Monday, January 28, 2008

Life in Wyoming - Winter Weather Patterns

Here's the way I've noticed it goes:
  • Several Days of Cold with Slight Breezes, can be blue skys or gray and overcast. In the teens to twenties.
  • For one or two days it begins to "feel nice" warming up into the thirties, maybe even low forties.
  • Suddenly, the winds start, then, before you know it, the snow is blowing. It will snow for a few hours to several days.
  • Big, cold winds continue. Blowing the frozen snow all over the place.
  • Then, is settles down and you return to the top of the list.
In case you are wondering, scraping your windshields of blown snow and ice is FAR more difficult than scrapping freshly fallen snow. Also, you get tricked. You look outside and see no new snow, then get out to your vehicle and wind up being late because you've spent 10-20 futile minutes trying to scrape hardened ice off the windshields. Here's an example:

I SERIOUSLY spent 15 minutes scraping my window and THIS was all I could see through!
In the end, I took a longer (safer, ie: less traveled, fewer dangerous turns) route.
When I started going about 40 mph, the wind, and warmer engine blowing
on the window, cleared off the remaining particles...
it took about 10 minutes of driving to get to where I could actually see!

While we're on the subject of winter weather. We've noticed that life is much "slower" here. I think a big part of that is because of the weather. When there are several inches (feet) of snow, everyone and everything slows down. People are late or just don't go / show up places. Lots of things are canceled or postponed. Traffic slows down. And it's okay.

In Arizona, I don't really remember calling and saying "oh, there's a Heat Wave, so, we canceled _____" or "it's hot and humid, so, we won't be going out today". People complain about the heat, but you plan around it, you just don't cancel things (generally) because of it. And perhaps because it's so HOT, you RUSH more to get back to cool waters or, at least, air conditioning.

I've also noticed that people use and observe turn signals. It's a must! Or, you could easily find yourself rear-ended.

Quick starting and stopping? Better leave that for the warmer climates too... or you'll be slipping and sliding all over the place.

One more thing this all brings to mind. As a kid, I never understood why my Utah grandparents would come to visit and my Grandpa would slow down at EVERY Southern California intersection, especially frustrating to my teenage heart was WHY he would slow down for GREEN LIGHTS! Now, I get it. In the cold, icy, snowy weather, you approach most every intersection slowly. You just never know when another car will go careening across your path because they've turned, accelerated, or braked too quickly.

Basically, you go slower and easier, and, like I said, most everyone is okay with that.


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