Record Snow – 2017: Update

Since I last posted here, so much has gone on weather wise that I thought I would dedicate this post to just the weather. The top story is the amount of snow we got here in the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver area, but like with typical weather in British Columbia, you only have to wait fine minutes for it to change into something else. The rough outline of events: it is said that we got over 62cm of total snow dumped on us since the beginning of last week when the storms hit us. We also had below normals temperatures in that period of time too, along with a sharp warm-up that started on Wednesday (February 8th). On February 8th, we had a mini ice storm, which I drove home in, which was the most hazardous time of diving I experienced all this winter season from the black ice on the road and freezing rain sticking to everything including my wind-shield. Now, we are dealing with snow melt and rain, along with plus 5C weather, but the good news, it is melting.

The above image was taken on February 7th, 2017 showing the day after of the snow storm. This shot shows the highest amount of the snow that fell this last week. I took this shot before I left for work. That same night we had the ice storm. It was a struggle to get back into my driveway. Ice was everywhere, as the rain hit every frozen surface. Branches from near by trees were snapping like toothpicks.

In the above image taken today, one of the many trees that had its branches snapped off during the ice storm back on Wednesday. Some of the branches were nearly 10cm in diameter! This is why we have some many power outages here.

According to the weather prognosticators at Environment Canada, we should see a steady increase in daily temperatures, well above freezing, along with night time lows as well. So, it could be conceivable that all of this snow will be gone by next week. For now, we are dealing with pooling water, and the odd road that has not been cleared. For me, it is my driveway, the snow bank left by the grader is my biggest obstacle, but my 4X4 SUV can handle that.

I have to hand it to these guys, they are tough as nails. While it was minus 11C out, with the blowing wind and ice pellets on the snow, these guys kept on going, as if nothing was wrong. They have the advantage with their wool coats. LOL Though, they do look a little pissed in this shot, but as long as they have straw, hay and water, I think they keep to themselves. They snuggle up to each other in the covered area when it really rains out, so they do use the shelter from time to time.

Snowpocalypse: The Dump Continues

I think this is the best word to describe it: “Snowpocalypse.” It seems to sum up it best for me. I measured it on my patio table, and I got 42cm of powdery snow. I also noticed that underneath, a layer of ice, about 2cm think, is everywhere too. I did a little drive in my SUV, just down the road a little, about 4km and back, and I seem to have had no troubles with getting around, but I was driving slow. But the weather prognosticators are saying that we will see snow weather systems for the next five days here in  the valley! Umph.

We must be breaking records around here with all of this snow and cold weather? I do not think I have ever seen it this bad in my time living here. Oh well, we have to live with it, no matter what. I hope the melt will be as fast as it got dumped.

I spent part of my afternoon shovelling out my driveway, for my morning commute tomorrow. I figure at least I should have a clean driveway so that I will not get stuck there. I just hope the Township has its snow removal gear out by tomorrow, or we will be in a Snowpocalypse for sure, as chaos erupts everywhere with crazy motorists on the roads going to work.

Another Dump of Snow

Say it ain’t so…, yes, it is another round of snow, brought to us by the freaky weather anomalies of climate change. Since yesterday, the snow has fallen here almost uninterrupted, with an accumulation of nearly 20cm of it. Driving on the roads here is almost a joke, though it is possible, it would be rough going. My little stretch of road just got ploughed an hour ago, and is was only a single lane that got cleared; so if you have to pass another car in the on coming direction, one of use would have to drive in the snow bank. 

I decided not to go out today. Even though I have lots to do, I elected to stay put. I am not going to stress myself out attempting to drive in all this snow, knowing that road chaos is out there. I will survive as long it takes until the roads are good again.

Fortunately the power has been pretty good. I only notice a couple of small interruptions, mainly just flickers of the lights, so hopefully our lick will hold. Though I am prepared for an all-night power outage, candles, water and a propane heater. But I would by grumpy.

The weather people say this could last up until Monday when the snow may start to melt away, as the rain eventually starts. So, I guess, this means my whole weekend is shot to hell. Luckily, the freezing rain did not start. I am sure the power would be out for sure if we got what Eastern Canada with their ice storm. But we are warmer then the last time we had a this type of snow storm. Maybe it will melt faster.

So, it is a good weekend to stay indoors, and off the streets. This is what I intend to do. I think some badly needed computer maintenance time is on my agenda at home.

New Year. Do I Need My Emergency Kit?

Looking back, most of the day was spent without Internet, Cable, Phone and access to my street as five cars that could not make it up the hill, huddled in front of my driveway. It was not the snow, but drivers that made my day a stay-at-home one. The power lines were lined with trees that were leaning up against them from the weight of the snow. Last night’s snow fall was nearly 14cm according to my measurements on my patio. Up until 10:00pm, I was so grateful that the power held, although at multiple times my lights dimmed and flickered wildly for several minutes, until it finally switched off for four hours. However, my Internet was connecting for a few hours at a time, I did have partial contact with the world.

