Wednesday 29 January 2014

Icepocalypse! First, "Winter Storm Kronos", and then "Son of Kronos, Winter Storm Leon". Arctic Vortex, and other Piffle.

Yes, In the U.S., folk like their storms to be labelled. 
Winter Storm Kronos! That was the arctic weather and blizzards that dumped an almost perceptible amount of snow on us last friday. Kronos!: I imagined a Doctor Who-esque scenario as supervillain Kronos, orbiting earth on a stealth-ship, pulls the levers that set in motion another ice-age.
It brought chaos to Houston, Texas, stern-faced newsreaders looking earnestly into the camera, warning about disaster planning, schools and all manner of businesses closed, temperatures dipped below freezing for a few hours, and a teaspoonful of snow fell.
If I get caught shaking my head in bemused wonderment once more, the sherrif’s department willl probably arrest me for ‘Mocking Texas’. I’m sure they’ll have a law of that kind.

The schools were all closed again, yesterday, for ‘Winter Storm Leon’. No snow fell around here, but the tough guys of Texas cowered indoors. Ice is for inside a drink, or to skate on in a nice heated hall, when it gets out in the wild, they don’t know what to make of it.

If Britain did that, I kind of doubt the thrill would be quite the same as in "Winter Storm Bert", or 'Harry'.
Or Winter Storm "Tea and Crumpets".
Nonetheless, fearsome weather conditions have returned with 'Leon'.
The Woodlands is in the coastal plain designation, despite being 80 miles from the coast. Just north of here, the land rises slightly, and there is a corresponding weather-step, they get snow more than we do. i.e, they get it very rarely, we get it almost not at all. Mind you, for a people who normally live in sweltering heat, a drop to a normal U.K.  january temperature is terrifying.

Nicely iced.....
I'm thinking "I survived a Houston Winter" T-shirts and bumper stickers.

See, the neighbours have a heavy accumulation of snow on the roof.

And the roads, ohhhhh fear and terror.....
We'll just have to eat the dog if the relief column doesn't get through.


  1. I grew up and learned to drive in South Dakota, but I never saw ice on the roads until I moved to Tulsa and then Arkansas. From your pictures, though, I'd say that it would take a bit more ice than that to paralyze us Arkansans.

    I really regret that I'm not going to make it down to Rocky next weekend. Circumstances conspired against me. Instead I'm settling for another 12 Hours of Tontitown Park, shooting for 142 laps (50-point-something miles) but will settle for anything over my current record of 127 laps. I'll get down that direction sometime, though. No guesses when.

    Make a really small snowman for me!

    1. Okay, Dave, We'll be seeing you at another time and place, no doubt. I'd been mentally preparing the official support vehicle for the task, we'd parked outside a store or two which sell running shoes. I didn't want it to panic and bolt when it saw people in fluorescent colors like hot pink, or bilious green... And I'm referring to the runners' faces, not their outfits.

  2. I had two tablespoons of icy snow in the crease between my hood and my windshield. I'm surprised they didn't call out the snowplow.

    (I live on the south side of Houston, by the way, so I survived the grim reality of the Houston hard winter as well).

  3. And don't forget poor Atlanta! They supposedly got a whole 2 inches of snow and now the area is apparently a disaster area. Rumor has it they were going to invest in a snowplow after their last storm a few years back, but nothing came of it apparently. But then they'd have to hire and train someone to use it. So. Well, it's easy to laugh at these people. (Damn easy.)

    Born and raised in Michigan and now live in high elevations of NM. I've never really had a respite from snow. Snowed in May once. We've always had snow removal equipment though, so I guess that's key.

    Was your neighbor up on the roof with a broom so it doesn't cave in from the weight of the snow? Snurkle.

    1. Yes, having the equipment helps, also the training that regular snow and ice impart.
      As a toddler, I'd be out in the snow all day. I remember the tears of cold fingers returning to warm after building snowmen with soaked, icy gloves... But, as soon as I'd warmed up, I'd be clamouring to go outside again.
      So we learn to live with snow and ice, we learn how to walk on it, conserve heat, all those things. And, as it happens every year without fail, we learn to drive on it and we learn about the varying coefficients of friction, not as an abstract thing, but with the sure knowledge that an attempt at an abrupt change of direction, harsh braking or accelleration will lead to a skid, and maybe far worse. So it's a little mean to me to poke fun at these lowland heat-adapted texans, when really, they've had so little experience of it, Schadenfreude.
      People were trapped overnight in their cars in Atlanta, because neither they nor their city had the faintest idea of how to deal with snow. Crazy.

  4. I am glad to say you have had more snow than us, we just gets lashings of rain here in the soft south.
    Naturally they were offering snow tonight further north.
    The problem is the US! Grabbing the snow from the north pushes the jetstream south giving us torrents of rain, see Somerset, and actually warming us, for winter that is! Quite chilly now but no 'big freeze' as yet.
    You will of course realise that a 'bad winter' indicates a 'hot summer!'

    1. I realise nothing of the sort.
      Way back, all my life, I've been listening to old country lore, my grandfather, a farmer, was pretty good on the weather for the next few days, but not so great on the longer term.
      In Yorkshire, the man to listen to on weather was Bill Foggit, of Thirsk, he predicted the weather based on his father's and grandfather's observations and records, and on old weather lore gleaned from historic sources. So Bill came to national fame after a long freeze, which he had predicted, and when the Met Office predicted it continuing for five more weeks, Bill, based on observation of moles burrowing up from beneath the snow, and buds in the hedgerow, said "No, there'll be a thaw, starting this week". The Financial Times wrote about him, international news reporters sought him out...
      After he died, aged 91, someone finally thought to do a retrospective analysis. It seemed we based his reputation on his successes, but conveniently forgot the majority of times when he was wrong.

  5. We name our cyclones down this way. One morning many years ago when I was living up at the Sunshine Coast...we had sleet; and that caused some surprised expressions...ain't no sunshine when it's sleeting

  6. I don't know about anyone else, but I personally roll my eyes at the Weather Channel with their winter-storm-naming business. (Leon? REALLY?!?!)

    Then again, I've been really annoyed with their drama-queen tendencies of late ("OMG! Direct TV dropped us! People are gonna die because they can't get the weather!" Never mind that half their programming time is given over to dumb reality shows, and their predictions for my area are really pretty inaccurate...)

  7. Only in America could bad weather be the President's fault, according to some...

  8. Tea & Crumpets, stay indoors, worst storm eveeerr!

  9. We've had about a quarter inch that lasted a couple of hours here in Huddlyfuddly. Plenty of rain though.
    Happy new year to you and Mrs Briquette


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