email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Well, we are getting our 1st meaningful snowfall in the Washington DC area since 2011 (or maybe 2010 - winters get confusing because they cross over the New Year).  Anyway, after that seriously bad winter a few years ago when we had several snow storms over a foot deep, I bought a snowblower.  I haven't had an excuse to use it since, so last Spring I moved it into the storage shed in the back yard. 

I was caught by surprise by this snow.  I had stayed up all night Sunday so I only got up after dark Monday evening.  I live alone, I'm retired, and I've never done well with a 24 hour day.  So eventually it shifts around the dial so much that every couple of weeks I just stay up all night and all day to get back on schedule.

So I only found out about the snow forecast at 9 pm yesterday.  I sure didn't feel like going out to the storage shed in the cold and dark and getting the snowblower running to bring it to the garage.  And snow forecasts are often wildly wrong around here.  We are in a transition zone between Caribbean Highs and Canadian Lows.  A 6" snow forecast is just as likely to be 1" or 12" but seldom what is forecast.  Washington DC and all the local schools were shut down in December for what resulted in 2" of snow and then a 1/4" of freezing rain (but the roads stayed clear).  I saw a Weather Channel report once that said Washington DC was one of the trickiest places to forecast snowfall.  Its a combination of Jet Stream variability, the Appalachian Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay.  Baltimore to the north is snow country, Richmond to the south is rain country, and we are right in the middle!

I decided to wait til this afternoon to see how much snow we were really getting.  If I needed the snowblower, at least it would be daylight!  By 3 pm, we had about 3" of snow, and (unusual for this area) it was dry and powdery.  If it gets worse (not likely as it is supposed to stop about now), I can still drag out the snowblower.  But for 4" of dry powdery snow (we DO usually get heavy wet snow), I'm not going to bother.  Two neighbors who I know keep their snowblowers in their garages simply shoveled their driveways just before dark.

I think I will just use a shovel tomorrow.  But I also think that as soon as the weather improves a bit over the weekend, I will make sure the snowblower is working and move it into the garage for the rest of the winter...


Megan said...

Stay warm and dry Mark. If the Mews don't believe you about your not being responsible for the weather, I do hope that they're impressed by your capacity to bring on the snow!

Sydney, Australia

The Cat From Hell said...

Living in the Great White North, we get our snow blower out at the beginning of November. The first snow fall this year was about 8 inches and the hubby chortled with glee as he fired that baby up...half way through the driveway, it died! After a half hour of swearing and disembowelment of the machine (and me finishing the driveway with a shovel) the beast was put in the garage and we each grabbed a shovel and tackled the rest of the yard. The next day the beast went to the shop. It was a minor issue and came back the same afternoon. All the rest of the snow falls since have not been enough to fire the beast up again (very unusual for us) And the beast sits in the garage - laughing at us!

Mark's Mews (Ayla, Iza, and Marley) said...

I understand. 6" of snow doesn't seem like much a shovel at a time. But I figured out afterwards (I hope I got that right - 6" deep x 12' wide and 60' long) and it was 13 1/3 cubic yards of the stuff. 13 cubic yards of ANYTHING is annoying to move.