Sunday, February 24, 2013

Talking About the Weather

Sunday, February 24, 2013. We had snow Friday, two inches in St. Cloud, about an hour down the Interstate. Minndot (Minnesota Department of Transportation) said driving was hazardous between Avon and Sauk Centre, and 124 accidents in the state make that seem plausible. Sadly, one of the crashes was fatal.

This is another week when I didn't get out much. I found that news at the St. Cloud Times' website:
One of the neighbors was out this morning, shoveling snow off his roof. Sounds like this was a good day to get that done. There's freezing fog in the forecast: "which may lead to slick spots," as a somewhat understated hazardous weather outlook put it.

This map shows where we can look forward to interesting driving tomorrow. "Look forward" may not be quite the right way to put that.

National Weather Service map, with the "Hazardous Weather Outlook" area shaded. February 24, 2013.

That possible freezing fog is fairly minor, compared to what'll be going on in northern Texas, Oklahoma, and elsewhere:

National Weather Service map, with the weather forecast areas shaded. February 24, 2013.

One of the stereotypes of life in small towns, at least in this part of the country, is that we're 'always talking about the weather.' There's some truth to that, although I don't think it's because there's nothing else going on. Towns like Sauk Centre are nowhere near as far removed from agribusiness as larger cities. Around here, weather affects crops and livestock - which directly or indirectly affects the rest of us.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Finally: Snow

Sunday, February 17, 2013. The hospital/nursing home lifted its restrictions on visitors, so apparently the flu season is over. The announcement said that we're still urged to stay home if we're sick. That seems rather obvious, I think.

We finally got snow: quite a bit. I like the scenery, and hope it stays cold enough to stay frozen until spring.

Snow, from the parking lot of Our Lady of the Angels church.  Scenic as it is, I'm looking forward to spring. February 13, 2013.

Ash Street South in Sauk Centre. We've got roughly a foot of snow, apart from drifts and piles left from shoveling. February 13, 2013.

Saturday morning, after most of the frost had blown off branches. February 16, 2013.

I see that there's a Winter Weather Advisory out for this area, from noon tomorrow to midnight. Blowing snow is the featured performer. Once again, I'm happy to have nowhere I need to go.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bright Blue Afternoon Today, Inteterstates Closed During Storm

It's a bright blue winter afternoon here in Sauk Centre, Minnesota:

Image from my webcam, Small Town America: Central Minnesota. (February 13, 2013, 4:31 p.m.)

Sunday was a different story. Interstate highways were closed: I29 was closed from Watertown, South Dakota, to the Canadian border; I94 from Alexandria, Minnesota, about 20 miles northwest of here, to Jamestown, North Dakota. I stayed inside and enjoyed not having to travel.

In the news:
"Part of Interstate 29 closed; storm strands UND hockey team in South Dakota"
Associated Press, via The Bismark Tribune (February 10, 2013, 2:16 p.m.)

"The University of North Dakota hockey team is stranded in South Dakota after officials closed a portion of Interstate 29 because of a winter storm.

"The the team and many fans were on their way back from a weekend series in Omaha, Neb., when officials in South Dakota closed Interstate 29 from Watertown to the North Dakota border....

"...Terry Woster with the South Dakota Department of Public Safety says Interstate 90 is closed between Wall and Chamberlain. Interstate 29 has been closed from Watertown, S.D., to Fargo, N.D.

"In North Dakota, officials have issued a no travel advisory for the southeast portion of the state."

"I-29 closed from S.D. to Grand Forks; US 2 closed Grand Forks to Crookston"
Grand Forks Herald (February 10, 2013, 10:00 p.m.)

"A major storm swept through the Red River Valley on Sunday as Blizzard Cooper dropped heavy snow and blew in high winds that closed interstates and other roads, cancelled events and left some travelers far from home.

"About 8:30 p.m. today, U.S. Highway 2 was closed from Grand Forks east to Crookston as more snow wrapped around to the northern Red River Valley and winds increased.

"The Herald is naming the storm after media personality Anderson Cooper, who befriended local columnist Marilyn Hagerty after she went viral in 2012.

"The Grand Forks area remains in a winter storm warning until Monday morning, while the southern Red River Valley remains in a blizzard warning.

"Snowfall from Cooper varied throughout the region - between 2 to 6 inches was forecast for Grand Forks, while Fargo, Jamestown and southeastern North Dakota had the most snowfall, with about a foot reported in Fargo and 14 inches at Colfax, N.D., the National Weather Service said Sunday. Snow totals increased as the storm moved east; some parts of the Minnesota lakes area were expected to get as much as 16 inches.

"But snow wasn't Cooper's only problem; high winds caused widespread white-out conditions and forced officials to close Interstate 29 from the South Dakota border to Grand Forks and Interstate 94 from Jamestown, N.D., east to Alexandria, Minn.

"Snow and wind gusts approaching 35 mph stranded the UND hockey team and many fans returning from the games in Omaha on Friday and Saturday. The UND hockey team took shelter in Sisseton, S.D., and a bus full of fans stayed at the Summit, S.D., community center, where area residents made them welcome and even cooked for them...."

Somewhat-related posts:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Winter Storm

Sunday, February 10, 2013. The good news is that the flu seems to be fading in our area. The not-so-good news is the winter storm that came yesterday, and is forecast to run until about 6:00 p.m. tomorrow. We've gotten a bit over a half foot of snow so far:

02/10/2013 0600 PM
St cloud, Stearns County.
Snow m6.5 inch, reported by official NWS obs.

02/10/2013 0244 PM
2 miles N of Sauk Centre, Stearns County.
Snow m7.0 inch, reported by trained spotter.
(from Sauk Centre, MN;

About 9:50 p.m., from my webcam. February 10, 2013.

Right now, I'm told we've got north wind of about 18 miles an hour, and light snow. The snow must be quite light, since it doesn't show up on my webcam. A few folks have been driving in town today, and I've heard a snowmobile or two: but there's not nearly the usual traffic.

According to the radio, dodgeball and figure skating was cancelled today. The Sauk Centre Soo Bahk Do folks didn't have classes, either. My guess is that quite a few people are staying inside if they can.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Back in Time for Snow

Sunday, February 3, 2013. It's snowing, and fairly warm: several degrees above zero, Fahrenheit. I'm back in town, after spending most of the week in North Dakota, helping Spiral Light Candle get candles shipped to stores around the country. Actually, I took care of some routine data entry: so others could get their jobs done.

I haven't caught the flu, but seem to have picked up a cold. The nursing home still limits visitors to immediate family who are 12 or over. They're taking no chances, which I think is a good idea.

Between helping at a candle factory and blowing my nose, I haven't had much time to see what's going on in Sauk Centre. I think I'll be back to a more routine schedule next week: but I've thought that before, and been surprised.