Monday, December 9, 2013

Oh! The Weather Outside is Frightful!

Autumn lingered into the Thanksgiving weekend, and than bang! slam! Winter arrived. It's not just that snow arrived, but how it arrived. It came down on warm streets and then the weather in about 12 hours changed to sub-zero Fahrenheit scale. This means the salt and chemicals that go on the streets wouldn't work due to the low temperature. And the physical principle of cold air taking less volume than warm air went well into operation in the car tires.

This morning I went out to the car garage and entered through the Express door. When I said I needed air in the tires, the young woman at the check-in desk had the air compressor right there and I was out of there in about two minutes.The thermometer in my car said the outside temperature was -3 Fahrenheit ( -19 Celsius).

I came home really appreciating an underground garage!

I looked at the Updraft Blog on the web site for Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). This is prepared by Paul Huttner, a meteorologist for MPR.
According to his blog, right now 66.9% of the United States is snow covered.

Huttner's blog reports that last year at this time only 26% of the continental 48 states were snow-covered.

Still packing for my move next week, and this afternoon decided to carry back the dry cleaner bag to the office along with the gift I had purchased for the Toys for Tots project with which this property is cooperating. Slipped on my shoes and set off. This route is down the hall, turn left, walk to the elevator, take it down to the ground floor and exit the building there, walk across the street to the other building where  the manager's office is located, and replicate the walk in that building. That's when I realized I hadn't really made the mental switch to winter -- I should have had boots on for walking through the snow as I crossed the street!

Here are some views out the door this afternoon.

Everything is snow-covered. Officially we've had 7 inches (17 cm) of snow. What is unusual is to see the river snow-covered. There is enough ice on the river to hold the snow.

Looking upstream I see the electricity generating plant.

The setting sun is lighting up the steam plume from the plant. The bridge span is the north end of what is called the High Bridge.

Looking downstream one can see a view of the city center and the district heating plant. The heating plant supplies much of the downtown area of St.Paul.


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