It cleared up later in the day but this symbolizes the day for me.
Tagged With: Weather
We had the first snowfall of the winter today and it was quite nice. We got at least two inches although it never really amounted to anything on pavement, which was warm enough to melt all of it. That includes driveways and sidewalks as well as roads, so driving was not a problem. That’s just as well because I had to go get a few things for the bathroom and Cathy went to a bridal shower for a friend. The snow was pretty on bushes and trees and this arborvitae (Thuja) looked really nice with fluffy white snow held in its branches.
Snow in March isn’t that unusual here. Of course, if you listen to the radio this week you might not get that impression. I heard a report that breathlessly told us how long its been since we had a snow like this was forecast to be this late in the year. Well, that’s possible, I suppose. A couple problems. Most importantly, the actual snowfall didn’t live up to the hype. We got maybe four inches of very wet snow. I remember a snowfall on March 18 not that long ago that was two or three times worse. But it’s March 21, which is, as I’m sure you can figure out, later in the year than March 18. Not by a lot, though. Anyway, as usual, much ado about not much. Quite pretty, actually.
The forecast was for snow and freezing rain overnight and the local school systems had already cancelled classes for today as early as yesterday evening. Nothing was coming down when we went to bed, just after midnight. When I got up this morning there was maybe as much as half an inch on the ground. I took a few pictures then out the front door. A little later, just before 9:00 AM, I took more pictures out the back door, including this one. By that point there was maybe a little more than two inches on the ground. By the time I’m actually posting this, about 2:00 PM, the snow has stopped falling and there is about five inches. I’m fortunate in that I can work from home without any trouble. I’d much rather take a day off and go for a walk in the snow, but they like me to work for my pay, so I work.
Yesterday we had almost 2 inches of rain but it was sunny this morning. Then, a little before 4:00 PM, it got very dark and we had a serious downpour. The storm raged for about 15 minutes and then withing a half an hour the sky was clear and solid blue again. I took this picture towards the end of the rain, focusing on the water on my office window, looking out towards the big trees on the edge of the parking lot. I was glad not to have been caught out in it. It really came down hard. The forecast for the weekend is nice, however. We can still have some cold and even the possibility of snow, but spring it definitely upon us.
At a few minutes before 9:30 this evening Cathy’s phone let out that now familiar sound of an alert (I have alerts turned off on my phone). She read the alert, which said there was a tornado warning for our area. I pulled up the National Weather Service page and read the alert, which was a little less alarming than the alert that come on the phone. Tornadoes are nothing to be trifled with, even here in Maryland, where they are the 98 pound weaklings of the tornado world. Nevertheless, I got my camera and looked outside. It was raining but not hard and the air was pretty still. I took a few pictures by the light of the street lamps and that was about it. The storm system, which had shown signs of tornadic activity and rotation about four miles to the southeast, was moving very fast. By 9:50 NWS radar showed the storm over northern Delaware something like 80 miles away.
We don’t get hail all that often. When we do, the hail is generally small and the storm is generally brief. In today’s storm the hail was pretty large at first, with hail at least a half inch across and some more like three quarters or more. That didn’t last long and then the hail was more pea size, which is what you can see in this photo. That lasted a bit longer and then it was just rain after that, really coming down for a while. I enjoy storms, particularly since we live in relative safety and comfort. I wouldn’t have liked being out in this, though.
When I left work today, I drove through a little rain. By the time I was nearly home and I stopped at the grocery story, the sky was partly cloudy. When I came back out from the store the sky was turning very dark and shortly after I got home and had unloaded the groceries, it started coming down quite hard. It only rained for about fifteen minutes and then the sun was back out again. I went out front and found a spot where I could see the rainbow. It was a bit early in the evening for a really good bow, but there was some down low in the sky. They are often tricky to photograph and this one was not as strong as many I’ve seen but it was pretty and I especially like the fact that this photo shows the rainbow against blue sky, which is pretty unusual.
It started snowing late this morning and it came down fairly hard the rest of the day. Cathy and I had come to work together and she had some things that needed to be done, so we didn’t leave until about 5:30. Because of the snow, most people had left early and there really wasn’t much traffic on the roads, which was nice. It’s been warm enough that the road surface wasn’t too bad, anyway. This was taken as I waited outside Cathy’s building to pick her up. We probably got an inch of snow on grassy areas, but it didn’t really have a big impact on us. Local schools are opening two hours late tomorrow, which means we shouldn’t have any trouble getting in, either, which is nice.
After yesterday’s snowfall, today promised to be quite nice. Cool but clear. There were still some clouds when we left for work today but between them, the sun was shining and making all the show quite dazzling this morning. I really like snow on branches and took quite a few photos this morning before we left for work. As mentioned yesterday, local schools were on a two hour delay so we didn’t have any problems with traffic. The roads were all clear and mostly dry, although it’s my understanding that in the northern and western parts of the county it was a bit icier. This wasn’t the sort of snow storm that paralyzes the region. We still have plenty of time this winter for something like that, though.
It rained off and on yesterday but today it really came down. I don’t know that it’s the heaviest rain we’ve ever had but it was probably right up there. I went out onto the back patio under an umbrella and took a few pictures. When it rains hard, we get these streams across our back yard and between our house and the next door neighbors. That’s good, of course, because it means the water is flowing past the house and not into it. Generally, in heavy rains, it looks about like this. Later in the day it was three or four times that width. So, more than we’ve seen in a long time. Our trash can had a good six inches of water in it. Not to say we got six inches of rain (the trash can isn’t a calibrated rain gauge) but it was a lot, anyway.
Clouds. I can’t keep my eyes off them clouds in the sky. ‘Cause I know it won’t be long, won’t be long.
Song lyrics. Not my song, and yet, it’s a song I sometimes sing to myself as I watch the clouds rolling across the sky. It was a busy week and I’m happy for the weekend. And sitting out back and watching the clouds is a nice way to unwind. Of course, this song isn’t just about relaxing, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. The song, by Barry McGuire, is a reference to Matthew 26:64, Mark 14:62, and Luke 21:27–28 (“And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”).
Generally you can only see rainbows when the sun is relatively low in the sky. To reflect and refract such that the arc of the rainbow is 42 degrees from the line from the sun to the observer. So, when the sun is high in the sky, the rainbow will be below the horizon. Generally that means you can’t see the rainbow because there’s not enough rain between you and the background. Sometimes you’ll see a rainbow against a distant mountain, but I think this is the closest I’ve ever seen one. It’s between us and the trees across the street. It wasn’t obvious at first, but after looking for it a little while, it became visible and I got a few pictures before the rain moved on a bit further and it was gone.
Wildfires in Canada have been producing some significant haze down the eastern seaboard the last couple days. While we haven’t had it nearly as bad as New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and southern New York, this morning our air quality index reached “code purple” which is the highest level. It was only at that level for about three hours and by the evening it was noticeably better. We could see it from out house, just looking to the end of the street but as we crossed Interstate 270 it was particularly apparent. After dropping Cathy off at her office, I went back and took some photos from the bridge.