Old Man Winter



The weather forecast for this part of Central Virginia looks pretty dire. For the next 24 hours we’re expected to get a little bit of snow and a LOT of rain, with temperatures remaining in the mid to high twenties (i.e. about -3°C) most of the day tomorrow (strictly speaking, later today). Which means a thick layer of ice covering everything, and an almost certain power outage.

I’m posting this just before I go to bed, because I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to post again. If nothing seems to be happening here on Thursday or Friday, and your comments aren’t being moderated, you’ll know why.

UPDATE 10:30am Thursday: There was a little bit of snow and sleet overnight, with a thin layer of ice on top. So far, so good. But rain is still coming down. It’s going to be a long day.

13 thoughts on “Old Man Winter

  1. Good luck, Baron.

    Here in France we had freezing rain last Friday. The seven wind generators in my commune, the nine in the next commune and the five in a nearby commune all were iced-up. Not one of them turned for 60 hours.

    • Where in France? I have a place in Puy de Dome. Not there now, but was there through October. Lots of wind turbines in our area.

    • So I did some minimal research and found something I had not heard of. These turbines operate in much colder temperatures. Even with anti-icing systems, they still need to be shut down while certain weather passes. What is new to me? Have you heard of a windmill trebuchet? Probably not, I just made the term up but apparently it happens. Ice can form and get launched so they have to be shut down under certain conditions.

  2. Hmm. You’re very gentle there in Virginia. In our city -25 … -30 Celsius. Frosts give way to snowfalls, and snowfalls to frosts … In the past years we had a Japanese car, it would not start in such a frost, the current French model assembled in Russia drives without problems.

    • My point wasn’t how cold it is. It’s not very cold, even by Central Virginia standards. I’ve experienced far worse cold in my life, as low as -12°F (-24°C).

      The problem is that the current temperature — a few degrees below freezing — with rain coming steadily down is a dangerous situation. A coating of ice forms on every available surface, and gets thicker and thicker. Branches break off trees, and trees fall onto power lines. I’d much rather have a foot of snow, especially dry snow, which is harmless by comparison.

      I don’t know if you have ice storms in Russia, but they are frequent here in this part of the East Coast, from South Carolina to Maryland, some years more than others.

      The Great Ice Storm of 1994 was the worst of all. I’ve never seen another like it, before or since. It poured down rain for hours that night, with the temperature hovering around 20°F (-7°C). Dymphna and the future Baron and I had to walk in from the road because several trees had fallen and blocked the driveway. The rain was coming down like in a thunderstorm. It froze as soon as it touched the branches and pine needles, but we were wading through a foot-deep (30 cm) river of icy water as we worked our way around the fallen trunks back to the house. We could hear the pine trees snapping in the woods around us; they sounded like muffled firecrackers. It was like the Norse Ragnarøk, a nightmare that we never forgot.

      About seven acres (three hectares) of pine trees fell down in the woods behind our house. It was a wasteland.

      Today is mild by comparison. The rain is steady but fairly light, and there’s no wind. The branches are coated with ice, but it’s not very thick yet.

  3. Got globull warming?
    We got fourteen inches in just over twelve hours Tuesday and a few more inches this morning.
    It was close to whiteout (racist!) conditions this morning and Red State still sent the young skulls full of mush (h/t-El Rushbo) to scruel.
    Some joker photochopped Merkel onto a “MILF” nude and it gave me the belly laugh of the day. Great work by a photoshop adept. Internet high five tradition awareness.

  4. Nashville has been snowed in for many days. temperature has been in the teens. but tomorrow, we will have sun at last and next week we will have fifty degree temperature.

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