Field of Science

Snow & cold

Well, it is winter so some snow & cold is expected. Yesterday and last night's snowfall only accumulated some 4-5 inches, our first significant snow of this winter season. As par for the course, a big cold air mass, sometimes called a Canadian clipper, pushes down from the north after the front that brought the snow. It's nice that lots of little plants got a nice insulating blanket of snow before the real cold temperatures arrive tonight and tomorrow. It might get down to -4 F (-20 C), and that's enough for some cold challenged plants, and more than enough for a botanist. The reaction to the first snow was very predictable; all manner of activities were canceled, including a 12th night party of some renown, as if this were a blizzard. Presently the roads and all are just fine. The first freezy mixture also exposed all of the terrible drivers out there who need reminders about stopping distances and driving speeds. These morons are quite dangerous. Whenever TPP thinks about snow his thoughts return to Oswego New York, a place that knows snow. Oswego is expecting some lake affect snow, which can fall at the rate of 1-3 inches an hour, and their expected accumulation is some 12-24 inches of snow (30-60 cm), a modest enough amount in the grand scheme of things where they could get 10 times this much snow over the course of the winter, and every now and then, they get a winter's worth of snow in just a few days. However it rarely gets as cold as here in the mid-west although they often have quite a wind chill factor.

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