Monday, January 4, 2010

A brrrrief Burrrrlington sojourn...

Snowed upon, wet and cold in Baltimore, the missus and I accepted an invitation from a close friend in Burlington, Vermont, to spend the New Year's Eve and the New Year's Day with his family. Did I say 'snowed upon, wet and cold'? Check, check and check. What was I thinking? Not a warm, sunny climate - for sure. [Yeah, S, my brother, remember that we love you. A lot.]

Anyhoo, what we were not prepared for was the massive amount of snow and relentless snowing that we encountered. From 7 a.m. Saturday to 7 p.m. Sunday, a record 32.5 inches of snow fell on the city of Burlington, according to the National Weather Service. It just came on and on and on. From the report:
Nor’easters typically move north along the coast, but strong winds blowing south forced this ocean storm to back up from near Nova Scotia to near Maine.

“What happened in the Champlain Valley, we were under this northerly wind that just didn’t stop,” National Weather Service meteorologist Paul Sisson said. “And what that did was focus the heaviest snow on the eastern part of the Champlain Valley. It’s unusual for something to stay so stationary for such a long time.”

During that time, Burlington remained under the “tail end” of the storm, which usually produces heavy snow, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Whittier said.
Roads were white, fields were white, trees were white with cotton-like snow deposited on the leafless branches; irregularly-shaped mounds of snow stood by the roadside where people had parked their cars. There were icicles formed, like stalactites, from the edge of the roof of houses and stores, and even from the edges of car front and back fenders, wheel wells and so forth. It was surreal. I have never quite seen anything like it. Snowploughs, snow-blowers and snow-shovels were generously employed by denizens of Vermont, but that barely scratched the surface. Towards the end, it seemed that one could jump into one's backyard from the second-floor window and drown in the snow. Road conditions were slippery and dangerous.

At the same time, it was good to see that the Vermonters' holiday spirit was not much dampened; we visited the downtown mall at Church street on Saturday, and people were there, enjoying, braving the snow.

And now, a visual of the scary, non-stop snow shower on our way home.