Tuesday, November 23, 2010

School's Closed on Account of.... Rain?

Well, here in Alaska, we are seeing something unusual. Rain in late November. Many people would think that was perfectly fine. But we saw our first snow in late September, and haven't seen grass, nor above freezing temperatures in weeks.

And yesterday morning it began to sprinkle.

Drizzly little bits of water falling on below-freezing ground equals VERY dangerous roads. Especially when many of the roads are never plowed, and you had about a foot of snow land on it a few days prior. What was a 3 inch layer of packed snow on a road swiftly becomes a 2 inch layer of ICE.

There is an article today, that it is the first time in over 30 years that the Fairbanks area has called a full day of no school due to weather. And not because of a blizzard like you might expect in Alaska....but rain. You can see that --> HERE.

So I braved the roads today, because the roads are mostly just really slushy, and I HAD to go to the store and get some groceries to begin my Thanksgiving preps.

When I came home, I decided to take advantage of the warm weather...a balmy 35 degrees, and move some of those huge piles of snow, so that the next snow we got, we could have a place to pile it.

Along the driveway, I packed the snow down in the middle, creating a trough to hold the next snow.

I did the same by the garage.

But take a look at this driveway.

That pretty, shiny blackness is not water, because our driveway slopes.

That is a 1/2 thick (or more) sheet of pure ice.

When I came out of my garage with the shovel, I took ONE STEP and swiftly landed smack on my hip and elbow. It has been years since I fell on ice. Needless to say, it took me about 1.5 milliseconds to go in the house and put these on.

I grew up in Wisconsin, and never wore these until now. I felt like a mountain climber in my driveway, hehe! (Although mine are a brand called "Kahtoola - Microspikes." and not "YakTrax")

But take a look at our road.

Tonight it is only getting down to 31 degrees, but tomorrow night the low will be 22, and a high Thursday of 10 degrees with a low that night of 2 degrees. On top of that, the rain is to continue, and turn into snow, continuing through the weekend. That standing water is going to be NASTY.

On the upside, I now have a naked snow man in my front yard, because for the first time, we can really pack the snow!