Monday, February 3, 2014

Icepocalypse 2014

This winter has been one of extremes.  Here in Atlanta we've had highs of 70+ degrees and highs of 16 degrees. Topping of this winter (hopefully) was the two inches of snow that brought Atlanta to a halt.

There is a saying, "it's not heat, it's the humidity".  Living in Atlanta, I can vouch for this saying.  In the same vein, "it's not the snow, it's the ice".

I grew up in northern Indiana.  A place that expects and knows how to deal with snow.  I understand how people in northern states look down on us living in the south when we "overreact" to even the slightest snow buildup.  While I cannot deny that the Atlanta area could do a better job dealing with winter weather, there are some good reasons we don't:

  • It only happens once every other year. (Though climate change may fix that for us.)
  • Buying and maintaining specialized equipment is expensive, given how infrequently it is used.
  • Who doesn't want a day off?

But, more than that, is the ice.  For whatever geographic / weather reasons any true winter precipitation results in at least some icing on the roads.  Sometimes a lot.  Last week's snow left both streets in my neighborhood plus the main road iced completely over for a day and a half.  The ice did not completely go until several days later.

It is the ice, even risk of ice, that shuts Atlanta down.  For good reasons, mind you, driving on ice is truly dangerous.  Normally, Atlanta shuts down early, just in case.  This time was different.  Schools met in the morning, as normal.  People went to work, as normal.  Then, all at once, every school system announced they were closing early.  Parents had less than a half hour notice that their kids would be at their doorsteps waiting, whether the parents were there or not.

So, in the space of half an hour, the entire city of Atlanta and the 13 county metro area got in their cars and headed home.  On ice.  With poor visibility.  Disaster.

On a nicer note, here is a picture of my dogs frolicking in the snow.

Bonus Track:

I have a friend who is a photographer.

Actually, I have several friends who are photographers.  Once couple, both with cameras, just had a baby.  My Facebook feed runneth over with cute baby pictures.  But I digress.

My friend Jason Bechtel, an excellent photographer, recently went to Jackson, WY.  He took many great pictures of winter wonder.  It reminded me of the trip my family took a few years ago.  Jackson in the winter is a place you should visit.

Jason blogged a bunch of pictures at his tumbler.  Go have a look.


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