I’m allergic to ice. I like ice in drinks, or keeping food frozen and fresh, or as the first snow of the year. Ice clinging to power lines and coating branches, turning roads into hocky-rinks and bringing out the worst in other drivers makes me break out in (metaphorical) hives. I do get cold chills thinking about ice-storms. Been there, done that, and yes, I do have the tee-shirt. The shirt-shop was one of the few places in town to have power (along with a few restaurants and student bars, the hospital, and the university campus. The U has its own power-plant and generators because of things like winter storms, tornadoes, and other fun events.)
So when the weather frogs began talking about “rain changing to sleet and ice from Thursday night through Sunday” I got the willies. Granted, as I write this it is still two days away and the highs will be in the 70s until Turkey Day, but “freezing rain” and “highs near 32” are not words I want to hear ever again. Among other things, my grad-school apartment was underground (literally) and had soil around it to insulate against the cold, so it didn’t get below freezing until the 5th day without power, even though temps dipped into the teens. The same is not true about Redquarters. Redquarters has lots of windows. Also, its one thing for an individual to sit through a few days without power. Family and elderly neighbors are different. Redquarters is not wired to be able to hook up a generator, and the suggestion to invest in rewiring has been vetoed twice already.
The weather guessers are talking about severe thunderstorms with sleet, snow, and ice as a chaser. Why? “A polar cold front will wedge under a warm, moist Pacific airmass as a low over Baja feeds moisture into the southern Plains.” That means there will be warm, wet air above, with cold air shoving under it and making the whole mess unstable. As the wet falls through the shallow cold air, it may not have time to turn to show. Or snow will fall, melt, and refreeze as it hits power lines and yuck.
99% of the time, the Panhandle gets snow and it is downstate that turns into a skating rink. But that one percent . . . Ditto when I was in grad school. It should have been snow. Flat State is well into the snow belt, and gets up to 60″ of snow in an average year. Nope, we must have hacked Someone off big time, because I got to hear the sound of transformers blowing starting around nine PM until the last tree branch fell around two AM.
I really hope the weather frogs are wrong, and it is snowing, or just raining, as you read this. because ice storms give me the shivers.
UPDATE: November 25, 1945 CST The cold front is thicker than planned, or so it seems, and my area is now in for rain and a sleet storm. South of us and to the east gets the ice (which I don’t wish on anyone.)
UPDATE: 26 November 1600 CDT The central Panhandle was dry-slotted in between moisture plumes (like the bands of cloud around the eye of a hurricane, except with wet and dry air.) We got rain, a little freezing rain, and sleet overnight but nothing truly awful yet. Downstate, however, is underwater once more.
That’s weird. We had three days of 50 deg weather.
The Northwest and upper Midwest are supposed to be milder this winter and the High Plains get walloped. Thus far it seems to be panning out. I could skate on top of the ice-coated snow this AM.
Oh, and congrats on being my 500th comment! *insert fireworks noise and streamers and balloons here*
Oh, boy. If I ever move to Flat State – or any Flattish State nearby – I’m going to have to learn a whole new set of weather patterns! I’m glad you do not have to hear the War of the Transformers (ever fun to be around people with too much IED experience when those start going), but hope you get through the icy part of winter with all limbs and joints intact!
Remember the “walk like a penguin” commercial? That’s what it’s like out here today. And of course my ice-cleats are in the storage unit (along with my snow shoes). I know what I’m going to be digging out later this week. (Which should ensure that we get no more ice this winter.)
More than once Pa pulled the master fuses to the house and ran a decidedly less than legal extension from an ‘outdoor’ (it was in the garage, but vented) generator to a house circuit. This was enough to run: furnace, fridge, a couple lights, and a TV – I think. Not sure about the TV, but what else was there to do? Pa read magazines, but I only ever saw him read one book beyond reference checking – and that was by one of the Wrights. Cooking? Water heat? Those were gas, as was the furnace – but the fan need electricity.
As best I can tell, and the house’s wiring diagrams look like there was an explosion in a pasta factory, we’d have to energize four circuits to run the heater and the ‘fridge and stove. The heater blower’s draw is such that we’d probably have to stagger things: warm the house, turn off the heater, run the fridge, run the stove, run the fridge, run the heater. And that’s assuming that the wiring really is as drawn. Based on everything else associated with the house, if it really was done to plan, I’d be shocked out of my shoes.
Ah, those places where it was discovered that a/the previous was NOT an electrician, NOT a plumber, NOT a carpenter, etc. I’m none of those things either, but I try not to leave evidence of these limitations – and there have some ‘professional’ installations I’ve looked at… and put right. That should not happen, yet does. Such ‘joy’. The J might be silent.
There’s a strong suspicion that the original builder made a generous contribution to the Code Enforcement Inspectors’ Benevolence and Retirement Fund. And that subsequent repairs/additions/ upgrades prior to the arrival of Clan Red were done without benefit of permits. Or were done before there were permits for “that,” whatever that happened to be. Or all of the above.
Family lived in one place bought partly because it already had a septic system – only to find it was a “midnight job” that done without full approval and any changes would be as much work as doing it new, as far dealing with bureacraps [NOT a typo] would go. Gave up on some building plans and left that carefully alone.
Oh yeah. That’s one thing I’d never, ever muck around with (if you’ll pardon the expression.)