One look at the national weather map the past 24 hours has been very scary! What is more alarming to me than the bright red of severe thunderstorm areas is the neon PINK of an ice storm. When that ice storm touches more than seven states at once you see the weather forecaster's face turn ash gray.
When deciding to move to SW Missouri we knew that the weather would provide more variety than the desert. We also were prepared for sleet, snow, and even ice. What we were hoping for was the unique "lake effect" that provides more moderate winter weather than even Springfield, 30 miles to the north. Some speculate that the warmth of Table Rock Lake, a very large dragon-shaped body of water along the southern border of Missouri, causes the air to warm enough that the Branson area remains along the edge of severe weather. That is what, indeed, happened last night. While we did wake to a surreal picture of bare trees entrapped in casings of ice, the roads were merely wet. To the north ice more than a half-inch thick caused tree limbs to crash onto whatever lay below. Power outages were common and travel was limited. Last January a crushing ice storm paralyzed SW Missouri for days. The state motto is "Show Me", but not "Show Me Again", so the cities and citizens were more prepared when this forecast came. Fortunately, it was not a repeat performance of January's storm, and all pray that there won't be one. For the next week the forecast calls for highs in the 40's and 50's, so we won't be waking to a crystallized countryside.
We do, however, have our heads in the clouds yet again tonight. :-}