Yesterday was supposed to be the end of the miserable heatwave we’ve been enduring here in Da Lou. It was “only” supposed to be 105°F, but officially it was above that. Unofficially… Well, you see the picture. That’s what the thermometer on the deck said. Yeah… 122°.
After big storms last night, the evening was comfy, but today — which was NOT supposed to be part of the heatwave — is hot again, with temps real, real close to 100°, and maybe above. If so, then today is the 11th day in a row of 100+. I can safely say that I’ve never experienced a heatwave like this, even when I lived in Omaha.
Again, it looks like storms are brewing to the south this afternoon, and the promise of relief is within reach. I hope so. My gentle body chemistry ain’t exactly built to these kinds of specs!
Today was our 8th day in a row of 100°+ highs, and our sixth record temp in this spell. There hasn’t been a run like this in 75 years. And, if the forecasters are right, there’ll be at least two more of these really hot days before we get a break.
I drove home tonight with the windows down in the Big Green Box, trying to make the best of the air flow, along with increasing my gas mileage ever so slightly. By the time I got home — about 25 minutes — the 105° temperature nuked me. I was wobbly, and just didn’t feel well. And I’d been drinking water all day.
Needless to say, I haven’t run in about two weeks. I badly, badly wanna get out there and continue my journey-on-foot, and the weather simply hasn’t been cooperating. I’ve discovered that my prime running temperatures lie between 45 and 65. I’m no math major, but I’m pretty sure 105 doesn’t sit in that range.
Friday night, we endured what is now being called the biggest storm to hit St. Louis since about 1967. Tornadoes, wind, massive lightning, toad-stranglers… we had it all. An EF4 tornado walked through the area where I work, crossed the river, and walked across the airport, villages, towns and hamlets, leaving a really long path of destruction — on the order of dozens and dozens of miles. In fact, we could see the northern tornado on the radar, and watched it work its way across St. Charles County, right across the radar dome, and into St. Louis County. I’ve never seen a tornado signature more clear on the radar.
What’s impressive, though is how our home was never in the tornado warning boxes. The big blue circle on the weather map is the house, and at the height of all the action, we were outside the red warning boxes. (Click on the image to see it embiggened.) Simply amazing. The wind blew, and it rained a bunch, but it was nothing like what the areas around us had to endure.
Once again, the WeatherShield™ technology apparently employed around our house has warded off the threatening weather. I told Beck that I thought it was something all the Apple gear was emitting that was keeping us safe… perhaps changing the nature of the atmosphere around us. While I doubt that’s true, at this point, I’m simply happy about the outcome!
Despite what the calendar say, Mother Nature has decided that winter should hold on for just a bit longer.
Yesterday, it began snowing around noon. And it kept snowing. And snowing. And snowing. The weatherdudes were expecting 1-2″ throughout the day. By 5pm, we had half a foot of snow on the ground, with the snowfall just beginning to taper off. It was a crazy, crazy snowfall, and beautiful to boot. There was no wind, so the snow just collected on the tree limbs and bushes. Even this morning, it’s beautiful, with a bluebird sky as the backdrop for this early spring snow.
After torrential downpours all day yesterday, we were visited by the snow bunnies during the night. Ol’ Sasquatch appears to once again be carrying a load of snow upon his back.
North of here, maybe 40-50 miles, it was 6-12″ of snow. South of here by the same amount, it was severe storms, with tornado warnings up as I went to bed last night.
Unfortunately, I’m not out playing in the white stuff. Yesterday, I started coming down with some kind of bug, which has me down, and so icky, I don’t even wanna be around myself. The good news is that today seems to be better, so maybe I can get a little shooting and playing guitar in before the weekend comes to a close.
OK, so this’ll be the last of my wining about the missed opportunity with the recent weather.
As the storm was descending upon us on Monday, I set up my Canon G10 in a bedroom window, shooting for a timelapse video of the impending doom. Of course, we all know what happened — not much! — but the video is kinda cool, and the longest timelapse I’ve attempted. I shot it at pretty low resolution, wanting to capture as many frames as possible, so if the power stayed on, I’ve have days of images to put together.
We had power, I had frames, but not much in the way of weather.
There’s two kinda cool things in this video that grabbed my attention. The first is the bush in the foreground bending under the weight of the ice. In truth, I was hoping to get a lot more ice, and see more of that kind of action. The second is the activity around the neighbor’s car as he cleans it off. Also cool, I think.
