Blizzard 2016 Life in a Snow Globe
|The calm before the storm. 1/21/16.|
We survived the great Blizzard of 2016! I think we should get a t-shirt. There were record snowfalls all over the Eastern portion of the United States. And not much for the folks who really wanted it up in New England. Better luck next time, as we would have been happy to share some of ours with you.
The weather folks said we would be getting more than a bit of snow, for over a week, before the first blizzard of 2016 hit. The forecasts stayed pretty consistent with only a few wavers. One of the biggest questions was how much and how big of an area it would cover. I can tell you it did hit Martinsburg, WV!
January 22, 2016
There was a really cool sunrise on Friday. It was quite red and made me think of “Red sky at night, sailors' delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning”. The snow started falling about 1 P.M. on Friday. First it was just flurries, but the flakes grew larger. It was not falling too thick the first day. We had stocked up on supplies to get us through and hunkered down to see what was in store. I was fortunate that the storm coincided with my days off.
The common phrase "Red sky at morning" is a line from an ancient rhyme often repeated by mariners.
“Red sky at night, sailors' delight.
Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.”
Another version replaces sailors with shepherds.
When it is evening, you say, "It will be fair weather; for the sky is red."
And in the morning, "It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening." Matthew 16:2b–3
“This old saying actually has a scientific explanation. It relates to moving high and low surface-pressure weather systems, and the way that the colors in sunlight are scattered differently by dirty and clean atmospheres.” Check out this link for more information.
|Snow flurries begin. 1/22/16.|
|Larger flakes falling. 1/22/16.|
By sunset about 4.5” of snow had stuck to the ground. Not too crazy for the first day, but all the reports were saying the majority of the snow would fall overnight and on Saturday. We did venture out on the third floor deck and out the front, and rear, of our building to see the progress. I did hear that although it can snow at many temperatures, 80% of the snow falls when the temp is between 24 and 32 degrees.
|4.5 inches. 1/22/16.|
January 23, 2016
|Morning shot. 1/23/16.|
|11:00 A.M. 1/23/16.|
Saturday morning found us admiring a good amount of snow on the ground. It had obviously been snowing throughout the night. We watched the updates on television and the Internet as the snowfall grew. The wind had increased and made the area look like we were living in a snow globe. The national news said the storm should clear up for us by midnight. Glad to still have power because there were reports of outages. Also glad to miss the flooding of the eastern coastline areas. As the storm moved north we heard New York City has issued a travel ban. Ticketing and arrests to be made if they caught you out driving. We basically hunkered down, though continued outside checks of deck and building areas throughout the storm. The snow seemed to stop in our area right around 7 P.M. making for about 30 hours of snow. My last check of the snow level read 36”. I measured in four different areas that were undisturbed and averaged out the total. We heard that Glengary, WV was the big winner with 42” of snow! It is about 15 miles west of us. Martinsburg, WV had reports of 30-34” of snow, so my unofficial amount did not seem out of line.
|This was over us for hours and made for heavy snowfall.|
|5:00 P.M. 1/23/16.|
January 24, 2016
The sun came out on Sunday, the skies were blue and the temp climbed to about 35. We headed out late morn to check things out and see how the vehicles looked. The parking lot was a busy place with folks digging cars out. Whodathunk we should've bought a snow shovel. We borrowed one that morn to dig a path for the Jeep so TC could get out. The location that we usually park was in the line of the wind, so the cars in our row were "brushed clean" of snow on the roofs and hoods. That was a wonderful thing to see. The drive area of the lot had been cleared relatively well, but what do you do with three feet of snow?
|This is a tree, not a bush!|
Later that afternoon, Jo headed out for a walk to check out the main drag. Didn't get that far because the plow had blocked the Jeep in again with a pile of snow. So she began clearing with her feet and hands, and a kind gal let her use her shovel to make a dent. When TC came out a bit later, he relieved her shoveling of her car to help her dig out, so that was a good thanks for sharing her shovel. Another gal came down and helped clear some of the bank near the Jeep for easier access. Did I say... what does one do with three feet of snow?! That night was forecast for a low of 2, which froze all that melted stuff, but the next day was to warm up into the mid 30's again. More melting. Oh the adventures. It was great to have the folks around to help each other out to clear the snow. TC was notified that the office was closed due to adverse weather via an automated system. This happened for Sunday and then again for Monday.
|Preliminary totals. Most increased later.|
January 25, 2016
From an note sent out by Jo… “Just popping out to say hello and let you know we are still here!! We were able to get the Jeep and Ranger uncovered and ready to roll over the course of the last two days. We moved them out completely today so the dude in the little Bobcat could get most of the snow out of those two spots, then we re-parked them. I have that three feet of snow in the back of my truck, but between that and the 150 pounds of sand, I should have decent traction for a few weeks. I'm not sure if I gave you our final update... it snowed non-stop for 30 hours and we ended up at about 36 inches. Good grief. That is a foot over Martinsburg's annual average... all in one storm.
We have been able to do our fair share of shoveling snow to help out others in the complex. There are a number of older folks here and today we spent a bit of time getting a few of their cars uncovered and out of the way for Mr. Bobcat. We did a bit of it yesterday also, and man did we sleep good last night!! I imagine we will sleep good tonight as well. We've also enjoyed just standing around chatting with a number of people. Nothing like three feet of snow to make you see everyone in your complex!!
The temp is currently 38, so plenty of melting snow and slush is to be had. Of course, it will freeze tonight, then we have rain in the forecast tomorrow. But the remainder of this week the temp crosses up into the high 30's, low 40's. It may take many moons to get rid of three feet of snow in our median, complex and city, but the warmer temps will help a little.
We hope that the local businesses are able to get back to work tomorrow. Most such places the employees don't get paid if they aren't there. Like at my Arby's where I go for my morning Pepsi. They have been closed three days. In an area that has many people barely making it, three days off is a lot of money for them. What a blessing to be in a position that TC didn't lose three days of pay. I keep thinking of my Arby's and Taco Bell buddies, sigh.”
We spent a great deal of the time watching the Weather Channel and Weather Underground on the television. It was good to be able to see what was happening all over the East and beyond. The best coverage I found for the local area was on Facebook at the WV Eastern Panhandle Weather. Luckily, we had no power issues here.
Snow Totals Map
January 26, 2016
I did go to work on Tuesday. Turns out I had not received an earlier message to “stand-by” for updates. I did receive the message that we were closed again, for possible freezing rain, shortly after I arrived at work. I had plenty of company and we stood around in the office for a few moments comparing storm stories and snow totals. Headed back home for another day. It did give me chance to survey some of the town and see that there is still a lot of snow to be cleared from the streets. The 4WD worked great on the Jeep with no traction issues today.
Here is a series of photos from my cellphone covering the event. Keep an eye on the fence level as it goes along.
|Looking West. 1/23/16.|
|Looking North. 1/23/16.|
|Looking South. 1/23/16.|
|Looking East. 1/24/16.|
Thanks for reading along to the end. Hope you learned something new along the way and enjoyed the photos and our adventure. Please feel free to comment and share.