Posts Tagged ‘snow’

Darlusz Has Had it Up to Here With Snow

March 10, 2011

“Oh, look at dat, it snow again. It too much. Make it stop.”

Those are the words Darlusz the frog who lives here used to wake me up from a sound sleep early this morning at my house in St. Albans, Vermont.

Darlusz the frog next to my mailbox, after I shoveled it out this week and left a giant snowbank behind.

“Why you no tell me winter here like dat back when I move here. I no like living in glacier,” Darlusz said. “This snieg, it make me sad,” he said, using the Polish word for snow.

“Well, winters aren’t usually this snowy. And you usually start to get thaws in March. This is a weird one,”  I said.

“But why dis? Why so much now?. I do someting and get punish?,” Darlusz asked.

“No, this isn’t your fault,” I said, tapping him lightly on the head. “Believe it or not, some people blame this on global warming,” I said.

“Ach, no. But it cold, not warm. It crazy, you say warm cause all dis snieg,” Darlusz said.

“First of all, it’s not proven. This snow could be a fluke,” I replied “But I’ve read that a warmer world means there’s more moisture in the air. If there’s more moisture in the air, we can get bigger storms and much more rain. Or snow if it’s cold enough. Remember, global warming doesn’t exactly cancel out winter,” I said, now on a roll.

Darlusz the frog huddles against a two-foot deep wall of accumulated snow in my driveway, using it to protect himself from continued cold winter winds. st

“Ah, dat science it confusing. I get, what you say, frustrated tinking about it,” Darlusz said.

“Yeah, a lot of people do,” I admitted. “Some are frustrated to the point of anger. Some people don’t want to believe global warming exists. It does, almost all the scientists agree. And they all agree that the weather will keep getting weirder as a result. It’s the picky details like whether all this snow has anything to do with it that is shaky,” I said.

“I see on TV dat people, day yell and day scream dat global warming do not exist. So why you say everybody say it does,” Darlusz asked.

“The people with the loudest voices aren’t necessarily the ones that are right,” I said. But almost all scientists agree global warming is real.   You’re right, Darlusz, people who don’t think global warming exists get very angry when you bring it up. When I wrote about this very subject in my weather blog for the Burlington Free Press, I got so many angry comments about it. They said I’ve been duped into believing global warming exists,”

“So why you even say anything if you get yelled at, Darlusz asked

“Because I don’t think people who yell should scare us,” I said.

“Why doz people so mad anyway,” Darlusz asked.

Gawd, that frog’s questions never end.

“A lot of reasons,” I said. They don’t trust the government, or authority, and think global warming gets them fraudulent research funds, or it will lead to laws that will take some of their rights away. I see their point. Nobody should blindly trust the government, or every scientist. But in the case of global warming, I do think the verdict is in. It’s happening. Just how exactly how it will play out is anybody’s guess.”

“And dat why people mad, day don’t like not know what come next,? Darlusz asked

“Exactly. That’s at least part of it. And they don’t know who to trust, they worry that people will make them change their lifestyle to prevent further warming, or there will be more government control, or they just think that since governments have sold them on a bill of goods in the past, it will happen again.

“So the instinct of the people who deny global warming are good, but  they are just sticking their heads in the sand rather than influencing how our response to climate changes should be. That’s the end of my lecture today, Darlusz.”

“We go shovel now,” Darlusz said. “Da snowbanks, day so big. Where we put da new snow dat fell,”?  he asked.

“Darlusz, that’s the toughest question you asked all morning,” I replied.

More Vermont Snowstorm News

March 8, 2011

The day after a huge snowstorm is beautiful if the sun comes out, like it did today.

A downtown Burlington, Vermont restaurant is nearly hidden by mounds of snow awaiting removal. Yesterday's storm dumped 25.8 inches of snow on the city.

Up here in Vermont, we’re digging out from one of the biggest snowstorms in memory.  Most of the northern half of the state got between 20 and 30 inches of new snow.

Luckily, the blue skies and comfortable temperatures (for Vermont, anyway) are making it a little bit easier to shovel away the piles of snow.   It’s also dazzlingly bright out with all this snow. Sunglasses are a must.

