Saturday, January 30, 2010


Snow January 2010 #2

Snow January 2010 #1We’re having a spell of climate change again here in the Central Virginia Tundra. Finely powdered climate change has been falling since last night, and is expected to continue into this evening. As of this writing we have about 11 inches (28 cm) of the stuff.

For a while it was a complete whiteout. Then the blizzard eased off, and I went out during the lull and took a few photos. It’s very cold now, about 17°F (-8°C), so the snow is completely dry, and drifting a bit.

This morning I had a brief skype discussion with KGS at Tundra Tabloids about the weather. He lives in Finland, so what we’re experiencing here in the balmy subtropical zones is trivial compared with normal conditions up there in the Frozen North. Here’s an excerpt from our conversation:

Baron: Hey we’re have having major climate change here right now, about 25 cm of it and supposed to come down all day.
 The temp is low, too.
KGS: Hahaha! Join the club.
Baron: About -8 today, then -12 or so tonight.
KGS: log on the fire
KGS: -18C here.
Baron: But you have an excuse: you live at the north pole.
 We’re at 38 degrees north, fer crissake!
KGS: bwahahahah
Baron: I’ll bet it’s warmer in Yorkshire and Copenhagen than it is here.
KGS: They’re predicting -40C for us in the next 4-5 days. I hope they’re wrong.
Baron: That’s my favorite temperature, because -40C = -40F. No conversion issues!
KGS: Yes it equals out.
Baron: It’s brass monkeys cold though. Take a leak and you create a golden crystal pillar & freeze your manly equipment.
KGS: No licking the fence post!
Baron: Did you ever read the accounts of the winter the Germans spent outside of Moscow? 1941-42 I think it was.
KGS: Yes…it was just as bad when they attacked the Finns in the Winter War.
  -35 to -40C
Baron: Froze the diesel fuel.
KGS: Wrong oil for the weapons…clothing…Ukrainian soldiers froze their rear off.
 Standing next to roaring fires of fallen trees at nighttime…easily picked off by the Finns.

Snow January 2010 #3This blizzard looks to be not quite as threatening as the last one. The total accumulation predicted is less, and this is very, very dry snow, which means that it will pack down into an even smaller amount as soon as soon as the warmer sunny weather comes in next week.

So we’ll just enjoy the visual wonder of it for the rest of the afternoon. Tomorrow I’ll call the man who scrapes the road and try to dig out the car…

The photo below was taken from the eyrie under the cupola here at Schloss Bodissey, looking out across the gables from my window, which is next to the desk and keyboard where I write my deathless prose:

Snow January 2010 #4

I’ll leave you with these lyrics by Al Stewart from the album Last Days of the Century:
- - - - - - - - -

by Al Stewart and Peter White

Long before I ever saw
The frost upon your face
I was haunted by your beauty
And it drew me to this place
I felt the chill of mystery
With one foot on your shore
And then and there resolved to go
Where no man had before

Maybe I was snowblind
But it seemed the wind spoke true
And I believed its stories then
As dreamers sometimes do
In Antarctica
In Antarctica

Who knows what the powers may be
That cause a man to go
Mindless of the dangers
Out across the virgin snow
Seduced by this ambition
I easily forgot
The hopeless quest of Shackleton
The dreamlike death of Scott

Maybe I was snowblind
Perhaps it sapped my will
But something of my innocence
Is wandering there still
In Antarctica
In Antarctica


Anonymous said...

For except a couple of years when I was a little girl, this is the COLDEST, SNOWIEST winter for a couple of decades in my city. We even had a yellow code for cold weather and some other cities had an orange one. But again, we reached negative temperatures on the Fahrenheit scale, which happened only once in the last decade for two days. We did it every night for the last week or two. Global warming my ass.

Anonymous said...

I envy you your location in an eyrie under a cupola. I will retire in a little over a year. Thank goodness I have wireless so I can work on my deck in good weather.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Here in Denmark, we've had frost & snow for 1½ months straight, starting at the COP15 "Climate Change" summit.

As late as yesterday, Copenhagen had another foot of the white stuff, while our easter island Bornholm is severely hit. It's extremely spotty, however - from my perspective in the middle of Jutland, nothing dramatic happens, just an inch or two from time to time.

Weird weather. Some warming would be nice, though.