Post #1381: SNOVID-19.

Posted on January 3, 2022

I can’t help but smile when I hear the term “snow day”.  It’s a conditioned reflex, the result of having gone to school in the South.

But now there’s a new perspective on that old joy.  After a couple of years of complaining about hanging around the house and not doing much because of COVID, I now find that hanging around the house and not doing much because of snow is totally different.  It’s unironically fun.

Thus proving that mental attitude is all in your head.

It’s a snow day here in Fairfax County, VA

This is God’s way of shouting at us “Do Not Go Back to School”!  (That’s per a a friend of my wife’s, a schoolteacher who isn’t much looking forward to in-person classes with Omicron).

People from northern climates laugh at the degree of disruption a little snow causes in the South.  But, having seen it from both sides — grew up and live in Virginia, but spent several long, cold winters in Chicago — I can tell you that snow in the South is just a completely different beast from snow in the North.

It’s slipperier.  And that’s a fact.

Wintry mix is our favored form of precipitation this time of year.  It’s a random combination of snow, sleet, ice pellets, freezing rain, and rain.  The weather forecasters aren’t quite sure what will be hitting the ground at any particular moment.  The only thing they agree on is that whatever it is, you can slip on it.

(My wife often said that Baskin-Robbins should offer a flavor of  ice cream by this name.  It would come pre-marketed because everyone in this area hears that term all season long.)

We get wintry mix so often in this area because the temperature is typically just about freezing when it snows. Might get snow, might get rain.  You never know until it gets here and makes up its mind.

This morning, it’s 30 F with high humidity.  And so, we’re actually getting just snow.  It melts as it hits, then piles up, and as a result, we end up with a thin layer of slush everywhere, covered with snow.  That will be freezing to ice in random areas throughout the day, and will freeze uniformly tonight.  Tomorrow morning, anywhere that hasn’t been shoveled and salted will have a uniform coating of snow-over-ice.

Let me contrast this with a typical Chicago snowfall.  Typically, it’s 20F or so, everything is already frozen solid, and 4″ of powdery dry snow comes down.  It doesn’t melt.  It doesn’t stick to anything.  People sweep off their sidewalks and life moves on.

Having driven on roads in both areas, I’d trade their coefficient of friction for our coefficient of friction any day.

Finally, hills.  Midwesterners in general don’t have to cope with them.  For sure, they just plain don’t have them in Chicago.  Around here, though, they are a fact of life.  And once you find yourself sliding downhill, on the frozen slush hidden under the snow, there really isn’t much you can do about it.

Bottom line, I’m leaving the car in the garage today.  And the power has gone out now.  So I will just enjoy sitting around the house doing nothing.  For a change