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Jan 25 2014

Gonna hunker down in the blizzard bunker

Highly accurate predictive photo of what Morris will look like tomorrow.

Highly accurate predictive photo of what Morris will look like tomorrow.

Another annoying weather prediction: we’re getting a big ol’ blizzard tomorrow!

For those unfamiliar with weather patterns in the upper midwestern plains, we don’t get a lot of snow, but what we do get stays with us all winter long. Right now, the ground is covered everywhere with about a foot of very dry, powdery white stuff, and tomorrow we’re probably not going to get a lot of new snow. Instead, we get extreme cold and high winds that are going to…rearrange… our snow all day long, throwing it up into the air into a fluffy white haze.

We’re going to be homebound. I made a trip to the liquor store. It’s the only thing you can do.

35 comments

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  1. 1
    chigau (違う)

    Have fun tomorrow.
    Good thing you don’t have to go to church.
    —-
    A substantial amount of our snow has melted. (53°N)
    The south facing portion of the roof is clear and we hacked the 10cm glacier off the patio.
    Usually this happens in March.

  2. 2
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    We’ve been under a blizzard for the last 30 hours or so, it’s clearing somewhat now, over here near Toronto. Keep yer tentacles warm, PeeZed.

  3. 3
    Trebuchet

    You should send some of that snow to the mountains here on the west coast. It’s been a dry winter, and going to be a dry (and probably fiery) summer if this keeps up.

  4. 4
    kiloxray

    Just tried the Bud Light Lime. And damn it’s good!

    If Bud Light fornicated with a Sprite, this would be the result.

    Which is far more beneficial than whatever fornicated with Justin Bieber’s mother.

  5. 5
    magistramarla

    We had a bit of an ice storm here in South Texas on Thursday night/early Friday morning.
    You folks in the north wouldn’t think much of it, but schools and roads were closed here on Friday.
    Hubby didn’t have work, so we slept in and we’re enjoying a long weekend.
    The temps are supposed to be back in the 70s tomorrow and then down in the 20s again on Tuesday night.
    I really hate these fluctuations.

  6. 6
    cag

    The first daffodil of the season fully opened up today, here in the Pacific Southwest (of Canada).

  7. 7
    chigau (違う)

    cag #5
    ya trying ta start a fight?
    huh?
    are ya?
    ;)

  8. 8
    whheydt

    Not the liquor store, see this scale: http://www.universalhub.com/french-toast

    It originated with a TV weatherman in Boston who apparently delighted in really awful weather.

    (In the SF Bay Area, one wants to do grievous bodily harm to the weather reporters who think “sunny” and “80+ degrees” are *nice*, rather that the SF normal of overcast and a pleasant 60 to 65.)

  9. 9
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I hear you PZ. Monday and Tuesday are projected to have highs below zero F. I don’t worry about me, an ex-Yooper, but I do worry about the “flatlanders” who populate the area.

  10. 10
    Chengis Khan, The Cryofly

    If you are sufficiently soaked up on liquor, it might even lower the freezing point of your blood. ;)

  11. 11
    anuran

    In close to twenty years the camellias in our backyard have accurately predicted Spring. They still haven’t started blooming

  12. 12
    cag

    chigau #6. If it’s snowballs, I surrender (something about unarmed…).

  13. 13
    Alverant

    Being in Chicagoland I know how crazy the weather can be. I’m ready to hunker down tomorrow as well. I know you went vegetarian, PZ, but the supermarket had beef chuck roast on sale and I got a small one for yankee pot roast in the slow cooker tomorrow. So while I’m inside I get to enjoy the wonderful smells of my roast.

    Do you ever do pickling? It’s quick, easy, and tasty. There’s another blogger here who posts recipes online, have you considered it. I think more people would go vegetarian (or at least have less meat) if we knew of more options. Most supermarkets don’t have a good variety of produce. Most of it is either snacking fruits or plants that go with meat as a side dish.

  14. 14
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Alverant

    Being in Chicagoland I know how crazy the weather can be.

    I’m tucked up in the North Shore in NE Lake County just off Sheridan road, meaning near Lake Michigan. I’ll go out tomorrow just to run the old Probe in case the newer Probe won’t start in the cold (it didn’t at -13 F a couple of weeks ago).

  15. 15
    chigau (違う)

    Right now it’s +4C, overnight is predicted -11C (with rain and snow), tomorrow high -15C.
    I’m so confused.

  16. 16
    Menyambal

    Sunday will be 58F and sunny, here in the Ozarks, and Monday will only get up to 19F. What the hey?

