Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tucked Away For Winter

Starting around Thursday or so, the weather reports have forecast all kinds of winter weather for Raleigh, with the most likely devastation arriving today. Yesterday we were warned about Friday night rain followed by 1-3" of snow Saturday morning, followed by highs around 30 and lows around 10. This would result in lots of black ice on the roads until the temperatures rise above freezing again, which is forecast to be Monday or Tuesday.

In North Carolina, if winter weather is forecast, the schools close a day early in anticipation and there is a mad rush on the grocery stores for bread and bottled water. Three years ago, in a very poorly planned midday closure of the schools, frantic parents and, well, everyone else, sat in traffic for upwards of 12 hours to go a few miles to get their kids from school or just get home. This was primarily because of panic by the schools and local employers, because the minor snowfall should not have sufficed to wreak that much havoc. In fairness, there was a terrible snowstorm about 8 years ago that knocked out electricity and most options for transportation for over a week, leaving people in hotels with no food because the restaurants had run out or the workers couldn't get to the hotel to prepare it, and that was only forecast to be a couple of inches. Then there was the ice storm about 4 years ago that took down power lines and trees leaving behind $millions in damages and electrical outages for over 2 weeks in some areas (I hesitate to admit that we had power back within 12 hours. Oh, living on the hospital's power grid was so nice). There was also the miserable pair of F-hurricanes (Fran and Floyd) in the 90s made clean water hard to come by for a lot of residents. You can't blame people for taking precautions.

Still, it seems to be a teensy bit reactionary that people just clear the shelves of milk, bread and water and stand in long long lines Heck, even people in Austin were less concerned about forecasts of ice and snow. Well, OK, snow is never forecast in Austin. Ice and sleet.

So back to my story. Yesterday we were low on dishwashing detergent and powdered buttermilk (don't ask), but knew better than to try to hit the grocery store the night before a forecast of 1-3" snow. Instead, we ate breakfast and scuttled out the door at 9:00 this morning to get our groceries (luckily we keep 5 gallons of bottled water in the garage, since the grocery shelves were, in fact, cleared). SNG and I agreed, if we were going to be holed up indoors for 3 days, we'd better make soup and bake some sourdough bread. So chuck is on the counter burbling away with his fresh lunch of flour and water, and I'm hunkered down over a hot bowl of chicken-vegetable soup with wild rice and fresh rosemary. It is still raining, but little chunks of snow have mixed with the rain. It's 35 degrees and I still have my doubts that anything newsworthy will happen. Chuck should be bread-ready in another 2-3 hours and by then perhaps we'll have some pretty snow that I can take a picture of.
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Edited again to add:


PartnerInCrime said...

You know, living close to a hospital wasn't high on my list of priorities for our next house, but I think it is now.
Hope you guys don't lose power, and just get a nice cozy day off.

Cat said...

No power outages. Not even a day off. But e-baby watched her first snowfall ever, which was fun.

Lizard Breath said...

Has E tried a snow ball yet or did you not have enough snow? I doubt Miss C will remember her first snow but I really believe that snowball made an impression! Ah well, at least you had fun with Chuck and some yummy sounding soup!

PartnerInCrime said...

I took c-baby outside when it was snowing here last month. She was... unimpressed, to put it mildly. She didn't cry, but she was not happy either. I think it was the wind blowing it in her eyes that she didn't like.

Cat said...

We never had enough snow to make a snowball, but it was fun to walk around on it and go Crunch Crunch!