Saturday, February 1, 2014

Baby It's Cold Outside

Happy February!

In my world that usually means hello Spring, my favorite season of the year.  Yes, I know Spring doesn't technically begin until, what, April?   Like I said before - my world.

Growing up in south Louisiana, there were generally only three seasons:  spring, summer, and fall.  We like to skip over winter, except for maybe those 4-5 weeks college students have off between semesters...or better yet, the two week "Christmas break" K-12 students and teachers are given.

Not this year.  Apparently some cousin of Mother Earth has recently moved to town.  They tell me his name is Old Man Winter.  Ever met him?  Supposedly, he looks something like this:


He seems a bit scary and very A Wrinkle in Time to me.  I don't think we could be good friends.  Unless maybe snow was involved...

So, snow.  Yeah, Louisiana doesn't really get snow.  Like ever.  The last time there was enough snow at home to build a real snowman was 1988 or 1989 (either way, that was 25 years ago!).

One would think living in north Louisiana might make for a greater likelihood of experiencing that pretty white stuff.  Nope.  Not this year.

Don't get me wrong, it has been COLD here.  Actually, I've probably experienced the coldest temperatures of my life this winter.  And seeing as how I spent an Oct-Dec. and Jan. - May in Idaho and DC, respectively, I think that's kind of a big deal.  Proof:

As cold as it may have been here, the ground was bone dry.  Okay, so we did see flakes for about an hour last Friday (1/24), but nothing really stuck.  If you can believe it, though, all of south Louisiana was shut down for practically the entire week due to massive (by our standards) amounts of sleet/ice and some of the white stuff.  Even the national weather forecasters were impressed:

At one point, 59 of Louisiana's 64 parishes closed their state offices, and it was the same for school districts.  Go back and read that again.  59/64.  That's 92%...NINETY-TWO PERCENT of Louisiana's state offices were closed...CLOSED...for two (!) days!

It wasn't just state offices.  Universities were closed.  (LSU, LSUA, ULL, MSU, NSULA, NSU, SELA, and probably a several others...which is basically every university in the state except LSUS and ULM).  Even more impactful were the road closings:  I-10, I-110, I-49, I-90 and nearly every major bridge or overpass, as well.

If you don't know much about Louisiana, let me tell you - this state IS water.  It's next to impossible to get someplace without crossing a bridge or overpass.  This means the entire state of Louisiana was practically paralyzed for travel and commerce for the greater part of two days.  Seriously.

Whodathunk it?

Now, I know there are places where -45 below has become "normal," or anything above freezing is considered "balmy."  But, this is Louisiana (and the south, for that matter) we're talking about.  In fact, I came across an article a few days ago about how even a hundred years ago, weather data shows the impact of winter weather in the south is far more extensive and long-term than that of the northern states.

Either way, it's easy to question that whole "global warming" thing.


I hear there's more "winter weather" in the forecast coming up for the third week in a row.  Maybe one of these days north Louisiana will get a taste of the fun stuff.  Ya'll stay warm out there!


P.S.  For the record, though schools in the parishes I live/work in were closed, my office didn't close and I worked every day this week.  My family lives on the coast (well, practically) and they were off on both Tuesday and Wednesday.  I'm just a little bitter...

1 comment:

Benjamin said...

Bitter cold, that is. ;)

I always enjoy the take from the other point of view. You guys were 30 degrees warmer than us without windchill factors, but it impacted your life so much worse.