Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Whacked Again

This winter has to be among the worst in my memory when it comes to zero temps and snowfall amounts.

In Chicago they refer to the blizzard of ’67 as “The Big Snow”. It was a widespread storm that dropped 26” (a record that still stands) and crippled the city. I was an 8th grade student at a Catholic elementary school during that event and the schools were closed for two weeks.

Last night here in Valpo we had 18” of lake effect snow overnight and today 3” more fell for a total of 21”. It started out blowing and when I retired for the night there looked to be about 6” or so, depending on the drifting. When I awoke things had changed. The front end of my snow blower is 18” tall and the snow was higher than the opening. It took three hours to clear the driveway.

During a lake effect snow a narrow band about twenty miles wide comes off the lake driven by cold north winds. It can cause zero visibilities and snowfall of up to 3” per hour. To the east or west there may be no snow at all. Freaky.

This weekend temperatures are predicted to be near 50 degrees. The real mess is sure to follow.


Carl from Chicago said...

I was thinking about you because we were supposed to get snow here in Chicago and it missed us entirely and they said that you got creamed down there.

How does your new car drive in the snow?

Dan from Madison said...

Man I feel for you. We set the record for snow ALL TIME last year up here and the snow removal gets exhausting.

T of C.P., IN said...

From here in Crown Point, where we only had a dusting, I could see the bands of lake effect to the east and knew you were getting it, but wow, that was a real dump! Also, when watching the real time radar you can see how lake moisture gets lifted up before getting dumped on you. Maybe with gorebal warming the forces that cause lake effect will become soo strong that we'll hear a forcast like - "Valpo could get 24" today, 14" of which will be in the form of jumbo perch". Fire up the fryer!

Gerry from Valpo said...

The MX5 is like all rear wheel drive roadsters. They are useless with snow on the roads. I have a 4WD Ford Exploder for that.

I never intended to drive it in the slop. But this year it's been slop since Nov 10.

Dan from Madison said...

This might sound stupid, but it is an honest question. Is there such a thing as lake effect rain?

Gerry from Valpo said...

Not a stupid question at all. Lake effect rain can happen in the spring and fall and it is usually insignificant.