Snowed in

For the second time in as many months, we’ve received a hearty dose of snow and ice. This time seems to have been much more disruptive, as roads have been shut down completely. Last month ice wasn’t too bad, but this morning even speeds of 10 and 15 MPH were too much for vehicles.  The above shot, borrowed from WVTM’s facebook page, is of Interstate 65, south of Alabama’s capital city.  This is an eerie sight for me, because this stretch of interstate always has plenty of traffic.  Downtown Selma was deserted as well, with only emergency services and a few reporters gingerly venturing out.   The arrival of the snow and ice coincided magnificently with Martin Luther King day to result in a five-day weekend for many people.  I’ve been using the time to read, of course, but I also played through Papers Please and have been trying to remember just how I use to beat missions in Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines.   How much of high school did I spend watching German patrols, figuring out the best way to sneak through or neutralize them? Probably too much. 
While I didn’t stir today, this was my view shortly before Christmas. My grandmother says she can’t remember ever having two snows in one winter — it’s a once every ten years kind of thing this far south.

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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24 Responses to Snowed in

  1. Fred says:

    2018 is certainly starting out to be an interesting year. I wonder what's next in store for us.

  2. Mudpuddle says:

    i think the poles are beginning to drift to the side; so the north pole will end up in France and the other one in China… actually, the magnetic poles have switched polarity numerous times in the geologic past: the evidence is in the alignment of ferrous molecules found in fossils…

  3. CyberKitten says:

    Impressive. Ain't Climate Change grand….? [Not].

  4. Stephen says:

    Well, I'm sure the reality show in DC won't stop amusing/horrifying/fascinating the public!Personally, though, I'll be headed your way in early April — a few months back I arranged for a little sight-seeing in northern AZ. You can probably guess what's up there! 😉

  5. Stephen says:

    Doesn't that sort of drift take a long time to take place, though? As I remember, axial precession takes a thousand years or so. (What you mention is a different phenomenon altogether, but it seems like the scale would be similar.)

  6. Stephen says:

    I miss the late '90s when we blamed El Nino for everything. It was more fun to say, anyway. (Of course, it still gets blamed for things…I just saw an article blaming Hurricane Irma on El Nino being absent. )

  7. Mudpuddle says:

    it's not precession; studies of the fossil record have indicated that it happens quite rapidly… but i don't believe anyone is sure of what effect it has on the earth, if any…

  8. Marian H says:

    That looks miserable for driving… Glad to hear you still have power, and extra time off! We are having a pretty tame winter in western WA, but between now and March, there's still the possibility of a snowstorm. Last year we got something like 12+ inches, which was extremely unusual.

  9. Fred says:

    Stephen, oh yeah–Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Meteor Crater, Painted Desert. . .

  10. Fred says:

    Stephen, right now we are in a La Nina phase which is responsible for our higher temperatures and lower rainfall in the SW.

  11. Stephen says:

    Add in an observatory and you've pretty much got my agenda for that week. 😀

  12. Fred says:

    The Lowell, no doubt. Home of Martian canals.

  13. Stephen says:

    That would be the one!

  14. Stephen says:

    That reminds me that it's been entirely too long since I read anything about the weather, in general. The science podcast I follow is more obsessive about CRISPR and dark matter experiments than earth science.

  15. Stephen says:

    Personally, I don't know how they stand weeks of this in the northeast — constantly having to watch pipes for freezing, having to watch for ice on the road, warming up the car in the bitter cold so it's not driven with everything at 20 degrees, scraping ice and snow off the windshield…at least in the South, our persistent misery of heat and humidity bear no surprises.

  16. CyberKitten says:

    Are you affected by the Government Shutdown? It's all very strange watching what's going on over there from over here….. very strange indeed!

  17. troutbirder says:

    Mmmm. Nice views of snowy Alabama. I bee on 65 with sleet and black ice but never snow like that. I do enjoy you book recommendations and posts. Thanks!

  18. Fred says:

    CyberKitten, so far, no. I'm retired so the only direct effect would be my social security check. All reports say the same thing–those checks will keep coming. There may be indirect effects, but I can't think of any now. Just wait and see. I don't remember any effects on me the last time this happened.

  19. Stephen says:

    Hmmm…well, we haven't gotten the tax forms to distribute to the public, which are being revised to account for the new law — so the purported shut down may interfere with that by making the wait time for forms longer. I say purported shut down because I'm sure the spying and bombing and such will continue apace..we'll just close the national parks and such like last time. The cretins in congress, of course, will pay themselves as usual despite not doing their jobs.

  20. Stephen says:

    @Fred: The NY Times posted a list of what happened last time. It may be a helpful guide for this time around. It indicated SSA payments will proceed normally.

  21. Stephen says:

    I can only claim credit for the second photo, but the scenery does more work than my little camera phone did. 🙂

  22. Sarah says:

    It is strange to be living through. Last time this happened was in 2013 and it last about two weeks. I fear this time it will last much longer, given the myriad of other problems we are currently experiencing.

  23. Sarah says:

    The parks are open, with no staff. I was reading articles about how Joshua Tree is being trashed because people are going in and being ridiculous. Plus with no restrooms/sanitation/trash pick-up…it is so disheartening. All these beautiful places are going to be damaged, some even permanently.I also read that in the shut down the IRS will furlough about 87% of its workforce. Ugh.

  24. Sarah says:

    I'm from Minnesota, so I love all this snow going on – when we actually get any. Except now I live in Nebraska and the winters are a lot milder than what I am used to. The high yesterday was 50, and temps are warmer than normal, but hey, global warming isn't a thing *rolling my eyes so hard, they might actually roll out of my head*

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