It actually feels like winter here in the Seattle area. This is my eighth winter here, and I spend each year feeling as if winter never actually happens since it never actually gets cold and snowy. The same happens in summer – never get those couple weeks of 90+ degree heat to let you know you it really is summer. Temperatures dropped to sub-freezing last Saturday and have remained there since. It snowed about two inches Saturday night and in the morning the roads were quite icy. Nobody was out on the roads, so rather than using this as a clue to what not to do, Trina and I chose to drive to the University Village to finish Christmas shopping. It worked out great. The roads were slick, but nothing I didn’t experience in the first month of having my driver’s license, and that was with a ’72 Land Cruiser rather than an all-wheel drive Saturn with anti-lock brakes and all those bells and whistles. The trip to U-Village was a success. It was empty, which is unimaginable for a pre-Christmas Sunday, all the stores were open, and we were home by 11:30 when all locals finally were getting the courage to give it a go. The last bit of the drive home was rather entertaining, as people were performing some very strange driving tactics.
On Monday, we woke to a low temperature of 18 degrees. That is very cold for the west side of the Cascades, and people were vocal about it. It was calm, clear, and crisp. I thought it was great. Tuesday was a continuation of the cool temperatures. No big deal.
Yesterday (Wednesday), the forecast was for more snow, so I worked from home. Somehow, the central Puget Sound (Seattle area +/- some to the north and south) was spared due to the rain-shadow effect and it didn’t start snowing until 4 pm, and we only got an inch more. It appeared that we were in the clear. Not so much. Today, we woke to the complete opposite weather pattern with the Seattle area getting a couple of inches of snow in about an hour. I was scheduled to make the 70 mile drive down to our Electron hydroelectric project to transport juvenile fish, but upon seeing the new snow, I called down to the project at 5:50 and canceled. Had I turned on the TV before making the call I would have known that all the highways around me were at a complete standstill and I couldn’t have gotten there if I had wanted. When I turned on the TV, the traffic report popped up, and the newscaster said “STAY HOME!!!” and showed all the roads with bumper to bumper, zero mph traffic. So, working from home it is again today. I am starting to feel like a hermit. Perhaps Trina and I will take a break and walk the dogs to Starbucks, but there is no guarantee that they are open…
Ya’ll may scoff at all this fuss over a couple of inches of snow. However, consider that the City of Seattle has a total of 11 snow plows and a couple of sand trucks. Throw that in with the fact that many of the roads weren’t designed with snow and ice in mind, such as the 12 percent grade hill to the house, people that have neither the tires nor the skills to drive in snow, and it is a beautiful mess.
More pictures of Trina’s belly to come soon.