Thanksgiving Day! We finally got above the freezing mark. This has been a very unusual week for the Seattle area in the weather department. Take a look at the photo above of Paradise, Mt Rainier and you will see what I mean. There is 65 inches of snow on the ground at Paradise. The temperature was 0 degrees yesterday morning, Nov 24. Yes, it sounds horrendous, but the scene is so beautiful—a winter wonderland! Down here at sea level in the Puget Sound area, we hit a new low temperature record for the date, 14 degrees. The record making weather started Monday when the snow started flying and piled up 3-4 inches in the Seattle/Tacoma area with greater amounts in other areas. We have not seen this much snow in November since 1985. The second punch came as a wind storm that same evening bringing with it lots of cold air from British Columbia, Canada. After the wind died down, then came a second onslaught of arctic air, this time even colder. We Seattlites are not used to extreme weather conditions, and our residential roads are not designed to anticipate much snow and ice with their steep gradients. Schools were closed for the two days before Thanksgiving. You see, around here the type of snow that falls is lovingly referred to by the weather people as “Cascade Concrete” or “Cascade Crud.” The crystalline structure is very dense and moisture laden. When it hits the ground, it compacts into a dense substance that turns to ice. One does not get any traction in this “Cascade Crud.” And people around here just don’t have enough driving experience on snow and ice to begin with, which creates a whole new scenario for those trying to get around anywhere. Best to stay off the roads if you possibly can. People from the midwest and elsewhere scoff and jeer at us because we shut down our cities when we are hit with snow. But yet, they are the first to spin out or roll their SUVs when they try driving on our “Cascade Concrete.” Now that’s funny!
It’s Thanksgiving Day and I am thankful for our above freezing 38 degrees today. The weather outlook calls for our usual damp, rainy forty-some degree November weather for the next several days. I’m glad autumn is back.