The snow is melting a little bit in sunny corners, as the March sun is strong, compared to the weak rays of December. So there’s hope that the snow will eventually melt.

A handwritten sign on a piece of cardboard reads "Look up, look out" as a mass of snow on the roof over Nectars Restaurant in downtown Burlington, Vermont threatens to crash down on pedestrians on the sidewalk below.

There’s about two feet of snow on the ground at my house in St. Albans, Vermont, and in Burlington, and three to four feet in other towns away from Lake Champlain.

They’re worried about spring flooding, because there’s a lot of snow to melt, and we’re getting toward mid-March already.

Yes, I want to get rid of the snow, now that the excitement of the storm is fading. But maybe a big flood would be too much excitement so let’s go for a gradual meltdown for the rest of the month, shall we?

More On Vermont’s Record March Storm

March 8, 2011

It’s official. Today’s snowstorm in Burlington, Vermont was the largest March snowstorm in the city’s history.

Battery Street in Burlington, Vermont, usually full of cars, is full of snow but lacking in traffic as the snowstorm comes to an end.

It’s also now the third snowiest winter on record, so far, and more snow is in the forecast.

I thought I’d share more photos and videos of  the day, since I like weather porn so much. (Weather porn is pics and videos of storms. So don’t worry, no naked people in this post)

First video, below, is what it’s like to drive in a whiteout, as I did today.

Second one is Church Street in Burlington during a vain attempt to clear snow. Usually they get rid of all the snow on Church Street, which is a pedestrian mall.

Third video is a Burlington sidewalk plow getting hopelessly stuck.

Epic Snowstorm Slams Vermont

March 7, 2011

This was one of those snowstorms you tell your grandkids about

Except I’ll never have grandkid, but never mind.Visibility is low in today's snowstorm along the road in front of my St. Albans, Vermont home.

About two feet of snow dumped on us since yesterday, and things have basically fallen apart. A foot of snow is not that big a deal in Vermont. When you get to two feet, you really notice. Such a storm really changes your routine.

I shoveled for two hours today, just to get a narrow path out of my driveway that barely accommodated my truck. I will do a lot more shoveling this week.

This is what my truck looked like when I stepped outside my St. Albans, Vermont house this morning after nearly two feet of snow fell.

After I got out of my driveway, I drove to work, barely. Sometimes, I had to guess where the road was because of the whiteouts.

Burlington, Vermont really is a ghost town today. There’s a few intrepid people in cars out in the streets, but some of those cars are stuck. A few people are going to and fro on skis and snowshoes.

Downtown Burlington is shut down. All businesses are closed, and all but the main arteries have a foot of snow on them, at least. You can’t drive anywhere.

Here's what I looked like after shoveling my driveway for two hours in a blizzard this morning.

As regular readers know, I wasn’t looking forward to the snowstorm before it came. But now that it has turned out to be such a huge one, there’s some excitement, at least for now.

I love how such a big storm changes things so dramatically. Things stop. The world looks completely different when its buried in snow, and snowbanks seem to reach for the sky, like the damn Alps or something.

College Street in downtown Burlington just before noon today. The street is usually jammed with cars and people during the middle of the day. Not today.

Lately, we keep getting record-size snowstorms up here in Vermont. Eight of Burlington’s 20 biggest snowstorms over the past 120 years have occured since 2000. Three of Burlington’s five snowiest winters, including this one, have happened since 2000.

This might be related to global warming, believe it or not. A warmer world means more water vapor sits in the atmosphere. More water vapor makes stronger, wetter storms. The stronger wetter storms can still produce epic amount of snows. There you go.

This car and bike in downtown Burlington, Vermont Monday don't look like they're going anywhere anytime soon after a storm dumped two feet of snow on the city.

So, if trends continue, I’ll have to get used to epic snowstorms. Seems they come fast and furious.

I also loaded some videos I took of the storm on YouTube. You can see them below.

The Vermont Snow Keeps Coming, Setting Records

February 27, 2011

It snowed again here in Vermont last night. Not much, just an inch or two. But it was enough to make this the snowiest February on record, at least in the Burlington, Vermont area.

