Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snow Storm Aftermath

IMG_4480:The Days after Snowstorm #3
We are finally completely dug out after two incredible snowstorms. The back to back gigantic storms hit us on Friday into Saturday and Tuesday into Wednesday. Incredibly, 4 of the past seven days have had significant snow totals.

The Chancellor works in the health care industry which I prefer to refer to as "those that work in their pajamas" since "scrubs" are more like PJs then they are to actual work clothes. Ironically "those that work in their pajamas" are the only ones that actually have to get into work on snowy days. No working from home for them.

This of course meant that I had to clean cars at 0'dark thirty two of the four snowy days. I also drove her into work on Tuesday. So on Tuesday during a "blizzard" I drove more than I do on a regular day.

The amateur meteorologist in me isn't happy just having a weather station that records wind and temperature during the storm, I had to have snow measurements too. There is a rain gauge on the weather station but it is frozen over and fills with snow.

So I built something to measure snow. It wasn't much, just a measuring stick with reflective tape but since the first snow storm was at night I figured it had to be lit up, right? So I bought a $10 all weather spot light and lit if from above using a halogen lamp.

Bad move. Basically, the halogen lamp melted the snow all night and left a giant crater around the measuring stick for the first storm.

In the second storm I learned my lesson and used a CFL bulb. Cooler and yet bright. It was still difficult to see at night but flash photography seemed to be the answer. I simple took a flash picture every so often to record where the snow height was. It all worked great until the snow stuck to the measuring stick.

Pictures here. What can I say? I was bored.

I was quite perturbed when the snow rendered the weather station's wind speed device useless too. You can't even see it in the picture below but it is at the peak of the roof on the side closest to the camera. It's covered in snow.
IMG_4452:Snowstorm 3 the Blizzard

Of course this bothered me to no end. I was missing data. How could I be missing data? I resisted the urge to trudge through the waist high snow to fix it all morning long. If I had made my way out there, it would not have been the first time all week. I spent days looking around the house for the electric pencil sharpener only to remember it was out in the shed for some unknown reason. I spent the better part of a day sharpening pencils like Abe Lincoln would have: with a knife until I finally broke down and head out the shed.

I am happy to report the sharpener is safe in the house again.

I also stopped shaving for a few days. In fact in the last week I've probably shave 3 times. I'm thinking that is really how snowstorms should be measured, in beard length. The weather channel should have a map with "light beard growth", "moderate beard growth" and "heavy beard growth" regions. Maybe on Presidents Day snowstorms they could have it by Presidents or candidates "Al Gore length", Abe Lincoln. and Ulysses S Grant length etc.

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