The drive home on Monday was shades of things to come overnight. The usual 80 minutes ran to just under two hours. South of Plainwell/Allegan/M-89, visibility dropped close to zero. I could see the taillights of the SUV in front of me and kept a respectable distance. 4WD, 3rd gear... 2nd... 55mph... 40mph.. 25mph... and that was the fast lane. No one was doing sudden lane changes and everyone had their four-ways on. North of Plainwell you could see walls to the next snowband, with hazy blue sky above.
I had anticipated that Western Michigan University might close, so had posted a warning on my class website on Sunday night:
Yeah, complicating everything is that my third exams are this week. But notice I did plan ahead.
Last night we joked as to which university would blink first -- we are on the automated phone call lists for both WMU and GVSU. Mrs. Dr. Phil had her Kindle Fire HDX, so after the call we could determine WHICH school had closed.
Grand Valley was first, calling at 5:36am. We listened to the machine give its outgoing message... and nothing. Yeah, the automated message ran over the answering machine and hung up without repeating. Clever programming. But the Kindle confirmed:
We could still hear the wind outside and it was snowing horizontally. First traffic reports were grim. Pretty much figured I would stay home and Skype in the lecture.
Western called at 5:47am. Its message overran the answering machine, too, but at least we heard "... closed for Tuesday November 18th." Without repeating. So I got up. By putting up the first message online Sunday night, all I had to do was boot the little Fujitsu UMPC and edit Weather-021.gif and upload it and POOF, five webpages automatically update.
Of course Western didn't get the notice on their web page to confirm that the second call really was about WMU until 5:59am:
And so POOF, five webpages uploaded:
The Official Press Release:
For those of you keeping score, WMU's "The University That Never Closes" record is now:
Weather-related WMU closings since 1999
I had to add the last line -- they hadn't updated yet. (grin) I'm helpful that way. (double-grin)
Now I could go back to bed, turn off the 6:20 and 6:30 alarms and go back to sleep snug under many, many layers of warm blankies. It's 20°F and still snowing at around 11am. Much finer and drier snow than last week.
Let it snow.
Rain and 40s by the weekend.