Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Snowy Adventures



     What's up with the weather?  Last month  Marched into May and now it really is February.  Snowstorm and all.  It began Sunday night, softly and quietly.  By Monday morning we had a few inches, and by yesterday morning we had ten with maybe more to come.  But no blizzard, I thought...I'm not hearing about wind problems.
     I monitored the snowfall and weather reports throughout the day because I had an orchestral rehearsal in  Racine Monday night, about a 30-35 minute drive for me normally.  Racine is on the Lake Michigan coast, and I live father inland, southwest of Milwaukee.  Reports forecast a lot of snow by late afternoon, and lake effect snow would kick in during the evening.  It would be in progress when I returned home.  In fact, the lake effect would continue Tuesday morning, the final accumulation anywhere from 8 to 12 inches (or something like that, depending on which report). And that morning I also had two concerts for 5th graders in Racine.       Wow, I thought--this is crazy.  Snows like this are expected where I live, but this winter has been odd in that the only big snow we had was in November.  And that was only eight inches; we usually have at least one blizzard with ten or more.   We've had  mild weather for a few years, and many people are out of practice when it comes to dealing with it.
     My worry self began to kick in.  We have armies of snowplows, but they are limited with what they can do in the middle of the storm. And there would be crazy drivers on the road.  No freeways for me, I thought; I'll be nervous enough without having to deal with them. There had already been a couple accidents which shut down parts of the freeways.
     And what's with all the lake effect snow?  And those weathermen "fib" alot.  Are they exaggerating again to keep us safe (or for fear of being sued or something else?).  What's up?  Ah, it was explained; the lake effect was going to be enhanced because there is no ice on Lake Michigan due to the very mild February.
     Enhanced.  What a polite, educated sounding word to describe an increase in lake effect snow.  It almost sounds nice.  Will the flakes sparkle more?  Will they be bigger?  Will they multiply on the way down?  Will they speak?  Will they have intelligence?!  Why can't they say " Whatch out if you live near the lake; you might get dumped on by lots more snow with wind attached."  I think that's what they mean!  And "mean" is appropriate.  As someone commented on Facebook, Mother Nature is in menopause and had a hot flash last month.  Now she's feeling like her old self and SO happy to cool off...and how about some breezes?!  That sounds good, too.  Enhanced???!!!  I think not.  You know, it's kind of hard to sugar coat snow.
     My trip began.  I allowed myself an extra hour. There had been lots of snow where I live, maybe eight inches already.  Fortunately there was hardly any wind, so the plows were doing a good job.  I think they all had a bad case of cabin fever from lack of getting out, and they were really busy.  But what would I meet in Racine?  Oh, those lake effect reports!
     Traveling was slow in Milwaukee. After I turned south  the snow continued until a few miles northwest of Racine.  Then the miracle.  The faucet suddenly turned off.  Ahead of me was a clear black road.  What?!  It continued for awhile and then was just wet with a quarter to half inch of snow.  All the way to rehearsal.  Ha!  This is a brilliant idea, Mother Nature!   Such a pleasant surprise. I was so early I cruised the area for fun.  Is this really happening, I thought?  Oh, those weathermen!!  Now this was truly an enhanced experience.
     I didn't worry much the following morning.  Milwaukee never got much more snow, and it was quiet except for some breezes that had kicked in.  We had a total of ten inches at home, with little drifting.  Traffic was moving along nicely when I left.  It was slower going when I headed south through the county as snow began falling.  The closer I got to Racine, the heavier the snow came down. What's with this?  Those weathermen!!!   By the time I got to the concert I was crawling because of reduced visibility; I had trouble finding the place.  Aaaaaaaaaahhh!!  The weather reports showed that the wind had shifted overnight and the lake effect snow was going south over the lake.  But apparently Mother Nature changed her mind and began fanning the Racine area sometime after 6 AM.   Oh was kind of crazy.  Buses were late, some schools cancelled, and so it went for the first concert.
     By mid morning the wind and snow had ceased.  When I left the sun was shining in a beautiful blue sky.  I waded through deep snow to get to my car, and then had to clean off a ton of it.  I think there were 8-10 inches of wet stuff on my hood.  All that in just a few hours; gives fresh meaning to the word "dump".  When I finally reached the road (after chaos getting there) it was clear.  Really?! What insanity.  Maybe Mother Nature is also bipolar.   Oh, I suppose it's all because the plows were ready for work after our snow drought.  And man, did they make up for lost time.  I had so much fun driving fast again!  Stella, my car, was so happy (she handled this entire experience very well....).
     Well, what can I add... how about the weathermen being honest and saying "We really don't know what's going to happen!  But just in are the possibilites."  And that word enhancement..............enough already.
     I just found this story on the snowfall in Racine...whoa!


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In addition to being a violist, I am a wife and mother (three sons). I dabble in writing, handwork, sewing and photography.