Awaiting a blizzard

Doesn’t it give you a little thrill when the National Weather Service informs you of “life-threatening conditions” about to descend upon your home?


WHAT…For the Wind Chill Warning, dangerously cold wind chills expected. Wind chills as low as 40 below zero. For the Winter Storm Warning, heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 5 to 8 inches. For the Blizzard Warning, blizzard conditions expected. Winds gusting as high as 50 mph. For the Wind Chill Advisory, very cold wind chills. Wind chills as low as 30 below zero.

WHERE…Stevens, Pope and Swift Counties.

WHEN…For the Wind Chill Warning, from 6 AM Thursday to noon CST Saturday. For the Winter Storm Warning, from 6 AM Wednesday to noon CST Thursday. For the Blizzard Warning, from noon Thursday to 6 AM CST Saturday. For the Wind Chill Advisory, until midnight CST tonight.

IMPACTS…Travel could be very difficult or impossible. Widespread blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches. The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS…This could be a life-threatening situation if you get stranded traveling late this week. Consider adjusting any travel plans now.


Travel should be restricted to emergencies only. If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.

The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can be obtained by calling 5 1 1. Road conditions can also be found at for Minnesota or for Wisconsin.
More Information

.Snow will overspread the region Wednesday and bring 5 to 9 inches of fluffy accumulation through Wednesday night north of a line from Madison to Mankato To Eau Claire, with 3 to 5 inches to the south. Winds will be relatively light Wednesday and Wednesday evening. There should be a break in severe winter conditions late Wednesday night and early Thursday. Then, strong northwest winds gusting as high as 50 mph and dangerously cold air will surge in Thursday afternoon through Friday night. Whiteout conditions are expected during that time with travel becoming very difficult or impossible. This event could be life- threatening if you are stranded with wind chills in the 30 below to 45 below zero range. Travel plans for late this week should be adjusted now. In addition, heavy snow remaining on trees from the last storm and strong winds arriving could result in tree damage and power outages as temperatures drop below zero.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect Wednesday and Wednesday evening. Then, a Blizzard Warning goes into effect Thursday across southern and western Minnesota, with the Winter Storm Watch continuing north and east where wind and blowing snow will begin a bit later.

So, today — lots of snow. Tomorrow and the next day — 50mph winds pick up all the light fluffy stuff and blow it around and around, reducing visibility, making it painfully dangerous to be outside, and drifting all over the roads and highways. I just looked out my window and the snow is already here.

I’m taking this seriously, of course. Shortly, before the snow gets too high, I’m going across the street to the lab to feed all the spiders and set up the fly stocks for genetics that arrived yesterday, and then I’ll dart home and hunker down. I’m planning a big pot of soup — maybe more of a stew, I’m planning to throw in lots of chunky vegetables — that’ll tide us over for a few days. And then tonight, I’ll huddle around the warm glow of the computer monitor and have a conversation with anyone who wants to join in. Unless the power goes out.

Stay safe, everyone!


  1. Oggie: Mathom says

    Wife and I and the Grandchildren are heading down to Florida for a week with my in-laws. It does get me out of NEPA for what will be the coldest cold snap of cold air in a couple of years. We are leaving a day early and spending three days on the road, partly to reduce the discomfort for our twin three-and-a-half-year-old granddaughters, but also to avoid being on the road when the sudden freeze comes on Friday. Yeah, I know, nothing compared to a blizzard.

    Stay safe. And try to get us a photo of you with your beard filled with the wonders of winter.

  2. hemidactylus says

    We the snowflakes of Florida don jackets when the temp drops precariously below 60 °F. Because something that failed between the reigns of Ford and Reagan, I am still dropping the °F-bomb.

    It will get around 32 °F or below this weekend. That’s jacket weather. Hope everyone stays safe in the states where winter is a real thing.

    I have been in snow and 0-10 °F weather before when slight breezes are excruciatingly painful, just not here. I’ll take hovering around 32 °F and complain about scraping ice from my windshield with a repurposed plastic CD cover. Homeless shelters do open up around here when it gets that cold thankfully!

