Saturday, February 23, 2008

Global Warming --- Hah!

In previous posts I have shown pictures of the aftermath of 2 ice storms in southwest Missouri. Well, I now have some of ice storm #3. In addition my uncle sent me pictures of what the weather forecaster in Cedar Rapids, IA predicted to be an ice storm. Let's start with Cedar Rapids:

With already a season total of more that 30 inches of snow, a slight warming trend threatened to bring the next wave of moisture in as an ice storm. Judging by the pictures below, the temperature dropped and there was a considerable amount of moisture released --- as snow, lots and lots of snow! It really is beautiful, though.

Ice storm #3 for us came in as thunder-sleet again. Lightning, thunder, and something I have never seen before: a down pour of soft ice! For just a few minutes the precipation came down like a heavy rain storm, but when it hit the ground each drop landed like a big splat of slush then froze solid. The ice and sleet from the previous storm had melted, fortunately. However, this time we had very thick accumulations. Our DirecTV was out completely yesterday, probably due to ice on the dishes. The roads were pretty good, though, because the maintenance crews are quick to get out with the de-icers. Jerry had to use his car yesterday and here are some shots of what he had to deal with to get going. (Yes, we do have a 2 car garage, but we still have boxes not yet unpacked. Oops!)

The ice on the windshield was over an inch thick in places. Would you believe people were shown on the news actually using a hammer to loosen the ice on their windshields and windows?!

Much like old paint peeling off a building, the ice came off like paint chips. It is important, and oft repeated on the local TV stations, to clean all of the ice off the cars before going out on the highway. Ice chunks as thick as these become lethal at 70 mph, able to chip paint and windshields of the vehicle behind. Very scary!

Today we needed to take the big truck to town, so Jerry (bless his heart) spent considerable time releasing the black behemoth from its crystalized encasement. It got to be a game to see how big an ice junk he could get off at one time.

With temperatures near 40 degrees today much of the ice on the house thawed, pouring water from the roof. The yard was slushy today, and all standing water will freeze again tonight. Clear skies and warm air are promised for the next few days. Well, we'll just see about that.

Though the weight of the ice on trees and power lines can be very damaging, and icy projectiles can spear a headlight, there is a certain beauty in the stillness of ice encrusted trees. Here is an early morning shot of a tree when the ice is approaching the melting point, which makes it sparkle like diamonds.

Global warming? Not this year.

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