66 Bruce

The first talk I heard on Global Warming was back in 1969 or 1970 when I was a junior in high school. The prediction I've been hearing for years were that one of the effects would be weather being more extreme, due to the increased energy in the atmosphere--meaning e.g. snowstorms in unexpected places, and hot spells in places at times it's supposed to be cold, but overall higher averaged temperature worldwide, and increasing melting of icecaps and glaciers.... guess what. Wanna seen the snow of Kilimanjaro? Better go quick, the same for Glacier National Park, etc. And most of the world's penguin species are in trouble. Tropical insects however will probably thrive, provided they don't completely eat up their food supply (tropical plants have caffeine to use in biological warfare against insects, yup, caffeine is a nerve poison toxic to insects.... )

Meanwhile, that it's hot in Arizona... when it comes summer and Bruce has eggs frying on his car then I'll snicker. At the moment, the irony that much of the east coast below Massachusetts is blanketed in snow and most of Massachusetts has bare ground (not some of the Cape and not the South Coast), with the mid-Atlantic have been completely clobbered with blizzards, is just too peculiar for me to twit Bruce for his semi-gloat.

#93 ::: Leroy F. Berven ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2010, 03:25 AM:

Paula @ 93: The last 150 years or so (basically, second half of 19th century and approximately all of 20th) seem to have been a period of relatively low variability (compared to what has occurred during longer-term periods) in global weather and climate. (Note for bogglement: the NorAm "dust bowl" of the 1930s was a comparatively mild variation from the long-term trendline.)

We now seem to be observing the early stages of a return to the historically more common levels of variability in both weather and climate. And, this is on top of whatever (multiple) climactic cycles are acting on climate trends, let alone the effect of any longer-term underlying trends such as global warming/cooling. Just for grins and griggles, also remember that we are currently living in a planetary ice age, and in an interglacial period during that ice age . . . which has already lasted almost 50 percent longer than the previous "typical" interglacial periods.

Somehow, this does not strike me as a particularly stable background, against which to run any (or several) large, uncontrolled experiments in planetary atmosphere modification. OTOH, the massive scope and complex nature of even the known uncertainties in this area does not lead me to embrace, with enthusiasm, any of the simpler, one-dimensional explanations and assertions which we have recently been hearing about our planetary climate and prospective changes in same.

If we actually knew one or two orders of magnitude more about the driving forces of climate variations and how they work, I would feel a whole lot more comfortable in evaluating any of the current/recent proposals about what to do, or not do, to maximize our changes of species survival on this planet.

OfSF: "The Gentle Earth", Christopher Anvil.

#94 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2010, 04:05 AM:

Paula @93, what did either of those two comments (John's #64 and Bruce's #66) have to do with Global Warming/Climate Change?

Leroy @94, what's your point?

#95 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2010, 10:19 AM:

Bruce Arthurs #66: ...and your hamster smells of elderberries!

Paula #93: (tropical plants have caffeine to use in biological warfare against insects, yup, caffeine is a nerve poison toxic to insects.... )

Ditto nicotine, which has actually been used as an insecticide. Indeed, a lot of the more interesting (to humans) substances produced by plants, were originally meant to keep the bugs (or other critters) off.

Linkmeister #76, #81, David Dyer-Bennet #78, #79: First, Bats!. ;-) Second: How about teaching some small bird to go fishing in those bromeliads?

OP: Things seem to be melting here. I had an impressive crop of icicles over my door for a while -- over 2' long, and yesterday morning, they were scary pointy to boot. But by the afternoon, most of them had fallen.

#96 ::: PJEvans ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2010, 10:34 AM:

I understand caffeine is also effective on plant-munching gastropods, and on some of the more obnoxious (for local values of obnoxious) amphibians.

#97 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2010, 11:04 AM:

There's something amusing about the idea of snails on caffeine.

(Open-threadiness: I've heard of internet-connected refrigerators and drink-vending machines and coffee makers. Now I'm receiving messages from "ANZ Internet Baking".

(Also: A moment ago, there was a pair of cardinals perched in the branches outside my window -- one large, fat, and bright red, the other smaller and browner. It's chilly out there this morning, but probably warmer in the sun where they were sitting.)

#98 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2010, 12:46 PM:

VCarlson, which Kailua are you in? I'd seen the name and assumed it was the one on the Big Island near Kona, so I was puzzled by the references to mosquitoes; are you on Oahu instead?

Also, they make little ultrasonic gadgets that you can wear that ostensibly chase away mosquitoes, though I haven't done a double-blind test to know if they actually work or not.

#99 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2010, 03:10 PM:

Bill Stewart @ #99, ah, that bit of confusion again!

Mapquest's map of Oahu:
http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Oahu&state=HI

Kailua on Oahu is a nice little town; Kailua-Kona on the Big Island is a touristy sort of place.

#100 ::: VCarlson ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2010, 06:36 PM:

Bill Stewart @99: Linkmeister @100 has it right. Kailua on Oahu, over the Pali from Honolulu. Nice place ,very walkable (and when my stuff arrives, bikeable, too, I think) from where I live, pretty close to the town center.

I may check out ultrasonics, though I can hear a higher range than most humans. I got it from Mom, who could hear dog whistles and older TV tubes. My sister can hear higher than I - certain stores would drive her out with their security systems. Though I probably can't hear as high as I could when I was young.

I see from reports in the newspaper that one of the big problems with the snow in the mid-Atlantic states is where to put the snow to get it out of the way - especially since I see the Philadelphia region, at least, is expected to get something like another 8 inches on monday. Whew!

#101 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2010, 09:39 PM:

Bill Stewart #99, VCarlson #101:

I've tried one of those ultrasonic mosquito chasers, "back in the day". It was rather more effective at chasing away my fellow campers...

#102 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2010, 04:23 PM:

I got a shpxvat snow day yesterday (or half one anyway since we shut down at 2). I sent my department office assistant home at 1 and left myself, and by the time I got home it was snowing steadily. The airport reported over three inches -- which is a lot for us here in Atlanta.

There was a thick carpet of snow when I got up this morning, but most of it has melted from our lawn.

#103 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2010, 06:21 PM:

Acto our local weatherdudes, there was snow on the ground yesterday/today in every state except Hawaii.

And it's supposed to snow again here on Monday.

#105 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2010, 02:11 PM:

VCarlson@101 - After I asked that I saw your much earlier post about moving to Kailua (near Honolulu), so presumably I'd seen it earlier and forgotten.
I don't think I can hear the mosquito-chasers, but it's been a while since I've used one; my hearing's never been great for conversational speech when there's background noise, but last time I had equipment to check (a few decades ago) I could hear up to about 20kHz, and if I don't notice badly-tuned electronics ultrasonicking as often these days, it's probably because there aren't as many real CRTs around.

Here in Delaware, we got about 2 feet of snow last weekend and another foot or so on Wednesday, so yeah, finding places to put it is getting to be a problem. I got here Tuesday night, and the plows came around Wednesday halfway through the storm, so I'm not sure quite how much was from which storm. During December's ~18" storm, it was pretty easy to shovel the snow onto my mom's lawn, but this time the snow's a lot heavier, and I have to lift it a foot or two higher to dump it, which has been annoying. I had to trudge through the stuff to get to the back of the house the other day to knock down icicles - they were really pretty but were diverting snowmelt from the gutters into the window frames and dripping inside. ("Ice dam" is supposed to be a complaint, not a noun....)

#106 ::: hedgehog sees possible spam on Like an ice storm ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2011, 12:15 PM:

There's a chance that #107 really is asking for moving-to information about "these four states", but it's not the way I'd bet.

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