  3. whywhywhy says

    When the storm reaches us in Cleveland, we will get 35F rain turning to ice with maybe some snow accumulation. In other words all of the horrible and dangerous aspects of winter but little to none of the fun. Enjoy the snow.

  4. Oggie: Mathom says

    At least Oggie is merely visiting Florida.

    Actually, I am visiting Wife’s family. Who happen to live in Florida. In January, we are taking the girls to visit my family. In Maine. In January.

    Of course, I’m in Pennsylvania, where we almost elected Oz senator.

  5. StevoR says

    There were storm warnings of a possible severe thunderstorm for last night and this morning and this arvo (yesterday technically looking at the time now) here in Adelaide, South Oz.. It didn’t happen.

    Which is good becoz it didn’t but also not so good in that the Bureau of Meteorology has failed us in its forecasting skills again and shown themselves to be unreliable despite, I’m sure, trying & working hard – and admittedly covering their backsides by the “possibly” word.

    So..I gues if it happens at least be reassured by the fact that the forecasters know what they are doing and got it right? In an area that is notoriously subject to chaos and multiple small (?) variables and hard to predict?

  6. Oggie: Mathom says


    Bureau of Meteorology has failed us in its forecasting skills again and shown themselves to be unreliable

    Some years back, I was at a forest fire in Idaho. When I got there, the fire was 400 acres. When I left, two weeks later, it was pushing 100,000 acres (in Idaho, they don’t actually put fires out — they guide them away from towns and into areas that need fire and then wait for snow). I remember talking with the IMET (Incident Meteorologist). Nice guy. Had a PhD and taught at a college in Texas. He got to spend his summers working forest fires.

    Anyway, he told me that his master’s thesis looked at forecast reliability at 3, 5 and 10 day stretches. The reliability of medium term forecasts (more than a day, less than a season) had peaked in the early 1990s. Since then, the additional energy in the atmosphere had made the weather less stable, to the point that a one day forecast is about as reliable as a 1990 three-day forecast, a three-day forecast is about as reliable as a 1990 five-day forecast, etc. Which means that the modelling computers got fast enough to process the data at about the same time that the weather became less perdictable.

    Luckily for him, as IMET, the weather during the time we were at the fire was uniform: highs in the 90s, 35% humidity until about noon, dropping to 5% or less by 2:00pm, downslope winds in the morning, upslope in the afternoon, lows at night in the low 50s (all temperatures are in F, not the C abomination). Which meant that his forecasts for fire weather could almost have been cut and pasted into each day’s daily briefings.

    So, don’t be too hard on your forecasters. The gigatonnes of carbon, stored sunlight from millions of years ago, we are tossing into the atmosphere is making it harder to figure out what will happen.

  7. billseymour says

    We’re getting it tomorrow in St. Louis, but clearly not as bad as you.

    Flurries should start overnight, then the really heavy snow begins around noon; but we expect only about four inches at most.  On Friday, we’ll have high winds and wind chills in the negative teens F. Saturday will still be cold, but the winds aren’t expected be as strong.

    I plan to stock up at the grocery store this morning, then hunker down until Saturday afternoon at least.  Folks around here aren’t used to it, and slippery roads always seem to take drivers by surprise.

    The good news is that we generally don’t lose power in storms where I live, but it’s not unheard of.

  8. billseymour says

    Oggie: Mathom @8:  what’s abominable about Celsius?  Not just temperature scales, but SI units in general, make your life a whole lot easier once you get the hang of if.

  9. Oggie: Mathom says

    what’s abominable about Celsius?

    First, it confuses my historian’s brain.

    B: In Fahrenheit, I know how to dress — 35 means jeans, boots, wool socks, a heavy flannel shirt, wool vest and a wool fedora.

    Lastly, I am an AMERICAN!!!! We declared No Foreign Rulers, so we couldn’t adopt the metric system as it is foreign. We wanted to stick with our English measurements. Er, um, some foreign is okay, but not others?

  10. Rich Woods says

    @Oggie #12:

    We wanted to stick with our English measurements.

    You mean Imperial measurements?

