Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Pennsylvania Snow

Last week, just before Thanksgiving, we experienced our first proper Pennsylvania snow. 
DewCatDesigns Snowman
Now I'm a southern English girl - born and brought up near Portsmouth (near the sea) and then moved and settled in Cardiff in South East Wales (near the sea).  So snow hasn't really been a frequent occurrence, other than on more recent skiing trips to Andorra (and because you're skiing, you kind of expect the snow, and the ski resorts are built for it and cope rather well, unsurprisingly).  Don't get me wrong, a few years ago in Cardiff we had one or two particularly heavy snowfalls which made getting to work a bit of a nightmare, and caused the usual inconveniences, but it didn't hang around for that long and it's not a normal occurrence.  And it tends to get grey and sludgy pretty quickly.

The weather forecasts here in the US are something on the dramatic side - often they're given by the [dramatic voice] "Storm Watch Team".  But whilst they tend to over-dramatise things, they're actually quite accurate.  So when hubby sent me out on a mission for snow shovels and ice scrapers on Monday because snow was forecast before Thursday, I thought it was perhaps a bit of overkill.  However, early on Wednesday morning, as we drove to the gym, it started to rain / sleet.  Within half an hour, it was snowing lightly.  By the time we left the gym, it had started to lay in the car-park.  Driving home through swirling snow "flakes" the size of tennis balls is interesting.  So we holed up at home in the warm and cosy and watched as the scenery gradually whited out.

Within 45 minutes, everything was covered.  It was actually quite beautiful.  It snowed for the rest of the day - a good 4-6 inches.  Whilst the snowfall stopped late on Wednesday night, the snow itself hung around in our back yard for the rest of the weekend, only really disappearing in the rain yesterday.  Luckily we didn't have to go anywhere, and the two of us had our inaugural Thanksgiving dinner looking out onto pure white.

The roads were cleared really quickly, and when I went out again on Friday morning, despite having to clear 3 inches of frozen snow from my car, the world was moving once again perfectly normally, despite piles of snow 6 feet deep in all the car parks (cleared very promptly for all the Black Friday bargain-hunters).  And seemingly none of the grey sludgy stuff to contend with.
We've been warned about the winters here - the last few have apparently been particularly bad - so this may be the first snowfall of a recurring theme for the next few months!

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