THIS IS LOOKING SOUTH FROM OUR FRONT DOOR (THROUGH THE GLASS STORM DOOR, I DIDN'T GO OUT.) DECEIVING AS THERE IS NOT MUCH SNOW ACCUMULATED ON CARS. HOWEVER, WINDS GUSTING TO 60 HAVE MOVED THAT SNOW INTO THE YARDS AND STREETS. THE DRIFT NEAR THE MAILBOX IS PROBABLY 15 INCHES. GUESSING THAT THE DRIFT IN THE CUL DE SAC IS 18 INCHES.
they're calling it a blizzard. perhaps worse than the christmas eve blizzard in 2009. worse because of the extreme cold temperatures. it's 8:32 a.m. real temperature is 9. wind gusting 40-60, meaning when you apply finnegan's finagling factor, the resulting wind chill is somewhere between 15 and 20 below zero. at that rate, frostbite begins to occur in 18 minutes. good to just stay inside.
the oklahoma city metro area has now had, depending on the exact area, between 7 and 12 inches of snow. roads are extremely slick. aided, no doubt, by the short period of freezing rain just before the snow started. not the best conditions to be driving through.
this kind of weather isn't really foreign to me. having lived in flagstaff for 18 years, i've traveled successfully in conditions like this, or worse even. but here it's a little different.
been watching the local news broadcasts all morning. just heard that the city has 25 snow plows. huh? for a city this size? flagstaff had near a hundred. of course, the frequency of these storms is much greater in flag. not a lot of need for them here. but that explains why very few roads are plowed. only major thoroughfares. and then, early on they only plow those that are designated "snow plowed routes".
what that means to me is that the neighborhood streets are pretty snowy. our cul de sac has drifts that i'd guess would be 18 inches deep. consistent level of 6 or so inches. and, as mentioned, i've driven in much worse. so most likely, driving slowly, cautiously, i have no doubt i could make the twelve mile drive to work. why then, have i declared it a snow day?
well, while i have a real high level of confidence in my ability to drive through these conditions, i'm not so sure about the other's guys ability. and having watched the "on street" tv reporters, it's abundantly clear that there are a lot of inexperienced foul weather drivers out there. and they can cause problems for others just as much as for themselves. further, again as evidenced by the tv reports, there are a lot of idiots out there. you know the type. they drive four wheel drive suv's and have an air of omnipotence. good traction justifies higher speed. and they appear to scoff at the cautious drivers as they speed by.
i lived in flagstaff for 18 years. i've seen these "idiots" before. i had an 8 mile drive to town on i-17 for several years. it always tickled me to see a nice, new escalade zip by my two wheel drive pickup on the freeway. more times than not, within a couple of miles i'd see that escalade in the median. buried in the deep snow. sometimes rolled over on its side. sometimes upside down. that four wheel drive grip will cause over overconfidence, you see. and what they don't realize is . . . ok they have greater traction. but when it comes to turning, stopping, they're no better than the rest of us. and their cockiness is rewarded by a crash.
so considering those people are out in good numbers, i've chosen to stay home today. well, that, together with the fact that the governor had declared a "state of emergency". both the governor and the mayor are asking all non-essential workers to stay home. don't risk the drive. i think that's a good idea. and i consider my work "non-essential".
the governor felt so strongly about this that she declared this state of emergency at about 4 p.m. yesterday. shortly there after our company vice president sent a mass email to all employees - asking us to be cautious, but do everything we can to get there. huh? is he kidding. i'm a loyal employee. i have a very good work ethic. but i'm a bit appalled that he would ask us to endanger ourselves in these conditions. wonder if he drives a four wheel drive suv.