  11. HidariMak says

    PZ, hopefully you have some crampons handy for your lab trip. Not sure how I survived decades of Canadian winters before them, but walking even on black ice is almost as safe as it is during the summer. (Just make sure not to step on something like an empty potato chip bag, since that makes any grip into the black ice underneath disappear. Also, make sure you have the ones where both metal and rubber make contact with the ground, since no rubber on the wet tile floors of stores can be treacherous.)

  12. hemidactylus says

    I took plenty of science classes to appreciate metric units and merely shifting the decimal because 10. Imperial is so clunky, does the UK even use it anymore?

    But because deep set enculturation into a backward system °F is intuitive to me. I just automatically process it. But when measuring in inches, yards etc I quickly realize how crappy it is. Units of 12 seem so archaic, almost a biblical reverence for a stupid number…he says as 12N approaches.I’m not so backward that I use 12 PM though it is forced upon me everywhere.

  13. R. L. Foster says

    I don’t envy anyone in the path of that coming storm. I did my penance in the Midwest and feel that I’ve had enough experience with cold, ice, snow and wind.

    As for life threatening conditions, I always breathe a sigh of relief when hurricane season has passed without a major storm in our area.

    Happy Solstice, everyone! Break out der Glühwein! Wassail!

  14. jrkrideau says

    @ 10 billseymour
    We are getting enough Fahrenheit temperatures around some blogs that I just wrote a three line function to convert them.

    It’s easier than trying to hazily remember the old imperial measurements though since a lot of my recipes are imperial I normally still cook in imperial.

  15. Oggie: Mathom says

    You mean Imperial measurements? — Rich Woods

    When I was in Middle School (Junior High to most), we were going whole hog on metric. And our science teacher referred to the English Measurement System. At least all measurements are now standard. At one point, just in the Germanies, there were so many different weights and measures that people were able to make a good living buying goods in one principality and selling them in another bishopric with different measures, even with the tolls.

    But because deep set enculturation into a backward system °F is intuitive to me. I just automatically process it. — hemidactylus

    I’ve gotten very good at using metric for length, breadth, weight, and having a good intuitive idea of actual size (an outgrowth of my obsession interest in paleontology), but temperature still makes me think too much. I mean, -40? C or F? C’mon, dudes, help me. I majored in a liberal art!

  16. Oggie: Mathom says

    I normally still cook in imperial. — jrkrideau

    But what if you are cooking something simple? Many of the dishes from the age of empire are delicious, but that’s a whole lot of trouble. I normally cook for just Wife and I so I keep it simple. Even Chicken Marengo is a little complex when cooking for two,


    You mean imperial measurements. Disregard. I still cook with T, t, cups, sticks, pounds, ounces. When I actually measure anything.

  17. birgerjohansson says

    As a continental climate means awful winters and scorching summers, you might as well build a network of tunnels under the town. I always thought the hobbits had the wrong approach- you need to have the home out in the atmosphere to avoid moisture, but the connections need to be sheltered.

  18. says

    Dear PZ, I agree with your sentiment: Florida, NO. Of course, we are in Scarizona, only marginally better that TexASS or FloriDUH. Considering the combination of weather and socio-political climate, we are having trouble finding a safe, decent place to live.
    I was indoctrinated into our chaotic measurement system as a child. But, the metric system makes so much sense. IIRC, the shift to metric mandated in the late 1970’s was destroyed by Ronnie the Raygun (just like tRUMP everything he touched died) Carter put photovoltaic panels on the white house. Ronnie the Raygun, in his infinite stupidity and corruption, had them removed immediately.

    But, on a more positive note: We sincerely wish you, your family, and everyone here, a safe and meaningful Winter Solstice.

  19. says

    Wasn’t it Heinlein that said, “climate is what you expect, weather is what you get” I’ve been observing and NOAA is often wrong and doesn’t even have an ark ready, LOL.

  20. Akira MacKenzie says

    Down here in the southern part of Wisconsin I’m hearing conflicting predictions about how severe the snow is going to be. All I know is that I have an appointment at the Waukesha Public Library to use their laser cutter tomorrow night. I made this appointment a month ago I don’t intend to reschedule regardless of the weather. I’ll lash snow shoes to my feet or make my new puppy pull me via dog sled if I have to!