The highlight of the day was listening to the trees bend and break through the early morning. When I walking outside, I was awestruck at the sight I saw: winter. The night before, I took some night shots of the forest, and saw huge green flashes of light, as trees were touching the power lines. But even during the daylight hours, I saw one flash that almost made me jump out of my clothes. Then it struck me: we are not done yet with this weather.

It seems that most weather forecasters get it wrong for my area. When they say I should see 5C, I often get ether something higher, or a lot lower. So when the Snow Warnings were issued, and temps were forecasted, my area was deemed minimal, more inline with the City of Vancouver. Even Abbotsford, the city to my East, was given higher values than what I received, so I had a misguided sense of security with my environment. So I got more snow, and it was far colder then what I thought we would get. Sure, I dealt with it, but under protest.

Tomorrow, the forecast says were are going to have clear skies, but with wind. WIND! Oh, great, there goes the power for sure. Trees bent over from snow, and temperatures well before freezing, now being mixed with wind; all for a recipe for power outages, bad roads, and a long night sleep. I am thinking I should have my Emergency Kit handy–better safe than sorry.

Taking Time Off

Loving the idea of having the next tree days from everything, is nice, but I am starting to develop what seems to be a full blown flu bug. Is there some cosmic joke playing at me, taunting me with 72 hours of bliss, and I get the flu right at the start of it? Right now I have the stuffed nose, congested lungs and a headache that comes and goes when it feel likes. Right now, talking is difficult becuase of the coughing. Some are enjoying my silence, but once it passes, I will talk up a storm to appease them. (Grin)

The Sun came out, but that only meant that it was bitterly cold out. I think it was -4C when I took these shots. The weather prognosticators are suggesting that we will be getting more snow for tomorrow, and possibly the day after. Great, more snow. I guess no bargain hunting shopping this week–staying home if it snows too much.

Yeah, I just rechecked my patio thermometer again, and it is showing -4C out.

Funny, the above shot seems like it is nice and warm day out, but it is not. There are icicles in this shot. Time to stay inside where it is warm, and drain my nose.

Snowing, Snowed, Snow… Then Rain, Then Brown.

Surprise, it snowed! Then it kept snowing, then snowed some more, then the snow seemed to stop. Since then, about lunch time, high noon, it started up again, but it got eerily warmer, and then the snow changed to a fine type of snow, then finally as of now, rain. It is now raining out as of 7:00pm. So, all of this might be gone very soon. Yes, there is a smile on my face while I typed that last bit out. The snow will be all gone: and warmer too, to boot!

I am betting that by tomorrow, all the roads will be awesome, and all the slushy white stuff will be gone. Well, only if the temperature shoots up to 10C. The above photo, I shot just around 6:00pm using a long exposure technique becuase it gets quite dark out this time of day. But the photo below clearly shows the snow storm at its hight around noon today. I say, about 8cm fell here at my place today, so far.

Just as a point of interest, I did use my 4X4 mode to get back into my driveway today after I picked up my mail at the Post Office. I usually like to back in, so I kind of spun out when I was getting to the high part of my driveway.

I still do not have running water. My lines are still frozen. I am not going to go through the effort of unthawing them when I know the warmer weather will kick in tonight. I will let nature unfreeze them for me.

Well, we will see what new weather the Weather Gods will bring us tomorrow. Hopefully it is all good, and not something that will keep me home from work tomorrow. 

Frozen Solid – Period!

Sigh… It has been a frozen week for us Lower Mainlanders who are not use to this level of cold. My home did not fair well, as I have no running water due to frozen waterlines. Sleeping at night have been very uncomfortable, especially when the temperatures at night had hit minus 11 and 12 yesterday and the day before. The good news is, we are going to bounce back to our normal weather starting tonight, but the bad news in all this, we start off with a snow storm before the (welcomed) glorious plus 9C kicks in for Monday. I am currently not a happy camper.

Tonight should be a lot warmer than the last five days have been. I am so looking forward to this. My heating bill will be huge come next month becuase of this, and I hope I can take is easy on my furnace the next week or so. I really do not care if we get a metre of snow, it will all start to melt by the time Monday gets here with highs well above freezing. Life in my tin box, as I call it–my trailer, has been tough as of late. This place has been very hard to keep warm and comfortable becuase it was never designed to be out in -15C weather. So I have resorted to just keeping one section nice and warm, while keeping the rest of it as warm as possible without freezing, especially at night when I am sleeping.

Frozen water pipes is not fun either. Fortunately I have a water cooler that holds quite a bit of water, so I have plenty of drinking water, but bathing and laundry, it will get tricky dealing with those chores.  I just bought a new water bottle for the cooler, so I have nice supply of water until my pipes thaw out. I am hoping to have running water as early as tomorrow, but Monday looks like the time when things really warm up to work on it. Either way I have plans in place, so I will not smell bad ether way. I will have clean clothes and a shower is close at hand. 🙂

 

Frozen – Solid, and More to Come

As the deep-freeze rages onward down here in Southern British Columbia, the thought of anther week of this Arctic Vortex (as the media calls it) is not sitting well with me. I am cold, and getting sick of it. Trailer living in the middle of a -11C night, does not make for a very comfy sleep with two heaters and the furnace cranked up to maximum, when this time last year we were enjoying plus 12C with sunshine! And to think, there is another week to go of this (@$%#$!@ weather) according to Environment Canada’s Website. (As I removed another icicle from the tip of my nose becuase of post nasal drip).

