January 13th, 2012


The Weather Is A-Comin'

Well-llll, We Knew This Wouldn't Last

Wednesday the high in Kalamazoo was around 50°F. Gas was $3.44.9/gal in the morning -- and $3.69.9 in the afternoon. What could cause a 25¢ jump in price? Um, maybe the storm coming Thursday night? (evil grin)

Still in the upper 30s, low 40s during much of Thursday. Foggy. Light rain. By the time I was starting to head out, before 5pm, it was snowing in K-zoo. But heading north it was more hazy and raining. Or at least too warm for the snow falling which immediately turned to wet. It wasn't until I'd left I-196 and was on Wilson and M-45, heading west to Allendale, that it began to snow for me.

Tonight the roads were reported to be icy and slippery -- lots of slide offs. There's a diagonal lake effect snow band predicted to run from Grand Haven/Holland down to Kalamazoo, with 6-12" of snow overnight. Now that's not much for some, or even here. But it's the first significant snow of the so-called Spring Semester and I don't think anyone is really ready for it.

Sigh. Should be "fun" driving in the morning.

It Has Begun

Took a picture of our driveway as I came in tonight, an experiment in a three second handheld shot, then processed the hell out of it in Ulead PhotoImpact 5, an ancient program, just to see what I got. Can't really tell that the driveway just is covered and that any tracks that Mrs. Dr. Phil made within the last hour were gone. The falling snow didn't show up at all, not with that long shutter. (grin)

3 seconds, handheld, ISO 200 (Click on photo for more detail.)

I probably should've reset the ISO higher, but on a D1 that generates a lot of noise, and I could've zoomed out to 35mm, but hey, it's interesting. Surprised that sitting in a car with the engine running that it's as "good" as it is. (big grin)

Dr. Phil

About Last Night

The Snow Arrived

It wasn't the largest snowfall we've ever gotten, not by a long shot. And pretty much it looked at 7am like it did at around 2:30am, so it didn't snow ALL night at our house. But it was fluffy and wet -- and a good 6-8" sitting on top of a freezing slushy/ice mix.

Backing out of the garage into the turnaround, I tried not to make too tight a turn, but then had to stop and pull forward and make the turn again. Except I wasn't really going anywhere. This was in 4WD, mind. It took a bit of maneuvering back and forth, but eventually I pulled back uphill onto what would be the concrete pad if it wasn't buried and tried again, this time without too much trouble.

The next hurdle was getting out of the driveway. It looked like the tire tracks from Mrs. Dr. Phil's Bravada stopped at the ridge of plow shit, so I guess she didn't have too much trouble. I had to back up and make a (slow) run at it in order to get out. Took 84th Avenue, rather than go on to 68th -- not quite a mistake, but very lumpy and it hadn't been plowed in a long time, so it was only 1½ lanes wide. Fortunately the big truck coming my way turned before I had to drive into the snowy shoulder and the oncoming school bus was in a section that was nearly 2 lanes wide. No problems.

M-45 into Allendale was very rough and uneven, perhaps 25mph in the country, but in town they'd used a lot more salt. The freeways were in good shape. Yeah, there was a questionable thin glaze of salted water, slush and ice, but between 4WD and a slightly more modest 60mph speed that everyone was comfortable, not too bad.

Eventually I made it to Kalamazoo, which was in fog and snow. Campus parking lot hadn't had extensive plowing, as per usual. But I got here. Yay. Running time was about 2½ hours to drive 67 miles, but that included filling the gas tank and a 20 minute bathroom break in Wayland. Still, the normal run, including such stops, is under 1½ hours.

So is this the new norm for this winter? Or the anomaly? We'll see...

Dr. Phil

The Friday the 13th Snow

Pictures Or It Didn't Happen

I wrote about the first storm of the semester (DW) -- here's some pictures I shot.

Getting Out Of The Driveway

(Click on photo for larger.)

(Click on photo for larger.)

South on M-11 Wilson Avenue

(Click on photo for larger.)

(Click on photo for larger.)

(Click on photo for larger.)

I love the cold gray blue steel colors.

Dr. Phil