    Mush, Teddy! MUSH!!

  21. unclefrogy says

    yes yes yes
    I started the fire and am roasting a chicken
    as we mark another lap around the sun!!!

  22. microraptor says

    Well, the good news is that the storm isn’t expected to hit where I live. But I heard that Boulder, Colorado was expecting to go from 49F to -14F today. I mean, yikes!

  23. Tethys says

    I’m over on the other side of MN, and this is called winter. I am so tired of hearing weather forecasts acting like snow falling is the end of the world. It’s just Wednesday in the North. Carry on. Drive slowly. Get all your Xmas stuff done today, because tomorrow the fresh, fluffy 5 inches of snow is going to be joined by marginally colder temps and a wicked wind.

    It’s currently 0 degrees and I’m nice and warm from removing the fresh snow while dressed appropriately. Down parka, boots, gloves, hat in addition to the multiple layers of clothes that constitute my winter wardrobe.

  24. Tethys says

    hemidactylus @15

    Units of 12 seem so archaic, almost a biblical reverence for a stupid number…he says as 12N approaches.

    It is archaic, but I suspect it’s even older than Christianity. Base 12 is a completely workable number system. We have words for numbers up to twelve, and a dozen. Those words are ancient so clearly there was some significance to having groups of 12. When doing anything like weaving or making spheres in crochet, I much prefer yards and multiples of threes even though I have also been taught metric measurements.

  25. robro says

    It would certainly give me a thrill if the National Weather Service warned us of a blizzard because we don’t get blizzards in coastal California. Tahoe yes, but never around the Bay Area. However, we do get earthquake warnings from MyShake…at 2:34 AM in the friggin’ morning yesterday for a measly 6.4 quake nearly 200 miles away. Not worth waking up for, and we didn’t even get a shudder. However, my partner, who isn’t too familiar with earthquakes, spent the rest of the night tucked under her blankets at the foot of her bed.

  26. Ed Seedhouse says

    Here on Southern Vancouver Island we have an unsettling “Winter Storm Warning”:

    “Remarks: A Pacific frontal system combined with the cold Arctic airmass over B.C. will bring another round of snow to the South Coast starting Thursday night. As freezing level rises, the snow will then change to rain late Friday over Vancouver Island, and Friday night or Saturday morning over the mainland with possible snowfall accumulations of 10 to 20 cm. Freezing rain is possible during the transition.

    Meanwhile, local blowing snow is possible in strong easterly winds resulting in near zero visibilities.”

    I think I have enough food on hand to last until Sunday, though the fruit is running low. I hope the power stays on. My home is totally electric powered for light, utilities, and heat. If the power goes everything goes.

    “Winter storm watches are issued when multiple types of severe winter weather are expected to occur together.”

    That don’t sound good…

  27. macallan says

    Temperature is supposed to drop from the 50s to about 9F on thursday night / friday morning around here, and there’s a wind chill warning too – -10 to -20 in the valleys, -35 up in the mountains. Plus a little bit of snow.
    Tennessee is going to be in full on apocalypse mode.

  28. asclepias says

    The temperature here dropped from about 44 F at 2 p.m. to -9 F at 3 p.m.–and that’s without wind chill. The sudden snow, we can deal with, but the temperature drop of 50-odd degrees in the space of an hour is unusual. Always an adventure in weather here.

  29. says

    PZ thanks for the video. I did take a break to watch zyllinsky (sp?) and congress. But, we enjoyed watching your video.
    We of my organization agree with PZ. Neil G-Tyson’s statements are a real ethical problem. Musk has not yet made EV’s them a normal thing. In the 1890’s for about 20 years, EV’s sold as many cars as did infernal combustion vehicles. It was crass Crapitallist greed that turned the tide in the favor of fossil fuel vehicles. Commercializing space is not wonderful. Look what Crapitallism has done to this planet. He is already polluting low earth orbit with thousand of pieces of marginally functional space junk. My organization has considered Musk’s words and actions very thoroughly and find that with his bigotry, frequent contradictions of his own pronouncements,lies and thuggary, he is not an exception to our rule of not allowing ethical and moral failings to override technical factors. He can throw his weight and money around all he wants, we won’t participate in or buy anything that benefits Musk.

