Given the weather oddities all over, I'm really not trying to obsess over the weather here in West Michigan and make this either (a) an all-weather all-the-time blog or (b) somehow make it seem like I think our weather is more important/interesting than your weather.
But given my long hours of commuting every day, plus that 8am class, weather certainly has some domination over my life. And just as I figure I'm done with the weather for a while, something comes up and I blog onward. This time, before I had a chance to blog about one thing, something else came up.
Sunday the temperatures dropped overnight to 4degF, but Monday's "high 30s" morphed into a high of 43degF. Monday night never dropped below freezing. The Melt was seriously on.
Because we had so much fine snow accumulate under bitter cold and well-packed windy conditions, now that we've had a sudden melt I've been struck the last two days at how white the snow is. That 4pm late afternoon low angle "golden light" makes the dried dead weeds in the fields come out a lovely light tan or beige and the snows surrounding it are this polished white. Except for the sides of the roads crudded up with whatever the plows scraped up, the snow is so very white. Wind erosion patterns and a wind which is picking up available moisture fast, means the edges of many snow banks are left dry, rather than sagging into great puddles. I guess we're sort of freeze-drying the snow away, plus sun plus warm air melt.
Anyway, usually the snow looks kind of sad and dirty by the time it gets around to melting. That I can still drive whole fields which are tabula rasa blank slates of white is quite remarkable.
Though the teaser ads for WGVU-FM's Morning Edition: West Michigan promise NPR national news, and West Michigan local news, plus traffic and weather every ten minutes, from 5am to 9am -- that isn't quite true. The first local weather & traffic info shows up at 6:09am, which is plus-or-minus about the time I'm heading out the door.
So imagine my surprise when I heard that "freezing fog" was slowing things down greatly on the back roads and the downtown Grand Rapids freeways this morning None of this was in the forecast I saw last night! (grin)
Those who don't live in West Michigan are sometimes surprised to find that the local schools miss quite a bit of school due to fog -- one or two hour delayed starts and sometimes whole days canceled -- usually during the spring and fall. Winter fog is unusual, but then we've had all this melting and the sudden temperature swings noted above.
Yesterday a UPS truck squashed up and down the snow pack on our 240-foot driveway. This morning, though the snow pack is smashed up and thoroughly rotted with voids from the previous melting and tire churning, it is also hard in the 20degF cold. Backing out of the garage and into the turnaround, I reached for the box of cards to log in this trip -- and in the headlights the tall weeds of our free range front yard were all covered in brilliant white flocking from freezing fog condensation. Wow. Pretty. Not really able to take a picture which would do it justice.
I love winter. You get all these quite moments of beauty and serenity.