I spotted this tree skier Saturday in Vermont's Underhill State Park. It is northwestern Vermont's snowiest February on record.

Burlington has had 42.6 inches of snow this month, barely beating out a record for the month set just three years ago.

As a weather geek, it’s always fun to set some sort or climatological record, but I’m chomping at the bit more than ever for the snow to go.

But instead, it keeps on snowing.  I have all these plans for landscaping on my property, plus I want to start getting my clients’ yards into shape at some point. The snow has got to melt by the first of April, and prospects of that seem to be dimming.

The sun’s a little stronger now as we’re heading into March, so that helps me grab glimmers of hope whereever I can get them. As I cleared the bit of new snow from my driveway this morning the sun felt warm and I could see it starting to melt the snow up against sunny corners.

We’re at a stage where the snow comes, a little melts, and little more comes. It’s a snowy standoff.

A tree skier enjoys lots of powder in Vermont's Underhill State Park as one of the snowiest winters on record continues

I can’t do anything about the snow. I could complain about it, or embrace it. I did think it was pretty out this morning with a few glittery snowflakes falling through the winter sun.

Yesterday, I went snowshoeing in Underhill State Park at the the base of Vermont’s Mount Mansfield. All this snow makes things look and feel incredibly clean and fresh and healthy. It was good for me to get that bracing air.

The woods was winter quiet, which I like, except for the bursts of excitement as tree skiers crashed through the woods, expertly zigzagging around all the brown tree trunks and leafless branches.

So that was nice. But I’m actually ready for Vermont’s ugly mud season with it’s slush, slop, dampness and gray.

It won’t be nearly as pretty as this weekend, but mud season will at least signal we will finally throw off the weight of the snow that has confined us since December.

Super Dad Makes Huge Snow Fun Park

February 24, 2011

Up here in Vermont, there’s a winter storm warning because forecasters say we’re going to get six to ten inches of “heart attack snow” tomorrow.

The giant snowman slide in South Lake Tahoe

Heart attack snow, for the uninitiated, is a heavy wet snow that is perfect for making snowballs and snow sculptures, but will kill you when you try to shovel it, it’s so heavy.

But, on the bright side, I just found a very timely, great idea from South Lake Tahoe. Somebody took a huge amount of snow – I’m not sure if it’s heart attack snow – and made this super, complex and really fun looking snow sliding park.

It includes a giant snowman that you can sled in and out of.  Reports are a dad spent 80 hours (!!!!) shoveling to make the slide for his kids. I hereby nominated him, ah hell, I annoint him, dad of the year.

I really don’t want more snow to fall at my  St. Albans, Vermont house because I need it to melt so I can get some grandiose landscape projects going. But since I have no choice in the matter, I will take notes so maybe I could build a snowman slide as we all watch the video, below.

I’m Stalked By Snow

February 13, 2011

Lately, I’ve been getting grumpy about amount of snow in my life. It’s too deep, in the way, too much work, etc.

The snow squall in West Rutland, Vermont that stalked me yesterday. Under normal conditions without a whiteout, you can see a barn through the trees about 250 yards away.

Eight-four inches of snow so far this season is bit much, frankly.

Yesterday, I drove down to West Rutland for my sister’s surprise 40th birthday party. (Stay tuned! Much more news on that party in the next post later today or first thing tomorrow morning. It was a trip to the real Vermont. Or maybe unreal. I can’t decide.)

Anyway, it wasn’t snowing yesterday when I left St. Albans for the drive to West Rutland, Vermont two hours to the south.

Yesterdays West Rutland, Vermont snow squall begins to taper off, revealing a landscape even deeper in snow. Too much of a winter wonderland for me.

I no sooner got to West Rutland and the sky opened up. Zero visibility in snow squalls, as you can see in the pics.

Luckily, there was only an inch or two of new snow. But really.

Had I stayed home, I would have avoided all that. When I returned to St. Albans a short time ago this Sunday afternoon,  I saw that no new snow fell here yesterday.  Now that I’m home, of course it’s starting to snow.

I wonder. If I drove to Key West, Florida, would it have snowed there, too? I think winter sports enthusiasts should stay near me. I could show them a good time. The snow stalks me.