    Regarding the davidmilne drivel, IIRC, there are ~1-2% of the population (millions) that are not clearly, physically male or female. He seems to want to live in a ‘binary only’ world and pretend that these people don’t exist. I must again state ‘sadly, these fanatics are much too fixated on the sex of people to the exclusion of considering quality of character.

  30. says

    O.K,, regarding davidmilne, you brought up circumcision, you could just hit him with the pun ‘Sorry, but, just like the circumcision arguments, you’ve been cut-off’ an see if he is even clever enough to get it.

  31. says

    Also, regarding religion and acceptance of evolution, why did they limit the scope to only two heavily catholic countries? That seems to add a built-in bias in their study.

  32. says

    I am so pleased that you are being careful about covid (still killing about 125,000 a year) We mask and distance. To the few others around us in Scarizona I see masked up I say to them, ‘good for you, a mask is a sign of intelligence and responsibility’ and they all respond very positively.

  33. Paul K says

    I’ve really enjoyed this thread. Hearing weather reports from a world-wide community of folks for whom I have a lot of respect is very cozy-feeling producive.

    The weather Service was incorrect for our region, western Wisconsin. 4-7 inches turned out to be about 1. I’m not complaining, but I’m on our local school board, and the district cancelled classes today based on the forecast. It made sense to do so, and the wind will make it feel like -25 F (-32C) by the time school would have dismissed this afternoon. So it still makes sense. But that won’t stop the complaining of some parents, who will spout the ‘In MY day…yadda, yadda’ schtick. But then, if school had NOT been cancelled, other parents would have complained. In my view, they would have been correct.

    Oggie: Mathom, #8: That description of forecasting from the meteorologist is fascinating. It jibes with what my own experience has hinted at, but I didn’t know it was that bad.

    Still, I think another factor in failing forecasting has been the seeming need for looking for the most dramatic way to present things on the local news. If we’re forecasted to get 4-7 inches, we’ll hear far more about the 7 than the 4, in very emotional language and expression. I agree with Tethys #31: this is winter. I lived in Minnesota for most of my life — including four years in Morris back in the 80s — and this is how things are supposed to be. Unfortunately, every year too many doofusses, even many who’ve spent their whole lives here, do stupid things when weather like this arrives. So dire warnings are warranted.

  34. StevoR says

    @23. shermanj : “Wasn’t it Heinlein that said, “climate is what you expect, weather is what you get”

    Umm, well, :

    Mark Twain? Robert Heinlein? A Schoolchild? Caroline B. Le Row? Andrew John Herbertson? Anonymous?

    Dear Quote Investigator: I am preparing a book about the weather and climate, and I would like to include the following quotation:

    The climate is what you expect; the weather is what you get.

    Several web sites attribute this remark to Mark Twain, but a source is never given. The only precise citation I could find was to a 1973 novel by the prominent science fiction writer Robert Heinlein. Can you help me with this question?

    Quote Investigator: Heinlein did include a version of this aphorism in his 1973 novel “Time Enough for Love” as you note.

    In essence, yup. Seems so. Kinda. Except also .. thanks “..Andrew John Herbertson, a British geographer and Professor at Oxford.” FWIW.

  35. StevoR says

    @8. Oggie: Mathom : Fair enough and respect. Yeah, I know its a really tough science to calculate & one where chaos theory really takes hold. It’s just annoying still but ..yeah. I get it.

    Also 90’s …?! Ah 30’s yeah.

    Makes sense and bloody hot in our vernacular. Altho’ these days relatively speaking.. ..
    ( ) Mind you with the triple La Nina we’ve had last three Summers I’m now very un-acclimatised. ( )

  36. brightmoon says

    We’re getting a bad rainstorm followed by a hard subzero freeze . NYC traffic is already hell . What’s worse than hell?

