Thundersnow --  12/09/05

The forecast was for snow in the morning, heavy at times, then switching over to rain at mid-morning along the coast and later in the day inland, and then changing back to snow flurries in the evening. Thus, we could get one to three inches along the coast, four to six further inland, and six to ten in the northern part of the state.

We started off with snow a bit before dawn, had a couple of inches by eight o'clock or so, and it changed to rain around nine... as noontime neared the rain had become a light drizzle.

Suddenly, a bit past one o'clock I heard such a loud roaring noise that I turned and looked out the window, half expecting to see some huge piece of construction machinery being hauled down the street on a flat-bed trailer (articulated lorry I think that would be in British English) -- no, it was the wind -- and it was snowing again. It seemed to be snowing quite heavily but it was difficult to tell because it was blowing sideways.

It was an absolute blizzard with near white-out conditions. According to the weather folks, what we had was an example of bombogenesis as well as thundersnow..Bombogenesis is defines as an extreme form of cyclogenesis, a mid-latitude cyclonic flow that causes a significant drop in barometric pressure in a short period of time. Thundersnow is a thunderstorm producing snow (and we did have thunder and lightning with this storm) along with large hail or severe winds. I don't think there was any hail, but a lot of snow came down very quickly (more than an inch in less than an hour in my area and much more in some other areas) along with fierce winds. The weather bureau cited sustained winds of fifty miles an hour and gusts over seventy miles an hour. A gust of eighty-one miles an hour was recorded in Westerly.

We lost power several times for just brief intervals but I shut down my computers to play it safe.

I had driven Nancy to work in the morning so at mid-afternoon she called for a ride home. It was still snowing (although no longer as windy) when I set out on the three mile drive -- but just minutes later the return trip was in bright sunshine.

Our snowy backyard.

Snow-covered bushes.

A neighbor's playhouse -- picked up by the wind and dumped in the woods behind their house.
Jeremy has made what seems to be an annual move for him -- moved from home to share a place with friends. May will find him coming back home as the summer season begins. (There is a lot of housing that is rented to college students for Sept. thru May -- the URI main campus is in our town -- and rented at much higher prices to summer visitors during the summer.)

He came by to do some cooking (his place had lost power in the storm and it had not yet been restored) -- so he cooked up a marvelous tomato sauce -- some of which he packaged to bring home and some of which he shared with Nancy and me.
Some pasta with Jeremy's tomato sauce. I made a personal-sized chicken pizza for each of us.

Jeremy also made macaroni and cheese (with a crusty topping of bread crumbs, butter, seasonings, and an egg) baked in the oven to take home. (It baked while we ate the pasta and pizza and a salad.)

As Jeremy was on his way home, Jill called to say that the doors on her car were frozen shut -- so I phoned Jeremy and he climbed in through her trunk and got her door open. (There are times when cell phones are good.)
Macaroni and cheese.
But then, I guess around nine o'clock, as I was putting this entry together, we lost power. It did not come back on in a few seconds. It did not come back on in a few minutes. Can't find flashlight in the dark. Find matches and light candles to get enough light to find flashlight. Call electric company (using cell phone because landline service was also out), get a recording listing a whole bunch of areas (including ours) where power was out and they promised it would be restored by midnight. Okay. So I went to bed around ten in the dark. The power came back around ten-thirty but I decided to go back to sleep. Thus, this entry had to be finished today.

jimsjournal -- on the Web since September 26, 1996!

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