Saturday, January 25, 2020

the poetry of the forecast

From the National Weather Service Forecast Office Marquette, Michigan, 6:48 a.m., January 25, 2020:
Today: Drizzle/Snow and Areas Fog then Areas Drizzle and Areas Fog
Tonight: Drizzle/Snow Likely and Patchy Fog
In other words,
This and that
then that then this,
perhaps more of this,
less of that,
and as time goes on
less of this,
more of that,
and then it gets a bit foggy.

Looking out the morning window.

Several days of drizzle/snow and this is what we learn:
  • The perfect temperature for drizzle/snow is 33ยบ F.
  • Drizzle/snow piled on the ground is more or less slush, and one cubic inch of slush is five hundred and seven times heavier than the same of snow. (I may have just made that up, but still, it might be true.)

The Art of Snow-or-is-it-slush Blowing.

According to preliminary reports from the National Weather Service:
Yesterday, 2.6 inches of snow, .32 of drizzle. (Current snow depth: 35 inches.)
The day before, 3 inches of snow, .33 of drizzle.
The day before that, .7 of an inch of snow, .09 of drizzle.
The day before that, nothing.
The day before that, a half inch of snow.
The day before that, 5.9 inches of snow, .26 of drizzle.
The day before that, 11.6 inches of snow …
Josie at a nearby intersection, climbing a hill of snow, slush, and drizzle.

And so it goes. No sense in spiraling backward. But, if we pay attention to the ratio of drizzle to snow each day (and, for clarification, the NWS is not measuring “drizzle” but “precipitation”), we can begin to discern, perhaps, the weight of snow, which increases in direct proportion to the drizzle factor.

Snow + Drizzle = Great Icicles.

Despite the forecast, Josie took me for a walk.

If Josie hadn’t stopped to sniff something, I might have missed this interesting scroll work.

We began with a Chamberlain Loop.

Just another tree buried up to its branches.

We segued into a Lower Harbor Round-about.

As forecast, there is fog out there.

Then we mushed on home along the lakeshore.

Picnic, anyone?

It wasn’t until the last half mile or so that we noticed any precipitation. Maybe it was a drizzle, but I think I would call it more of a mist. But, let’s not forget the snow, and since I’ve been calling the snow/drizzle a snizzle, perhaps this was a snist. (Gesundheit.) And that might make the slush snush. And I can tell you right now there’s a ton of snush at the end of my driveway, and somebody’s got to move it. Seems there are all sorts of things we humans can figure out, but how to clear a city street without dumping half of what’s being cleared into driveways, well, that remains a mystery.

At the intersection of Lakeshore Boulevard and US 41/Front Street, waiting to cross.

Tomorrow’s forecast calls for more, or less, of the same.