Thursday, January 23, 2014

Snow and Freeze Days

(Reclaimed from Bubblews. Image credit: I originally used a photo of the snowy woods near my home, but since Bubblews' system change destroyed that image, here's a snowy woods picture from Jschumacher at

Has it really been a week since I've been online? Yes...on Monday night and Tuesday morning it seemed too cold for much snowfall, but a little powdery stuff kept falling for most of 36 hours. Buildings that had opened on Tuesday morning soon closed, and stayed closed until Friday afternoon or today. 

And it was (by local standards) extremely cold--back down around zero degrees Fahrenheit for most of the work week. Saturday's weather was back to normal. Sunday's was warm, but rainy, around Gate City.

On the way to the computer center I saw that neither the thaw nor the rain had completely removed all the ice and snow around Powell Mountain.

The good news is that nobody reported trees breaking across power lines, so everybody had electric heat during the Big Freeze.

It occurred to me over the weekend that this has been a January without a Thaw. What "the January Thaw" means in Virginia is several days when temperatures stay above freezing even at night, so the apple trees don't get enough freezing weather to produce a good crop, and if the thaw lasts too long other trees start to bud too soon. Most years, the concern is whether the thaw is lasting too long. But this year, although there were two or three days when the afternoon high was warmer than usual, and one day we had a heat record, there weren't two warm days in a row.