Tag Archives | snow

Wow, the south really are a bunch of pansies

Intriguing map of counties in the U.S. that indicates how much snow must fall before schools close:

Map of What Schools Close Depending on Snow Amount
See all that green? That’s for “any amount of snow.”

As in, if one special snowflake hits the ground, the world simply stops turning down there.

The dark blue is for 24 inches.  Yes, literally 2 feet of snow has to blanket the earth before they even think about canceling school.  Funny stuff, but I actually find this map quite instructive.  I love mountains, and I love a modest amount of snow (emphasis, MODEST) so I wouldn’t want to live in a state where it didn’t at least snow a few times a year on average.  That’s why I’m noting with interest that small sliver of light blue along the Tennessee/North Carolina borders where the Smokies are located, and gradually deepening in blue as you move up to West Virginia.  This was one of the few places east of the Mississippi that I thought about moving to, and it marks one of the rare areas of the South (or Mid-Atlantic) where I wouldn’t find myself cursing the humidity and the heat 12 months out of the year.

Due west there is of course Colorado, and I’m pleased to see some of my favorite travel destinations in that state have lighter shades of blue.  Montana though, lolz.  Arizona however turned out to be a surprise for me.  I had always written off the entire state as an arid, intolerably hot desert climate but as it turns out, from the central region where Flagstaff is located and going due north, it actually has a much more temperate climate, with sometimes significant amounts of snow during the winter.  I traveled Route 66 going east in Arizona last October, and I was amazed to see how the landscape morphed from brown and dead to a green and lively forest region as I approached the town of Williams.  For that reason I added Arizona to my list of potentials (my current tally is 13 possible states).

I’m not actually moving by the way, this is just stuff I like to think about as I await the day when I can finally leave New York for all time, forever and ever, amen and amen.

This was not the vortex I was looking for

When I hear the word vortex, the image that springs to mind is the Star Trekian type of vortex.  You know, a spinning funnel that hurtles your ship into a wormhole and sends you into the past/future/alternate universe.  A funsie kind of vortex, to which you can either undo mistakes of the past, see the wonders of the future, or settle into a mirror universe where red means go, green means stop, Elvis is still alive, and I’m an introverted millionaire living in a jewel encrusted cabin in Colorado with a sexy and God fearing Jessica Alba and our 32 kids.  Oh, and where such a thing as iOS 7 never happened.  And the Chicago Cubs won the World Series.

Ok, scratch that last one.  There is no universe in which that would ever happen.

So what kind of vortex does real life give me?  Well, this one:

Polar Vortex Map

I could really use some of that global warming right about now.

I realize there’s a certain sense of irony where I groan like an old woman about the snow we’re getting in downstate New York while dreaming of living under the special snowflakes of Colorado, but I think I know why.  Because of the humid climate here, the snow never… goes… away.  It doesn’t evaporate, it doesn’t melt, it stays, and stays, and stays, until we pour 5 million tons of salt and sand all over the roads just to rid us of some of it so the entire suburbanplex that is Long Island doesn’t grind to an apocalyptic halt.

In Colorado, the arid climate ensures that whatever snow does hit the ground doesn’t overstay its welcome, even when facing subzero temps.  And while the mountainous terrain has a tendency to draw extremes out of the weather, it’s balanced out by 300+ days of sunny weather out of the year.

Of course, having yet to be trapped in a serious storm during my frequent visits there, my perception of the weather is probably still a little rose colored.  Still, it’s telling how deep my antipathy for New York must be when I rail like an unhinged madman against the snow here, while in contrast I prance around in it like a jubilant 5 year old when I’m in Colorado.

Aside

Driving and surviving in Colorado

Colorado’s been getting some cray cray weather lately, so I’m likely going to abandon my original plan of taking a road trip beginning with Denver, stretching out to Frisco, and then snaking down south to near Cripple Creek tomorrow.   With 6 to 12 inches of snow being projected for certain areas and the uncertainty of what rental I may get, I’m not feeling that lucky.

Fortunately it will get warmer and dryer toward the end of the week, so I may luck out then.  In the meantime I downloaded CDOT Mobile for my iPhone and bookmarked CoTrip.org to keep track of the latest road conditions.  I <3 technology, but especially my iPhone.

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