The snow has finally arrived

After our brown Xmas and New Year’s Day, we’re finally getting a good slosh of snow, with a prediction of 5 more inches today. Right on time, the administration has sent out an email telling us to “develop a plan” to deal with inclement weather when classes start next week. We get no resources to implement this plan, of course, we’re just on our own on that. Good thing I’ve been dealing with this stuff for 24 years!


  1. says

    The administration email says, “Because UMN Morris is a residential campus, we rarely will close campus in the event of severe weather.” We’re not likely to see any snow emergencies, we just deal with it.

  2. raven says

    Right on time, the administration has sent out an email telling us to “develop a plan” to deal with inclement weather when classes start next week.

    That should be easy.

    .1. Hibernate?
    What are you missing in Minnesota by sleeping until May?
    Ice fishing?
    I did that once as a kid. It was cold and we didn’t catch anything.
    Do people really catch fish through the ice anyway? It looked like even the fish were hibernating.

    .2. Migrate to a place where it doesn’t snow.
    It works for the birds and Monarch butterflies.
    Remote work is a thing. Your students on Zoom won’t even know you are in Arizona.

    Now you know why California has 40 million people.
    A fair number of those are from the upper midwest, including at one time in the distant past, a lot of my relatives.

  3. Akira MacKenzie says

    My portion of Cheeseland got a dusting over the night, but the worst of it isn’t expected until tomorrow.

  4. raven says

    Coming from the coastal area of the west coast, it always amazes me that people in the midwest drive their cars on the ice in the winter. Not everyone, but people who go ice fishing among others.

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources:

    General ice thickness guidelines
    ice thickness guidelines

    The DNR does not measure ice thickness on Minnesota lakes. Your safety is your responsibility. Learn about the different ways to check ice thickness before heading out.

    Temperature, snow cover, currents, springs and rough fish all affect the relative safety of ice. Ice is seldom the same thickness over a single body of water; it can be two feet thick in one place and one inch thick a few yards away.

    Ice thickness guidelines for new, clear ice only.
    UNDER 4″ Stay off
    4″ Ice fishing or other activities on foot
    5″ – 7″ Snowmobile or small ATV
    7” – 8” Side-by-side ATV
    9” – 10” Small car or SUV
    11” -12” Medium SUV or small truck
    13” Medium truck
    16” -17” Heavy-duty truck
    20”+ Heavy-duty truck with wheelhouse shelter
    Our recommendations are based on average equipment weight and assume solid, clear ice. You are responsible for knowing the weight of your vehicle, equipment, and bodies.

    Many factors other than thickness affect ice strength, including air temperature, wind, snow, streams, narrow areas or bottlenecks, sun, shade, fish communities, plant decay, and more. When a layer of snow melts and refreezes on top of lake ice, it creates white ice, only about half as strong as new, clear ice. Double the above thickness guidelines when traveling on white ice.

    FYI only.
    I’ve never driven a car on ice and by now, never will.

    I hope there aren’t a lot of motor vehicles at the bottom of Minnesota lakes.

  5. muttpupdad says

    Some communities place an old heap out on the ice and then take bets when it will fall through, sometime it doesn’t take much to entertain simple people.

  6. birgerjohansson says

    Clearly, the cold that held Scandinavia in a firm grip for a week has found a new home.
    Muttpupdad @ 7
    In Umeå, north Sweden we place a raft on the river in the middle of the town and make bets when it will start drifting downriver.
    In Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods, the clunker (old car) placed on the ice each year turned out to have a sinister side:
    The young people that were assumed to have left town had really been murdered as sacrifices and the bodies hidden in the rear trunks each winter.

    In Umeå we rarely practice human sacrifice unless you count the drunk driving taking a toll as sacrifices to the gods of alcohol.

  7. asclepias says

    We’ve got a skiff of snow here with a lot of cold, and the wind is making it a lot colder! Wyoming is going to be in the low double digits with wind chill temperatures below zero. Also, we’ve got a high wind watch out. Par for the course for January.

  8. birgerjohansson says

    FYI the temperature rose 34 degrees C in a couple of days. We will have even higher temperatures than Stockholm.
    The boreal zone can exhibit really big swings in winter.

    Weird detail: A week ago a bull moose somehow got into an apartment in an elder care facility, and was shot. Not something that happens every year.
    The bears sometimes wake up and take a stroll before returning to hibernation, but they are not viewed as a danger. Cars losing control on icy roads are by far the worst threat of winter.

  9. birgerjohansson says

    BTW the Moominvalley stories are not very accurate descriptions of Scandinavian winters. But I think some neighbors are related to the Groke.

  10. wzrd1 says

    We got around 5″ of snow in Harrisburg, PA region over the weekend. It’s pretty much gone now, with heavy rain coming soon and over the weekend.

  11. jrkrideau says

    @6 raven
    I’ve never driven a car on ice and by now, never will.
    You are missing a lot of fun. When I was a child,my family drove the lake an much an possible. It cut down the trip to town from 30+ minutes to 10. You do need to know your lake and your ice.

    My father told me that when one of the Montréal bridges was being built in the early 20th C. they laid track and ran trains on the ice.