Monday, November 22, 2010

A Weather Comparison

Since I have many relatives in the Puget Sound are of Washington State, I like to keep my eyes on their weather.  They tease me about my cold, long winters.  I tease them about being less than stalwart when they get winter weather.

Today's is kind of fun, since both areas are experiencing Winter Weather situations.

From weatherunderground
Puget Sound, WA
... Winter Storm Warning continues until 10 PM PST this evening
for the Seattle... Tacoma... Everett Metro areas including the Hood
Canal area... the Kitsap peninsula and the eastern Puget Sound

The National Weather Service has continued the Winter Storm
Warning for the Seattle... Tacoma... Everett Metro areas including
the Hood Canal area... the Kitsap peninsula and the eastern Puget
Sound lowlands for heavy snow... which is in effect until 10 PM PST
this evening.

* Timing... bands of locally heavy snow will continue across the
area though the evening hours. The snow will end later this
evening from the north... but some drifting of the snow is likely
tonight as northerly winds increase to 20 to 30 mph and gusts to
40 mph.

* Accumulations... expect total accumulations ranging from 2 to 6
inches. Snowfall accumulations will be quite variable around the
area with heaviest amounts occurring closer to the Cascade
foothills and in localized bands around the central Puget Sound

* Wind... expect north winds to increase to 20 to 30 mph with gusts
to 40 mph this evening. The gusty north winds tonight will cause
some blowing and drifting of the snow. The combination of the
strong wind and temperatures falling into the lower 20s will
give wind chill values of 0 to 10 degrees above zero tonight.

* Impact... gusty winds near 40 mph could result in local power
outages... thus consider alternate... but safe... sources of
heat in case this occurs. Otherwise make sure you have
plenty of extra warm clothing or blankets.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A winter storm warnings means severe winter weather is occurring
or imminent. Those planning travel in the warned area should be
prepared for hazardous... winter driving conditions and plan
Oklee, MN
Statement as of 9:13 PM CST on November 22, 2010

... Winter Storm Watch remains in effect from Wednesday morning
through Thursday afternoon...
... Winter Weather Advisory has expired...

The Winter Weather Advisory is no longer in effect. A Winter
Storm Watch remains in effect from Wednesday morning through
Thursday afternoon.

* Light snow and flurries will continue through midnight... with no
significant additional accumulation expected.

* Another storm system moving in for Wednesday and Thursday will
bringing another round of snow and possibly strong winds.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A Winter Storm Watch means there is a potential for significant
snow... sleet... or ice accumulations that may impact travel.
Continue to monitor the latest forecasts.
 I didn't catch our  local Winter Weather Advisory before it expired.  So unfortunately, I can't share that exact wording.  But we have at least 5 inches now.  Some nearby areas already have 8-12 inches.  Blowing and drifting.  Many places drifting up to a foot or more above the regular accumulations.

We have only a 10-20 mph wind; fairly calm for us.  The Puget Sound area wind is surprisingly much worse.

They are supposed to get two to six inches.  That's a pretty impressive snowfall for that area. 

Schools let out in Seattle late in the day.  Tomorrow is canceled for them, I understand.  My kids got off the bus a bit later than usual.  Maybe 15 minutes late tonight.  Our bus driver is optimistic about tomorrow morning.  My kids are the first on the bus, so she will be coming a mere five minutes early.

My kids hardly ever get snow days.  When I was growing up in the Puget Sound area, I can remember snow days, sitting in the little three or four inches of snow, rapidly making whatever sculptures we could manage, as the snow quickly melted away by late afternoon

There was one time we had enough, and it stuck around for long enough, that we had a snow fort at school.  One time.

I am quite amazed thinking back on it.  We didn't own snow pants.  I don't think anyone did.  There was one boy in our school who wore facemasks. I don't think most of us even had stocking caps.  I remember one time I made a chair out of snow.  I sat there for quite awhile.  Imagine...body heat, wet snow, jeans...I really don't know why I would do that.  I must have been sopping wet.

Now I am raising my kids in a much more frigid clime.   Lots of snow; not much melting.  Lots of cold, cold days. 

I spent many of my young adult years in southern Minnesota and Wisconsin.  We had lots of snow, but most of it melted or sublimated now and then during the winter.  The drifts and snow plow hills would stay the same all winter, but the regular stuff would disappear and then get covered anew several times a winter.

Here, well, here I think we actually get less snow than southern Minnesota or Wisconsin.  I could check on the exact statistics, I suppose, but I am just giving it a guess.  But the snow we do get here builds up all winter.  None of this melting and re-snowing business.  When everything finally does melt in the spring it actually leaves a mold sitting on the ground.  They call it snow mold and many people suffer terribly from allergies on account of it.

So this evening the ground is covered.  It will likely remain so until about mid April.  My kids will get very few snow days.  But they will bundle up in snowpants and coats, and gloves (sometimes doubled) and facemasks, sometimes with a second stocking cap on top, and scarves, too.  They will be strong and hearty and they will make good Norwegian Minnesotans.

I will stay huddled inside and send them to feed the cats and take out the garbage and get the mail.  I will walk briskly across the yard to church once a week.  And I will occasionally get to town to go to the library or to get groceries.  I just don't have that proper Norwegian Minnesotan blood.

And I will hypocritically tease my siblings and their families about being wimps.

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