Yes, this is one bitchy Canadian who will not lie about life in the great White North, eh! If I could embrace El Niño and speed up Global Warming and Climate Change today, I would do it, just for spite. Hey, I am only miserable becuase my butt is freezing. Of course, this can change with moving into a proper house (if I had a million dollars).

Looking at the weather forecast, I see next Wednesday, and Thursday as being the coldest days to come with night time lows of -8 and -11 predicted. The good news, no wind or snow in the forecast.

The snow from Friday’s storm is still on the roads, and in some places it is pure ice where the Sun does not shine. For the most part, the roads are in awesome conditions in spite of the freezing temps. Even my Pathfinder is running great, starting up every morning without the block heater plugged in. I owe a lot to my investment of tires I put on the truck last year and the tune-up I gave it a month ago. The tires work better than expected on the snow and ice, and the engine has lots of antifreeze in it. 🙂

Trying to keep my water lines from freezing up is another worry. I have above ground water lines, only becuase that is how the water is hooked up by my Land Lord plug in system. My trailer is only “temporary parked,” so the water line is just a hose that plugs in to the main waterline. Sadly, this is a bit of a nightmare from nights when the temperature drops below freezing. Every year, except last year, I have had at least one day where my water froze. I am hoping to go two years on a row without my water lines freezing.

Minding the Melt: Don’t Step In the Slush

It is like soup out there. The snow, from the Snowmageddon event, has left its fury all over the place, and now the clean-up begins. The result, slush everywhere. Small lakes of water pooling up where it can’t run off, but only trapped in the melting snow. The joke, it is going to freeze tonight making for little ice rinks where the water has pooled. Shovelling will make way to chipping it away. Ho joy.

Am I worried? No. Sooner or latter it will all melt away, so why put the effort into it. Only paths, and perhaps the driveway, but not the whole area of the driveway. I just don’t see the point to it. “Leave it,” I say, “let nature take care of the rest.”

Enjoying the Snow Moment

Greater Vancouver gets snow! I just got home from work, as I worked the evening shift, so it is about 10:00pm now, and the white fluffy snow flakes are a coming down like, like…, like it has not since February 2015, according to CBC Vancouver. This event is like the changing of a president, or an economic super meltdown, or a catastrophic event of bilabial proportions, when it snows in Vancouver, the whole world hears our cry: It rarely snows like this here, we cannot drive in it! Snow is something we know we will get, but rarely see, and preparing for this is at the tail end of our To-Do lists. Snow tires? What are those? Seeing drivers putting around with the barest of wheels on their vehicles is past “funny” on the “Believe it or Not” scale, it borderlines pity.

As I drove home from my work, I had no trouble with the control of my SUV. Yes, I must stress that I own a SUV, a 4 X 4 SUV! Size and power makes a world of difference on the road with snow on ice conditions. I was in complete control throughout my entire trip–as long as I kept my speed no higher than 50km/h. That is the utmost point of the road conditions today–not having to much momentum so that safely stopping in a timely manner can be done. However, in my pursuit of safe-driving while on my way home in the snow, I have a young, wet-behind-the-ears driver, who insisted that his safe speed, for his little Honda (with summer tires), was a brisk 65km/h. His stopping range was beyond what was safe while braking at the intersection of Glover Road and 88th Avenue. He could not stop, and all I felt was a gentle tap from behind. He Rear-ended Me!

The damage was all his. My poor tow-hitch had a little rust scrapped from off of it. In all, myself and my Pathfinder are good. The young, wet-behind-the-ears driver of the little Honda, now has to replace his front grill that ripped off when we parted ways on the road. For me, I laughed at him silently under my breath, as he swore and cursed, and billowed and whined, looking down at his damaged vehicle, and then at the snow. But in all, the damage was minor, and not even worth going to the insurance company to make a claim over it (well, for me at least). The moral of this little story is, respect the snow on the roads, and see the signs; in other words, anticipate the conditions.

Sitting back and enjoying this new bit of scenery was a small bit of pleasure as I watched the big white fluffy snow flakes fall from the sky and land on the ground. A true winter wonderland, and winter is not for a couple more weeks to go–what a deal. The cold, below freezing weather, has been a bit of a aggravation for me, living in a trailer, these are not the best homes to live in while parked under an Super Arctic Air Mass that is covering all of Canada. But all this white, everywhere, is a nice change.

Next week, rumour has it,  we are in for an even worse super arctic blast from the North, where we might see temperatures rip below -12C! That is just unheard of in these parts. And worse yet, this arctic blanket of goodness might stay with us until mid January! Yes, some nether-regions of my lower body just disappeared inside me.