Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The long winter

Durham, NC, 2013-14, ain't got nothing on De Smet, Dakota Territory, 1880-81, but we've had a long winter by local standards. In the fourteen years since we moved to Durham, we've had noteworthy snow or ice maybe once or twice each winter. This year, we've had multiple accumulations of snow, sleet, ice, and "wintry mix"--all occasions of which, in these here parts, enjoy the honorific of "weather event." Whether anything actually accumulates, it's pretty much guaranteed that drivers will freak out, cars will slide into ditches, schools will close, and children will rejoice.

Nothing this year has rivaled the Great Ice Storm of '02, but the yo-yo-ing weather did bless us with about 8 inches of snow back in mid-February. Just as WRAL's Greg Fishel predicted, we went from zero precip to heavy snowfall in a matter of a few minutes, starting, as predicted, at about 1:00pm; despite the advance warning, half of the working adults in the Triangle didn't shift into Snowpocalypse mentality until after it started to snow, leading, predictably, to traffic chaos.


E's school dismissed students early, at 12:15, even though the principal, freshly imported from Vermont this past fall, didn't understand what all the fuss was about. Welcome to North Carolina, Mr. N.

E and I went straight to Costco after school to buy a marine battery, in case the power went out. By the time we got home, we already had an inch of snow on the ground.

The next night, we walked downtown through deserted icy streets to see a movie at the Carolina, where we had the theater pretty much to ourselves.

We've experienced multiple weather events since then, with lovely, warm, wannabe spring days (non-events--good weather doesn't get "event" status) alternating with sleet, ice, and snow. I forgot to take photos during the previous ice storm, but this morning I did take some shots of the melting remnants of last night's freezing rain.

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