Friday, December 09, 2005

I can deal with this, but can't swim in Barton Springs. Now THAT's cold!

Austin has about 4-5 days of real winter a year, and by that I mean it freezes, gets ice, or maybe even snow (which will be gone the next day). On Wednesday, we had some light precipitation, then the temperature dropped below freezing so anything that was wet got ice on it. In town it got down in the 20s, and colder in some places with some wind chills in the teens. There was a thin sheet of black ice on the bridges. There was massive freakout, of course. People do not understand temperatures below freezing around here, nor do they understand ice. Most people don't have scrapers for the windshield, and there were hundreds of car wrecks, including lots of people with their cars wedged impossibly in ditches.

People in the media, local news & weather on TV and radio, keep calling it an "ice storm". There was even a fancy news graphic that said "ICE STORM" for crissake!! There was wetness, ice formed in some places, and a little more icy precip came down. It really just froze on bridges and where there was standing water. This was NOT an ice storm. An ice storm is RAIN that freezes or comes down as ice, then weighs down everything with about a quarter inch layer of heavy ice. Anyway, the town shut down, businesses and schools closed, (I got a day and a half off!). I drove up and down MOPAC and through town. The bridges were covered in a thin layer of black ice (they don't salt the streets like they do margaritas), but the rest of the trip was dry roads and just fine. It was below the freezing point for 24 hours, so there's something they can talk about for awhile. I even wore my warmest coat, but today I don't need it, and it should be back in the 60s in a few days.

I enjoy visiting these blogs for real winter coverage, people are even hiking and riding bikes in it!! Now that's rugged. Also, I'd rather look at these beautiful pictures and read about these adventures than do it myself. I can live the rest of my life without ever seeing snow or ice in person again.

Up in Alaska, 75 degrees south, Pajama Library

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1 comment:

Neil Shakespeare said...

Black ice is the worst, man. That shit's sneaky.