  17. 17
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    The main reason to run the car is we are low on an essential supply…TP.

  18. 18
    Arren ›‹ neverbound

    The bizarre fluctuations in temperature have been drastic even down here in the swamphole that is NE Florida. There have been a few days where a high in the 30*s was followed by a high in the 70*s.

    * All in Fahrenheit, for shame! IANAS, that’s for damn sure.

  19. 19
    krubozumo

    I can empathize somewhat with cold weather travails. I was a participant in the great Canadian diamond play in the early nineties. I lived in a tent for a while North of Edmonton in Jan. and Feb. Pretty cold. Cold is seriously dangerous as well, you can lose a few extremities pretty easily under the kinds of conditions I have been hearing about. So take care all you northerners.

    Here though we are a bit south of the line, it doesn’t really matter all that much. The days are about the same length, near equal light and dark all the time, and the temperatures don’t vary much either, it is always hot during the day and very warm during the night. The only thing that varies much is moisture
    and right now we are very dry for this time of year. If we don’t get some rain in the next couple of months it will be trouble. Our high temp here today by my weather station was 32 degrees. That’s
    celcius of course. Quite pleasant actually with a breeze off the sea.

    There is one point upon which I will chastize the author here. Making a trip to the liqour store is evidence of lack of foresight and poor planning. I for example maintain a reserve of about 6 months
    worth of liquor just in case there is a hitch in the supply chain. Maybe it is not within your means to
    do likewise, if so you are obviously underpaid.But we here experienced such a crisis in recent memory.

    Hunker down. Watch the exposed skin in sub-zero wind chill.

  20. 20
    Holms

    Right now, the ground is covered everywhere with about a foot of very dry, powdery white stuff…

    Cocaine? Or dandruff? Otherwise I am at a loss.

  21. 21
    chrisdevries

    Winter is something we Winnipeggers endure, not something we enjoy (except the lunatics who go outside skating and skiing in the extreme cold, and they are a VERY small minority). I cannot imagine it’s any different in Morris, MN. People forget that although places further north of us see less sunlight in the winter, we are smack in the middle of North America and the ocean’s influence on our weather is small. We are officially the coldest city of more than 75,000 people in Canada, and I remember that a place in Minnesota was the coldest in the USA during that year-beginning cold snap. This central North American Plains region is the coldest in the populated Western Hemisphere during winter, pretty much all the time.

    Chigau, I’m guessing you live in or near Edmonton, yea? The warm temps are the giveaway, that recent Chinook is even making OUR weather warmer, a rare occurrence; normally the high-pressure system succeeds in blocking any nice warm, moist air from the west coast. And we’ve gone from -40 wind chills on the 22nd of January, to -15 C wind chills on Friday; and today it’s cooling off, but still, not too bad. People in Florida suffer at zero C because they’re not used to it or prepared for it; we are perfectly capable of maintaining our normal lives at -30 C, although we do complain about it a lot.

    It was nice to have a break from the extreme cold though; nice not to have to use my dog’s booties (Mutt-luks ;) ) on his walk Thursday, he really hates them although his paw pads are extremely sensitive to the cold, and he loathes the little balls of hard ice that accumulate in his interstitial toe space when he walks in the snow for any length of time. Still, he’s got fur, and manages to stay hydrated on his walks by eating snow (even at -35 C, he eats lots of snow). And we’re back to another pretty dry winter – lots of individual snow falls, very small accumulations, large wind-blown drifts. Typical Prairie winter. Last winter was record-breaking for snow – we hit our average annual snowfall by the end of January. Climate change eh? And -40 C air temperatures are really rare now; the last one I think was in 2007, February. But our wind chills still regularly feature on the wrong side of -40 C, every year for a couple of weeks to a month or more. You know it’s cold when it hurts to breathe – your airway isn’t used to such frigid air.

  22. 22
    randay

    I hope you could walk to the liquor store rather than drive. I think I will watch the film “Fargo” again so I can remember what it was like when I lived in the region. Maybe you could do so too to enjoy the snow and wind from the warmth of your couch.

  23. 23
    Lofty

    Holms @19

    Cocaine? Or dandruff? Otherwise I am at a loss.

    Could be salt?

  24. 24
    blf

    Cocaine? Or dandruff? [Salt?]

    Refined sugar? Bunny wabbits? A confused cloud? A mashed potatoe tanker crashed? An abundant cauliflower crop? Escaping cotton balls? The Yogurt Sea? The landscape has decided this year’s cool look is albino?

    Real puzzler. I suspect cheese is involved. Maybe its the topping for a very large pizza?

