Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snowpocalypse 2014

Snowstorm Pax has come and gone and left quite a mess of snow and ice in his path.  Welcome to Charlotte, NC on February 13th, 2014!

Things all got started on Tuesday when a forecast for flurries with minimal to no accumulation turned into significant snowfall and 1.5 inches of accumulation.  Fortunately the roads were pretreated with a layer of salt and sand and travel was relatively uneventful.  All of the forecasters kept warning that this was only the prelude to the main act, and were predicting 6-8 inches of snow in Charlotte the following day.

This is the first in a series of many pictures of my back deck to document the snow progression.  As you can see, Tuesday's snowfall was impressive for Southern standards, yet was only the beginning of a big storm to come.

In planning for the potential snowstorm, I made a trip to Whole Foods to gather some ingredients to make the perfect soul-warming comfort food - soup.  I loosely followed Veganomicon's recipe for French Lentil Soup with Thyme and Tarragon.  Paired with homemade corn muffins, it was the perfect cold weather meal!

Wednesday morning I went to work with plans to stay until roads began to get bad - forecasted to occur around noon when the major storm system moved into the region.  By 10:30am, however, there were advisories that roads in the south Charlotte area were becoming very slick and nearly impassible.  Considering my Camry is rear-wheel drive, I ultimately made the decision to head home around 11am rather than become stuck at the hospital.  I'm glad I left when I did, because it was indeed slick and I almost took dangerous slide into my neighborhood.

By 1pm there was a consistent snowfall and the layer on my patio furniture was slightly thicker.

It seems rare to witness a significant snow event during the daylight, so I spent the majority of the day reading and studying while being mesmerized by the snowfall out the window.  I went for a walk in the snow and captured these pictures of my neighborhood at about 6pm.

Park Road, normally lined with bumper to bumper traffic at this hour, was completely deserted.  Areas where cars had driven were slick with a hard-pack of snow.  Although snow itself in significant amounts can make roads treacherous, what added insult to injury was sleet that began to fall as the evening progressed.

This measurement of 8 inches of snow topped with sleet was taken at 7pm on Wednesday night.  Overnight predictions were for an additional 1-2 inches of accumulation with snow ending on Thursday morning.

The scene of the patio furniture is beginning to look a bit different than before, right?!

The orthopedic clinics were closed on Thursday, which afforded me a true "snow day".  I enjoyed a rare "weekend breakfast" on a weekday morning - eggs, sweet potato biscuit, and orange slices.  You can tell from the icicles hanging from the chair that freezing rain feel overnight, creating a very slick crust overtop of the snow.

A total of 10 inches of snow was present by 9am and I thought that surely the storm was nearly over.  I'm pretty sure snow isn't supposed to be higher than the doorstep here in the South!

Just when I thought the last bit of sleet was ending, a heavy snow started yet again.  I hopped on the bike for a 2 hour workout and the snow literally fell non-stop.  Finally, around 12:30 it came to an end. Final storm totals on my back deck - 12 inches!

I celebrated the end of snowstorm Pax with a taco salad lunch.  Together I layered baby kale, a brown rice and bean burrito, mushrooms, avocado, and salsa.

Here's the final patio furniture picture.  Just a bit different than the first, right?!

A second walk around the neighborhood to assess the damage revealed that a plow had cleared the main road into the subdivision.  Unfortunately, my driveway and street are still an icy, snowy, slushy mess.  Temperatures are currently inching above freezing and the thaw is beginning, but tonight brings the return of temperatures in the mid-20s, which very likely means lots of ice in the morning.

I'm on call starting Friday evening and have cases scheduled for tomorrow morning, so I'm hoping I will be able to bust out of the snow and ice.  This Florida-born girl is always excited about any opportunity for snow, but as we now reach the middle of February, there's nothing more that I want than 70 degrees and sunny skies!  Thanks "Snowstorm Pax" for bringing Charlotte the snowstorm of the decade, but I now very kindly bid you farewell.

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