Monday, December 04, 2006


A good snow around here is 6". 8" is not uncommon. 2-4" is much more common.

We got one of those one-in-8 to 10 year snowstorms Thursday night. At first, it looked like it was going to do what most early-season snowstorms do around here -- that is, a warm layer aloft would persist long enough to ensure all we got was a bit of sleet.

The same amount of water that makes about 1" of rain makes just a few inches of sleet and about 10-12" of snow. So if it stays sleet, it doesn't pile up as much. Still, the forecast called for 10-15" in our area. But we've seen that before and been disappointed.

We went to bed about 10:30, and we had about 2" of sleet outside. The forecast called for heavy snow overnight -- a lot of it between 11pm and 2am. I got up, thirsty, at about 1:00 am. Looked outside. Still about the same amount of sleet, and it looked kind of "foggy" -- but it was probably snow.

I went back to bed convinced we'd have about an inch or two of snow on top of 2 or 3 inches of sleet.

We got up -- Vicki wanted to leave early because she wanted to avoid the traffic problems caused by people who freak out if there's even a trace of snow on the ground. I looked outside expecting to see what I had expected to see -- not a lot.
Apparently sometime between 1:00 am and 6:00 am, we got about a foot of snow. Vicki's car was smothered, and snow had drifted against the wall outside. I looked out on the deck. A good 2 feet piled up there. But it hadn't occurred to us yet that that was too much to drive a passenger car in. So we started getting ready as we watched the local weather channel and slowly it dawned on us that we weren't going anywhere today.

Paul Jackson (down the street) had stayed up all night watching it. He said we had thundersnow, and whiteout. The weather guy (we call him "Doogie" because he looks like Doogie Hauser) said it had been falling at 2-3" an hour. I know, not much for you northerners, lake-effecter's, and mountain folk. But that's pretty exciting for us here in mid Missouri. Anyway, I missed seeing it fall. I slept like a log.

I spent about two hours shovelling out our driveway that afternoon, figuring the folks the neighborhood association hire to do it had their hands full and we might not see them for a day or two. I got out to the street right when they showed up to do it. They do our street as well. The city STILL (three days later) hasn't gotten to the surrounding streets... so we're the only clear street in the neighborhood. Even Huntridge still has about 4" of packed ice on it right now, and you have to drive over that to get to our street.

We put some split pea soup on (we had the dried peas, a can of carrots, and a frozen hambone --whoohoo!). Sam came by after running snowblades on campus all day and pulling stuck cars out. He was tired and cold. So we had a fire and fed him soup before he headed home to his animals.

Anyway, we got out Saturday and did a little grocery and Wally World shopping. There are walls of snow everywhere, pushed up by the plows. Columbia doesn't have the resources to deal efficiently with a snowfall like this. And we don't get them very often, so that's ok. Traffic was very slow, there was about 4" of ice on any road that wasn't a major road, and even some of the major roads were still like that by late Saturday afternoon.

On our way home we were driving by Peking ... and it just sounded good. So we stopped in and had a nice meal there. And then had a ... "happy evening" over at Daryl's with the Williams. And it was there that it was decided Ryan and I would go on Walkabout on Sunday.

(to be continued)

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