  25. 25
    wcorvi

    Oh MAN, I know EXACTLY what you mean. Here it Tucson it plunged to 60 overnight, and is supposed to only reach 78 today. Why, it snowed about four inches – must have been five years ago, now; lasted almost ’til noon. Schools were canceled so the kids could have snowball fights. A saguaro cactus with snow on its little head is a pathetic thing. So, I feel your pain.

  26. 26
    Al Dente

    Cocaine? Or dandruff?

    A huge flock of seagulls suffering from diarrhea flew overhead. A warm wind dried the guano before it landed on the ground. True fax!

  27. 27
    ludicrous

    Got one of those thermostat thingies on the wall? Good. No need to get down the basement in the morning to shake the grates, pull out the clinkers and shovel coal in. Got 12 volt ignition?, Front wheel or all wheel drive? Garage, with electric door opener? Snowblower? Wow, many improvements up there in MN since I grew up. I let my car idle all night a couple times rather than get up every three hours to start it. If there was no wind once a night would usually do it

  28. 28
    Nick Gotts

    Here in Scotland we have yet more “strong winds and heavy rain”. No snow at all this winter where I am. There have been repeated floods in England and Wales – apparently due to the introduction of same-sex marriage. Why God didn’t just strike down the legislators who voted for it with thunderbolts, I don’t know – that would have been a much more convincing sign of his disapproval; but I suppose he has his reputation for moving in mysterious ways to think of.

  29. 29
    David Marjanović

    Oh MAN, I know EXACTLY what you mean. [...]

    Thread won.

  30. 30
    Trebuchet

    @17:

    All in Fahrenheit, for shame! IANAS, that’s for damn sure.

    “Celsius” is, of course, a Commie Fascist Muslim Obama plot to pollute our precious bodily fluids.

    “IANAS” = “I Am Not A Scientist”??

  31. 31
    David Wilford

    Given the weather, this isn’t welcome news today:

    Xcel Energy officials today continued monitoring natural gas supplies following an early Saturday morning explosion that ruptured a TransCanada pipeline in Manitoba and potentially damaged two other pipelines, which were taken out of service to be examined.

    The three lines provide the main supply of natural gas to more than 100,000 Xcel Energy customers in eastern North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Xcel Energy on Saturday asked residential and business customers in those areas to conserve natural gas by turning their thermostats down to 60 and avoiding using natural gas appliances and renewed that request today.

    TransCanada Pipeline is currently assessing the system to determine which lines can be returned to service safely, Larson said.

    Xcel Energy currently is receiving natural gas supply to serve customers in Fargo and Grand Forks in North Dakota; East Grand Forks, Moorhead and Brainerd in Minnesota; and communities in west-central Wisconsin, including the Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and Menomonie areas, from alternate routes from Michigan and from the Twin Cities area.

    The extreme cold weather is putting capacity pressure on those systems, too, so Xcel Energy is asking all customers – even those outside the communities whose supplies are most at risk – to conserve natural gas.

    http://xcelenergy.com/About_Us/Energy_News/Emergency_Notices/Xcel_Energy_asks_natural_gas_customers_to_conserve

    I’ve turned my thermostat back down to 60F (it’s where we keep it at night) and getting ready to cozy up in a back room with a space heater and a couple of blankets too. With the temperatures forecast to drop down below -20F in the next 36 hours, this is a serious situation.

  32. 32
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    We had some snow yesterday– accumulations of an inch or two, depending on location. But we had high winds all day and the damned stuff was blowing around so much that the plows couldn’t keep up.

    Normally on a Saturday, I’d be all “fuck it” and stay home all day, but we moved. No fun, no fun at all.

  33. 33
    Arren ›‹ neverbound

    Trebuchet #29:

    Yes — no claim to being a scientist. (My continued use of imperial units embarrasses me, so I feel the need to throw out little ridiculous disclaimers like that. Neuroses are fun!)

  34. 34
    randay

    @29 Trebuchet, Imperial units apply if you are from Britain, those are the old standards they used. The U.S. standards have the same names, but are different sizes for volume, weight, and length(though minor in this case). In weight, the U.S. system is called avoirdupoids–from French meaning “to have weight”. Overall, they are called the U.S. customary measurement systems. I guess it is only with Fahrenheit that they are the same.

    Just a bit of trivia.

  35. 35
    A. R

    Arren ›‹ idée fixe oblique:

    No worries! I’m a scientist, and I always use Fahrenheit when discussing weather. For some reason, centigrade temperatures only make sense to my brain in the lab.

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