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Snowzilla!

January 24, 2016, 10:55 PM

So the “Snowzilla” (as named by The Washington Post) storm has come and gone, and it left a large pile of snow in its wake – enough to kill part of the roof of the Safeway in Bel Air, Maryland, and the roof of Wayne Lanes in Waynesboro, Virginia.  Thankfully, I came through this storm just fine, and it was just a matter of digging out.  This storm dropped light, powdery snow (as compared to wet, heavy snow), and there was a lot of it.  I got more snow on my balcony in this storm than I did in 2009 and 2010’s major winter storms, for one.  Check this out:

The reach of the snow on my balcony: all the way in!

In this case, the snow reached all the way up to the sliding door, even piling up in front of the screen.  Compare this to December 2009’s “Snowpocalypse”:

Snowpocalypse's reach.

That was also the light, powdery snow, and there, the snow came about a foot short of reaching the door, but still got pretty far in.  Still pretty impressive considering that my balcony is almost completely covered by the roof.  And then this is how “Snowmageddon” from February 2010 came out:

Snowmageddon's reach.

Snowmageddon was the heavier, wet snow, rather than the powdery stuff.  Note how the balcony railing took far more snow than the balcony itself did in that case.  That was fun to push off.  Then Snowmageddon also took out the gutters on my building.  I watched the final gutter collapse from my living room, and it was like, whoosh, as it sailed downward past my balcony.

Whenever it snows, there are only two things where clearing the snow is solely my prerogative: my car, and my balcony.  I always do the balcony first, because it’s fairly straightforward.  You just take the shovel and push the snow over the side.  I was amazed, however, about how much snow was up there.  First of all, I had two or three inches right next to the door:

I've never had this much snow this close to the door!

That’s a lot of snow.  That’s after I cleared the snow that had piled up on the screen door, and then took a scoop so that I could get out and close the door.  Then to give you an idea about how much snow was on my balcony, here are some cross-sections, taken after I dug a row through the middle:

Pretty sure that’s about 30 inches (i.e. 2½ feet) on the end of the balcony.  And snow all the way back to the wall.

Then, interestingly enough, I had some icicles going at an angle:

Icicles that formed at an angle.

Had never seen that before.  I guess that’s from the significant winds that came with this storm.

Then the real work was in digging out the car.  This is what I saw when I came out to dig out the car:

I saw this and thought, "Oh, God, I'm in trouble."

I saw this and thought, “Oh, God, I’m in trouble.”  That was a waist-high pile of snow sticking out about ten feet in front of my car.  And it all had to disappear before dark, because I had to go to work the next day.  But remove it I did:

Taking a bite out of the snow.
Taking a bite out of the snow.

Another bite, and I changed my strategy somewhat after a plow came by. Now, rather than pile the snow up across from the car, I focused on just breaking up and moving the snow out for the plow to get on its next pass through.
Another bite, and I changed my strategy somewhat after a plow came by. Now, rather than pile the snow up across from the car, I focused on just breaking up and moving the snow out for the plow to get on its next pass through.

I found my "RESERVED" marker! One of the things about reserved parking is that the space is yours. No one else can park there... but no one else is going to clear it when it snows except for you.
I found my “RESERVED” marker! One of the things about reserved parking is that the space is yours. No one else can park there… but no one else is going to clear it when it snows except for you.

Peekaboo!
Peekaboo!

Found the "KIA" emblem and part of the grille.
Found the “KIA” emblem and part of the grille.

Got most of the front opened up.
Got most of the front opened up.

Got the whole front cleared out.
Got the whole front cleared out.

Getting the car warmed up in order to (A) help clear the windshield, as well as (B) wiggle it around a little bit to determine what else needs to be cleared in order to achieve forward movement.
Getting the car warmed up in order to (A) help clear the windshield, as well as (B) wiggle it around a little bit to determine what else needs to be cleared in order to achieve forward movement.

Free at last. I am going to work tomorrow!
Free at last.  I am going to work tomorrow!

And a really big thank you goes out to several of my neighbors, who helped me out in the final stages of getting the car loose.  I really appreciated it.

Then if it tells you anything about how deep the snow was, as well as how hard I worked to clear it, this is what my pants looked like when everything was said and done:

Frosty pants!

That was heavy walking with that layer of snow around my legs.

But that is, as they say, that.  Thankfully, the temperatures are supposed to go above freezing this week, plus it’s supposed to rain on Tuesday, so hopefully, all of this snow will be short-lived.  I just hope it’s not quite as short-lived as the Blizzard of 1996, though.  Recall that in that case, the snow happened over the weekend, and then a big rainstorm came the following Friday, which quickly melted all of the snow, but caused a lot of flooding due to the rain plus the melting of two or so feet of snow that had been on the ground from the earlier snow event.  I remember in that case, we were out of school on Monday and Tuesday for the snow, went back to school for two days, and then were out again on Friday because of the flooding.  Still, it was weird to go to bed with two feet of snow on the ground, and then wake up and see the grass again.

And now, of course, the question is whether we will see any more big snow events this year.  I hope the rest of this winter is more like last winter, where we had a few moderate snow events, but nothing too major.  We shall see, I suppose…

Categories: Kia Soul, Winter weather