  37. Akira MacKenzie says

    Library is closing early even though only 1-2 inches is expected! Damn! I wish I had $6000 to drop on a Glowforge.

  38. birgerjohansson says

    And crap like this is why you should move to some place where climate is dominated by the Gulf Stream. Norway has ice-free ports north of the Arctic circle.
    (And free healthcare/free university education/a voting system that is not a bad joke/paid parental leave … you get my point)

    But it could be worse. You could be living in North or South Dakota. Why the hell did your ancestors steal those places from the indians? You should pay the indians to take them back… if the indians are masochists.

  39. billseymour says

    Noon central time (UTC-6:00):  where I live in southern St. Louis County, flakes are falling and have mostly covered my driveway with a thin layer of snow, but nothing is sticking in the alley yet.  From weather radar, it looks like we’re in for a heavier batch of snow in maybe ten or fifteen minutes; but the worst of it seems to be passing us to the south.

    In any event, I’m hunkered down until Saturday afternoon at least, mostly because St. Louis drivers are surprised by slippery roads every year. 8-)

  40. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Started snowing at 12:30 ct here in Lake County., IL The band of snow on radar is heavy from St. Louis north to Milwaukee. Good thing I stocked up on produce and beverages yesterday. Chicago’s evening rush hour could be a real disaster

  41. magistramarla says

    billseymour @48
    I grew up in the St. Louis area in the ’60s and ’70s.
    At that time, the snow removal crews were quick and efficient, and it seemed that most people knew how to drive in snow.
    The only dangerous time was the annual ice storm, which often maliciously hit on New Year’s Eve.
    As a teen girl, I made good money babysitting every year, since the parents would pay me extra to stay the night with the kids while they hunkered down at their party location.
    While students at SLU, my friends and I would take trays from the cafeteria to sled down the hill near the art museum in Forest Park. Good times, but I’m glad that I now live on the California Central coast!

  42. magistramarla says

    I heard from my daughter in Denver this morning. The temperature dropped from 42 F to 5 F in less than an hour yesterday.
    It was -22 F overnight. She’s a newlywed, so they are successfully keeping each other warm :)
    Their dogs, however, are finding it very difficult to go outside to do their business.

  43. Paul K says

    SC (Salty Current) #45: In the Little House book The Long Winter, it amazed me to read that, according to Laura Engels Wilder, the people living in the tiny town of DeSmet, SD, would all have starved to death if it weren’t for the Engels brothers’ seed corn. She ends up married to one of those guys (not just in the books, either), even though to get that seed corn out to everyone, her Pa had to trick the brothers, who had the seed hidden in their home. The book presents it as perfectly okay that the brothers were willing to let people die in order to save this seed for planting. No judgment; I mean, it was theirs.

    Laura’s daughter, Rose, was one of the founders of the Libertarian party.

    birgerjohansson #47: Gold was found in the Black Hills of South Dakota. That’s why Custer was out there; to ‘protect’ the illegal immigrants who crossed onto Native lands to steal it. The Dakotas were organized as one Territory, but were admitted as two states (along with also almost equally empty [of white people] Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho) to stack the US Senate with one party. I don’t remember where, but I’ve read that, according to at least one historian’s view, politics were the driving force behind the Indian ‘wars’. Get the military out there, even though there is no real reason for them — in fact, it went against signed treaties to have them there — get the fighting into the news, and also get more settlers out there who need protecting, so that more military can be sent to protect them. Once the fighting and the settlers make it clear that this is now American land, create more states so that the unfair advantage of having two senators for each state can be extended to give power to a party that represents the interests of a very group of powerful miners and ranchers, as well as other ‘rugged individualists’ who settled out there using the 1862 Homestead Act. We’re still living with the results over 130 years later.

    I say this as someone whose mother is from western North Dakota, born on a farm that could not exist without this history. A farm that should never have been farmed on because when the original settlers arrived in the area, the ground could not support crops: alkali soil and very little rain. So, again, in comes the US government to dam the Missouri river, to provide irrigation water. A huge expense, but many of the folks out there are still rugged individualists depending on their own wits and hard work who vote for Trump and other Republicans who hate ‘the government’. I’m sure lots of them do and always have worked hard, but the ignorance and hypocrisy make me sick.

