February 3, 2011

Snowpocalypse

So, the Great Whiteout of 2011 touched on the desert.

I'm really bummed that I'm missing the major snowfall back home. When we found out we were moving to the desert, I totally forgot that that would mean missing out on snow. Granted, it's not like I'm used to White Christmases or anything. That's almost unheard of in Oklahoma. (Or, it's rare.) But I got a little mopey when it was a pretty consistent 60-70 degrees here in January.

And lo and behold, we get the tail-end of the Snowmageddon so I don't have to feel left out.

Here's the thing: I know people from the great white north tend to snicker at those of us from southerly states because we freak out a little whenever we start to get flurries. At my home church a few years ago, we got a new pastor who had just spent several years in Nebraska - where they definitely get more snow than we do. And like most every other migrant to the south, he had some good fun with our doomsday preparations upon prediction of less than a foot of snow.

He learned.

See, it's not the snow. Well, it's the snow, but not how you'd think. The thing is, as with this Blizztinction, the weather doesn't change gradually from cool fall to cold winter to below freezing. It pretty much drops from 70 to 20 degrees in less than twelve hours. Which not only is a little jarring, but doesn't allow the earth enough time to cool off in proportion to the air.

So when the snow falls, it hits the warm ground and melts. But the air is still below freezing, so that freshly-melted snow then freezes. And if some people are - ahem - adventurous enough to get out, they usually wind up packing down whatever snow has fallen and piled up on the roads, thus speeding up the melting and freezing process.

Which is why we tend to freak out when a sudden snowfall hits. It can turn ugly really quick out there. Not to mention, it only happens every couple of years, and nearly ALWAYS over Christmas Break, so we never really get snow days. :(

However, this week we got a snow day. The snow came and at almost midnight they announced Late Opening on post the next day. Then around 0600 they decided to cancel the work day. Which was good, because SoldierMan was sick anyway and needed a day of rest from PT and early mornings. So we decide to head to Walmart and pick up some supplies (coffee and cookie ingredients).

There was barely a dusting. One intersection we came to had a little pressed snow that was slick.

I get it, snow doesn't happen often. The wind made it bitter, biting cold outside. Staying inside and warm is definitely a priority. And I have a very healthy fear of black ice. But really, people. This is what it looked like by the end of Day 1:


And yup, they shut down Post for the next day.

The worst thing, though, happened because some of our soldiers were out in a field exercise and got "caught" in the storm. Whoever is in charge of doing so was very good about putting updates on Facebook and Twitter about them having adequate food and water, even going so far as to post pictures of the soldiers in tents with space heaters. But that wasn't good enough for one Army wife, who called the local news and complained that her husband was being forced to stay out in the cold. Naturally, they went and interviewed her and the soldiers and made a big deal of it. Obviously, with single-digit and sub-zero temps at night, it was no easy field exercise. But talk about embarrassing. This is not the image we need the public to see of either the military (as putting our soldiers in danger for the heck of it) or of military wives (for obvious reasons.) Not a good PR moment for military families.

Anyway, all that to say, as little snow as I got to see this winter, I'm glad I got to see any at all, being here in the desert. Has the Snowpocalypse hit you?

On a side note: doesn't my phone take awesome pictures??? I LOVE my phone! But that's another post. ;)
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10 comments:

  1. ARE YOU SERIOUS about that woman calling the news!?!?! I have nothing nice to say so I'm not going to say anything...

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  2. Wow I was going to comment on the dusting of a snow but then I got to the part about the wife complaining her husband was out "in the cold." He's a soldier!!!!!! Geez! Ryan would kill me if I ever did something like that. I could go on and on but I better stop ; )

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  3. I guess her husband never went to Ranger school in the winter. So embarrassing.

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  4. OMGoodness. Josh would be mortified if I called a freakin' news station.

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  5. I am completely jealous about the snow you did get;) South GA has not gotten any at all...not even a snow flurry!

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  6. Calling the news....wow, that's...wow, I'm speechless.

    And yes, you're phone does take awesome pictures!

    Have a great weekend. :)

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  7. When we were there for my husband's BOLC it snowed the weekend before Thanksgiving. We actually got a lot that time though. almost 6 inches. It was actually the first time I had ever seen real snow since I am from South Georgia. But I find it hilarious that right after I move away from Ga they start getting snow all the time.

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  8. I'm pretty happy to say that I was in the pocket of the east coast that didn't get hit with a TO of snow. We got maybe 2 inches and by the 2nd day it was gone!

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  9. We loved the snow days we got here in NC, Fort Bragg is definitely not equipped to deal with it.

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  10. I am buried in snow. So much snow, I can't believe it will ever melt. So if anyone misses snow, I'm thinking of throwing a 4th of July snowball fight this year.

    I know my husband is currently in a very cold place. AND there's no beer at his unit's Super Bowl party. I'd better call the news and my Congressman.

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