Friday, October 06, 2006

Memories of Cold

Hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, drought, rain so heavy you can't see the hood of your car, multiple feet of snow, and more...

I've experienced a lot of weather phenomena. When I moved to North Carolina after high school, my love of weather was heightened because it's so different from Utah. One winter we were hit by a Noreaster, which dumped 2 feet of snow on the Triangle area in a very short period of time. That part of the country becomes paralyzed in snow. Everything shuts down. Roads stay slick and treacherous for days. When the threat of snow is forecasted, grocery stores get a mad rush of pour poor souls buying bread, milk, beer, peanut butter and other essentials. I used to think it was ludicrous, but soon realized that I better do the same, or I would be hurting in the aftermath.

Freezing Rain is a weather occurance that both fascinates me and scares me. I had never experienced it before moving to North Carolina. Freezing rain is rain that freezes right before impact. It creates the most spectacular sites! Power lines become draping valances. Trees bend under the weight of ice. Roads glisten in the sunlight. The world is a frozen, crystal canvas...

Beautiful though it is, the ice creates BIG problems. Transformers blow, power lines snap in two, and trees fall. Driving on a sheet of ice is one of the hardest things I've ever done. And it's cold!!! When the power goes out (as it most likely will) the temperature in the house drops fast. Firewood is a must-have. It was during a freezing rain storm that we would have family campouts around our fireplace. None of us were very warm, but it was an adventure!

Lesson I learned from living in NC: Mother Nature must be respected. This world is a curious and wonderful playground!

13 comments:

Rebecca said...

I don't think I've ever experienced freezing rain. Definitely no hurricanes or tornadoes or blizzards. I've been in a lot of earthquakes, though. So WHAT if it's not weather? What's your POINT? I've now run the same load of laundry through the washer THREE TIMES. The stupid detergent got all clumpy and wouldn't wash off. It's REALLY cut into my horrible shopping time, so now I'm going to have to shop AND be rushed, so it's going to suck even more. Blah.

Sideon said...

I experienced freezing rain in Oklahoma some years back. I missed the F5 ("Gotta go, we've got cows!" - cf Twister) tornados by a week.

Freezing rain. It was a winter wonderland. Beautiful, yet deadly. I had to drive from the hotel to the consulting site which was 1 mile away. It took me 15 minutes to get through the two inches of ice that encased the car. Two inches of ice! It was an auto-popcicle! I'm used to winter/snow driving, but not ice. It took 20 minutes to go 1 mile on a barren road. I should have stayed at the hotel reading erotica - when I got to the site, it was closed because of the weather. *sigh* Consultants don't rank when it comes to notification.

Arizona Expositor said...

"Pour" souls I like the play on that word, good choice. I got caught in the Noreaster of 1993 in March. We were driving from Wisconsin to Panama City for Spring Break, and got socked by that storm. I remember drinking beer and playing football on I-65 in Birmingham, Alabama. It was just like you described everything stayed closed for days, but we were lucky and were able to get through.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

This is a cool image you leave. Did you take the photo with power lines draped in ice? Awesome power, Mother Nature...another evidence that God lives? Or not?

La said...

For some, I suppose it is. For myself it's evidence that there are different temperatures around the earth, depending on the energy per unit an area receives from the sun.

Also that different areas of this planet reflect and absorb solar radiation depending on their reflectivity.

In other words: weather happens. :)

Sideon said...

It could be that god (who is an ambisexual hermaphrodite) left little clues of divinity within the the rules of chaos:

such as the individual patterns of snow flakes,

the brilliant flashes of lightning that "clean" the air (cf ozone),

rainbows.

Nature is fabulous, which is magic, which happens.

Christy said...

This post made me want to drink some hot coffee. I'm fascinated with weather! I've never experienced an ice storm, and I think that's one thing that keeps me from living much further east than Utah.

La said...

Christy,

I think this post originated from the fact that I heard about a Noreaster over the east coast today, and it's F-ing cold in my house today. :) I want some hot chocolate and a nice big fire...

Just one of many said...

We are at a balmy 90 degrees here in West Texas...I am so jealous!!

Mom said...

You forgot about the BEER and how it too, has a run at the grocery store. You know even a coating of ice can cause a gridlock around here (NC 2004/5) Took Aleck 8 hours to get home that day. Everyone went home at the same time and couldn't get very far. Some kids even stayed at their schools. Hope there is never a tornado like we had (1989), temp dropped from 75 to low 40's that night. Don't need another Fran/Floyd or any ice storms soon either. Hope we do have some snow though. I like that.
Going to be cold this weekend here as well. Love that too! But 70's and no humidity would be perfect like we have had lately.

Anonymous said...

A curious and wonderful playground INDEED!!

For the most part COLD SUCKS !! Especially if it sticks around for longer than 4 months.

We lived in the upper Midwest for 8 years. We experienced freezing rain on several occasions. We had to spend a couple nights in our basement too because of tornado warnings.

Yes... give me sunshine, a little heat and preferably a body of water and the "playground" atmosphere rises appreciably !!

Have Eric spoon you to keep you warm! ;-)

montchan said...

here, we have those contraptions to put on our shoes to walk on ice. Kinda like them dudes who climb montains. Otherwise walking is impossible. And it's illegal to drive without spikes in your tires between October and April. Which reminds me, gotta change the tires. Hate it, hate it, hate it... Pretty soon everything will be covered with a half meter layer of ice.

But it's unusually warm this time of year, still above zero Celsius. Freakin' unheard of!

Liseysmom said...

I hear ya. I've been living in Maryland most of my life. Noreasters are the most dreaded of all weather for me. I remember being stuck in my crappy apartment for a week in the Winter of 1996 eating nothing but bread and eggs after getting 3 feet of snow.

And then trying to drive home from Virginia while in pre-term labor in the Noreaster of 2003. I'd never seen the Interstate where you can't even find the off-ramps because there is so much snow.

And don't get me started on the hurricanes... Arg.