  44. billseymour says

    14:00−6:00:  there are still some flakes falling down, but that seems to be just about the end of it.  There’s heavier stuff still on the way, but it’ll pass us to the south.  I doubt that we got more than about a quarter of an inch of snow.

    The only danger remaining is the possiblity of losing power due to strong winds tomorrow.  We’ll see…

    magistramarla @50:  I lived in Creve Coeur in the ‘50s and ‘60s.  Yeah, it was different before the “government is the problem” folks made government a problem by governing. 8-)

  45. whheydt says

    According to the BBC, the forecast includes wind chill temperatures to -70’F and winds to 50 mph.

    Here at the north end of San Francisco Bay, things are warming up. By early next week the highs will start going over 60’F with lows above 50’F.

    Since today was the last school before the Winter Break, I don’t have to get up early for the next two weeks to get my grandson off to school. I plan to sleep in. At the end of the two weeks, I’ll be going to the (SCA) West Kingdom 12th Night Coronation. In a hotel. (No we don’t try to camp out in early January.)

  46. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It looks like the snow is almost over here. About 1.5″ on the ground and another inch predicted overnight. The temperature will be below zero in an hour or so. It looks like eastern Michigan is in for a bad time. It’s raining now and is predicted to turn to snow about midnight, then continue dropping into later Friday. Could end up being a bad ice storm with the downed power lines, etc.

  47. Ed Peters says

    Hey! That cold stuff made it down to Dallas – it’s 12 degrees now. For us that is brrrr. The wife and I decided to cover some plants for once. I’m just hoping to save the peppers. Amazing that the spiders and insects survive at all. The neighbor’s palm tree didn’t appreciate the extreme cold the last time. It finally sent up some new fronds this year, and now this. Still, no multi-hour power outages so far. We’ll know it’s bad when Ted Cruz heads out to Mexico.

  48. Matthew Currie says

    They got it right here in Vermont. High winds all day, and a temperature that would drop precipitously at 4PM on Friday. It was 54 at midday, and at almost exactly 4 the temp dropped below freezing, continuing until it hit the single digits by night. The power had gone off Friday morning, and (unusually) so had the landline phone and internet. We got both back late this morning.

    In any case, I was surprised at how accurate the forecast was this time. No big problem here, as we have a generator and just ran on aux power for the duration, with wood stove at night to keep the house warm while the generator slept. Loss of internet was the surprise. The outage was quite extensive, with even some sizeable towns powerless, and even yesterday when I went shopping in Middlebury, half the town was dark. One big supermarket had all empty coolers, and was running on generator for checkouts. I don’t know if they had some better lockers to put stuff in or how much they lost, but my guess is a lot. The forecast for restoration of our power was moved back by 24 hours, as crews kept encountering new obstacles.

    Various warming shelters were opened in towns in the vicinity, and I think for the most part the homeless were spared, but we won’t know for sure for a while, because we don’t get a paper until Tuesday.

    But anyway, I hope others were well prepared for this. I have a stepson in North Dakota, and suspect he’s got a nasty load of snow, but probably has power, since he’s in Bismarck. And we have relatives near Houston, who are not likely all that ready for this kind of emergency, though at least one is a pool repairman, so when all the pumps freeze he gets plenty of work.

    But we’re pretty used to it, and except that the generator bogs a little when you run the water heater, and we had to forego reading the spam for a couple of days, we hardly knew it was happening. I got habituated to having a generator long ago, because my place is the last house on the last branch of a line, and thus the last to get power back. Its better these days, but owing to the location of a long-gone hydro generator in a nearby valley, our line went through the valley to a swamp, and ours was last on that one. They’d think the power was back on, and I’d have to call to say, “no, not here,” and eventually a crew, usually new to the area, would come by, consulting a map, and eventually get out their boots and flashlights, to go replace “the fuse in the swamp.” I think our power-out record is five days. So, generator!