Oh, and for those folks that are saying I’m not putting enough imagery on the site lately, here’s 14,576 images to tide you over. 🙂
After all the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the massive winter storm that clobbered the Midwest, guess who didn’t get hardly any snow?
We had 1/4″ of ice, about 3″ of sleet, and barely any snow at all. However, travel about 30mi NW from here, and you could measure the snow in feet. Once again, the dastardly St. Louis Snow Shield has deflected the really good stuff around us — too far north for ice, too far south for snow, we were left to more sleet than I’ve ever seen, and nothing particularly pretty to photograph.
The local news has named the storm: Megasnow 2011!!!
And why the snow-based name? Well, it appears that our event is gonna be more snow than ice. We do have freezing rain coming down like crazy right now, but the low pressure center is deepening, which is bringing in the cold air quicker, making the changeover to snow happen earlier. Oh, we’re still gonna have ice, but it’ll be down in the 1/4″ – 1/2″ range, which should enhance our chances to keep the lights on.
But the snow… oh, the snow! We’ve got a predicted band over us of 9″ to 16″, with areas just 30mi or so north getting 24″ or more. We’ll get the heavier stuff if the thudersnow that’s being predicted takes place. The current hard prediction for Da Lou is 10.8″, with that 16″ number definitely reachable as things progress through today and tonight. I don’t think the snowfall is supposed to stop until sometime tomorrow, which is why we’ve got blizzard warnings and a governor-declared “state of emergency” here. Basically, we’re being told to go now to wherever it is that we plan to be for the duration of the storm — probably 48 hours or more.
Assuming the power stays on, we’re in good shape. Darla laid in a hefty supply of food on Sunday, which should allow us to survive Megasnowpacalypsemageddonpalooza 2011. One of her friends actually picked up the very last dozen eggs in one of the local markets on Sunday!
As this storm has unfurled itself, there’ve been comparisons against the blizzard of ’82 and the ice storm of ’06. One of the talking heads this morning reminded all of us in tv-land that in those two years, the Cards won the World Series.
This morning, the freezing rain began, with everything getting a nice glaze to it by lunchtime. And then things slowed down…. big time. It rained, at 30 degrees. It thundered here and there. And we waited.
All the while, the local government was quite impressive, flexing their “readiness” muscles for all the cameras to see. To my memory, this seems like the most civilly prepared our area has been for something like this since I’ve lived here. And that’s good. This storm doesn’t look like your typical midwest winter event.
From what I gather, we’re due for 1/2″ to 1″ of ice tonight into tomorrow, and then something like 8″ to 12″ of snow on top of that Tuesday into Wednesday, with 40mph winds blowing around the ice-laden power lines and tree limbs.
Frankly, I’m gonna be real surprised if we don’t loose power in this deal. Our power lines in the neighborhood are underground, but the feeders not too far away are pole-based, and out there for the mangling. That’s what happened four years ago, and we were without power for 35 hours or so.
So we wait. Waiting for a big storm, one that the weather service has called potentially historic. For me, I think it’ll mean some ice photography — yay! — and some time spent in my second favorite atmospheric condition (only behind tornadoes). This kind of stuff is pretty rare for Da Lou, and I’m gonna lap it up while it’s still around!
We’ve been hearing for days about a winter storm that was likely to hit the beginning of the week. With us right on the cusp of the early throes of it, the situation is starting to shape up.
For Da Lou, there’s predictions of 1/2″ to an inch of ice, which would be way significant, and as big an ice storm as we had in January 2007. This is shaping up to be big — ice, then big snow, and big wind. I’m fully expecting that we’ll lose power at some point through the event, and that we’ll be cold before it’s all said and done.
This year, we have new windows through a big part of the upstairs, so I’m inclined to think that we’ll retain our heat better than before, but only time will tell.
So today, it’s off to the grocery to get essentials for a few days of being trapped, charging of camera batteries for some shooting, and plans for some timelapse work, probably with the G10. Not sure if I’m gonna try to shoot the ice, the snow, or both, but I’m expecting to fire things up tonight, and see what I get.
During the last ice storm, I photographed some of the best ice I’ve ever seen, and my skills and gear are better now. I can’t wait to see what happens!!!