Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Weather Outside is Frightful. The end.

So it snowed on Saturday.

At first we were all excited. Yay snow! We watched it fall, we went outside to take pictures.

Oliver woke up in the morning and wanted to go run around in the snow! And throw snowballs! And make snowmen!

I decided to drive to the store to get coffee and provisions. I was in the car for fifteen minutes, and my front tires went about three inches. My back tires slid six feet, jutting the car right out into the road.

Then I spent twenty minutes trying to maneuver the car back over to the side of the road so it wouldn't get hit. Once it was safely on the curb, I walked to the store while Mrs. B and Oliver played in the snow.

This is what the entrance to the local supermarket looked like on Sunday.

Here's what happened. It snowed, it melted a bit, and then everything froze. Now, this is Seattle, so what usually happens is that it snows and then everything melts. Or it snows, and then it rains. Or it snows and then stops fifteen minutes later. This time, it seriously froze. It is 28ยบ outside right now, and they're predicting freezing temperatures for the next two weeks.

So all the snow has turned into ice, and all of the side streets are frozen over. And that's where we get into trouble. You see, Seattle doesn't get snow so we're not exactly stocked up for it. Seattle has 44 trucks with snowplows and sanders for a city of nearly 600,000. So they've plowed and sanded the main roads, and they're trying to get to the side streets when they can. But right now, most of the side streets are beautiful glistening sheets of deadly ice.

We're a city of hills, which is also compounding the problem. We live on a small hill ourselves, and right now that hill is a death trap. Mrs. B and I both drove into work, but it was an ordeal getting both cars out of our driveway and onto the roads. I tried to drive up the hill, toward the main road, and it was almost laughable - I spun my tires, slid, skidded, and finally turned around and careened down the icy hill toward the paved cross street, hoping that I hit pavement instead of a patch of ice when I made my turn. Then I did the same thing for Mrs. B's car. It was a bit of a frightening ordeal.

Don't get me wrong - I've driven in snow before. I used to live and drive in Colorado and western Massachusetts. So snow doesn't scare me. But it's the combination of a) the hills, b) the lack of plows and sanders, and c) the crazy Seattle drivers that have me spooked. Driving on flat plowed roads is a whole different experience than driving on hilly icy streets.

It's going to snow again tonight. It might snow again next week. One local station said that we might see temperatures below freezing through the end of the year! For Seattle, this is culture shock. We're barely used to snow. Freezing temperatures are absolutely stunning. The news stations had to tell people to do things like unplug their garden hoses and cover their outside faucets so their pipes wouldn't freeze. It's fair to say that our city is in shock right now. And it's not going to get better anytime soon.


old man neill said...

admit it, you're having fun. :)

Sky Bluesky said...

A wee bit, sure.

But now it's 25 degrees and the wind is howling and I'm bracing to lose power any minute. Winter weather is fun when it's not being dangerous. right now it's a bit too dangerous for my tastes.