Mar 21, 2012

Winter's Last Hurrah

On Monday (March 19, 2012) literally the day before the first day of spring, winter decided to do a bit of last minute showing off.  To put all of this in perspective you have to understand what an unbelievably mild winter we've been having here in Southern Alberta.  I was able to have the sunroof open on certain days in February, and throughout March it's actually been nice enough for shorts for several days at a time. Somewhere along the way I guess we were going to have to pay for all of that good luck.

On Sunday there was no snow, and although the blizzard was in the forecast, come Monday morning it was simply raining on my way to work.  Our office is located just outside of town along the Trans Canada highway, which makes for a nice enough work environment, but then things like this happen.  By noon the snow had arrived in full force and we found ourselves smack dab in the middle of a blizzard.

With temperatures hovering just below zero, the snow falling was heavy, wet, and it stuck to everything.  My office window was quickly glazed in ice, and for a few hours it hid how bad it was getting outside.  By around 3pm I glanced outside to snap a few quick pictures and realized that there was over a foot and a half of snow piling up around some of the cars.  I started to dread the thought that we might actually get snowed in. And what's that? Oh, the plows won't come out here until the evening. Sh*t.

Any panic and frustration I felt about getting my car out of our lot only worsened when I realized what was happening in town.  The highways were all being closed, power outages were reported, and dozens of accidents had already occurred.  From then on I wanted nothing more than to get home that night and I joined the rest of the guys in the web department shoveling, digging, and pushing as many people from our parking lot as we could.  In a making-the-best-of-a-bad-situation kind of way, it was actually fun being out in the snow - especially because people were actually starting to get out of the lot.  

By the time I was ready to go I was relying entirely on the chains that my Dad insisted I hold on to the last time I got my Jag stuck in the snow.  Once again, they were a life-saver.  Had it not been for everyone else's vehicles making tracks before me I'm not sure I would've cleared the lot.  I trudged all the way to the highway with those chains on before removing them, and by the time I got back into town, the roads (although still awful) seemed better by comparison.

It's still amazing to me how much snow fell so quickly that afternoon.  For it to go from clear to a real possibility of being stranded out in the country, like a bunch of school kids in Irvine were, you have to be thankful that in the end it was mostly just a temporary inconvenience.  Now, in truly predictable Alberta weather fashion, the snow is disappearing relatively quickly as temperatures are predicted to return to the teens. As far as I'm concerned, winter can take a break now.      

My office window.

This isn't overexposed, it literally was white out conditions.

The snow piling up.

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