By the time I left work on Monday, I took my coat off as I loaded up the Blazer and it was pleasant. 47°F. I'll try to remember in August if it is 47°F in the morning that I called it pleasant. (grin) Left early enough to drive up to Chevy for a much overdue oil change. Had to wait for a while, as the vehicles ahead of me were taking advantage of a tire rotation special. Just before I pulled in, the first rain drops appeared.
Rained all night. We knew the temp was going to drop and the snows come and it would be icy in the morning. But the driveway was almost clear by midnight.
Drop By Twenty
Checked the weather and road reports at 6:10am, not great but not too terrible. Twenty minutes later, though, and everything had deteriorated. Freezing conditions, Allendale was down to 26°F and the snows had just started. By 7am they've given up reporting all the accidents, "slideoffs too numerous to give". It's a combination of ice and the gusting winds up to 45mph. The '96 Blazer may have 4WD, but it has a high enough profile that it is subject to getting blown around. I can't cancel classes on my own anymore, but the department found people to cover and hopefully do some useful problems for my students.
In previous years, I used to take pride in the fact that if I canceled classes, the university -- which never closes -- eventually closed, too. Twice I got to work to find the place had closed, once at WMU and once at Hope College. This year, the ice over such a long commute has made me cautious, though I have driven through a lot of terrible stuff this semester. If I'm not comfortable starting out, you know it sucks big time.
Mlive.com reported from this morning: "Came in to GR from Holland. Freezing rain and high winds. A normal 42 minute drive to work took an hour and a half this morning. Average speed this morning = 21 mph." Doesn't sound too bad until you consider my commute runs over seventy miles each way and goes through a series of choke points that are traditional skating rinks and accident magnets. When it gets up to 2½ to 3 hours AND you have to worry about every other driver and truck sliding into you, blown sideways by the wind, you have to rethink this driving thing.
Here in Allendale it's been snowing horizontally all day.
Naturally at 1pm when I broke out the D1 and the 70-300mm the snow lightened -- with enhancement you can almost see the distant tree line. Not now. We're just short of a white out at 2pm. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)
Speaking of places that "never close"...
Michigan Tech Closed at NoonDr. Phil
Michigan Technological University is closed at noon today, Tuesday, February 19, due to severe weather. Classes will not be held. Only personnel responsible for essential safety, building, grounds, and residential operations should report for work. The Career Fair in the Student Development Complex will remain open until 6 o'clock this evening.
UPDATE: That is Michigan on the right... all of it.
Satellite view. (Click on photo for larger.)
UPDATE2: And another country heard from:
All GVSU classes and activities cancelled at 4 p.m.