❄2018 Winter Check-In❄ January 4, 2018 6:30 AM   Subscribe

Both Canada and the United States are in the midst of a very cold winter blast. What meteorologists have dubbed as a "Bomb Cyclone"! Frigid temperatures, snow, ice, rain, strong winds are things to watch out for. Thought it would be good to have a place for us to check-in and make sure we're all safe and warm. Take care of yourself, your friends, family members, and our furry loved ones (they get cold too). Be careful, plan ahead, wear layers, and as my mom always reminds me, “Cover your head.”
posted by Fizz to MetaFilter-Related at 6:30 AM (155 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

The windchill was -5 Fahrenheit in north fulton county, Georgia this morning. Pity the peaches!
posted by mumblelard at 7:05 AM on January 4

It's expected to be -30 C (-22 F) tonight. Even as a Canadian who has experienced 18+ years of cold weather/winter storm, I'm not acclimated to this kind of extreme temperature drop. It hurts your face.

Sorry if I'm being all overly cautious and worried, hard to turn off the Boy Scout in my brain, he wants me wants to remind everyone to be prepared. If you drive a lot, make sure you have a cold-weather emergency pack in your vehicle:
• a shovel
• windshield scraper and small broom
• flashlight with extra batteries
• battery powered radio
• water
• snack food including energy bars
• raisins and mini candy bars
• matches and small candles
• extra hats, socks and mittens
• First aid kit with pocket knife
• Necessary medications
• blankets or sleeping bag
• tow chain or rope
• road salt, sand, or cat litter for traction
• booster cables
• emergency flares and reflectors
• fluorescent distress flag and whistle to attract attention
• Cell phone adapter to plug
About 5 years ago I managed to drive into a ditch and had to wait 1 hour for someone to come to the rescue. I was pretty close to running out of fuel/warmth towards the end. Since then I've kept a giant tupperware container in the back of my trunk. You never know when you're going to get stranded.

Be safe.
posted by Fizz at 7:08 AM on January 4 [29 favorites]

Now that I think about it, you can pack that emergency pack even if you're not driving. It's good to have that in the home.
posted by Fizz at 7:14 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]

Here's a link to the thread on the Blue about this storm. (I took the liberty of pointing to this check-in over there, too.) Thanks for posting this, Fizz! Everyone stay safe & warm.
posted by Westringia F. at 7:21 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]

Tons of blowing fluffy snow in northeast Rhode Island now. We are due for about a foot.

Muffins just came out of the oven, my wife is putting in cinnamon bread next, and I will make chili after the first trip outdoors.

As long as the power holds out, I think we will be fine. Please, National Grid, don’t add me to this map of outages: https://m.nationalgrid.com/Region.aspx
posted by wenestvedt at 7:23 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]

Fizz, you’re totally right to have a kit in the house, too, or at least a mental list of stuff. Water, dry clothes, batteries, candles & matches, etc.

Camping gear helps if you’re trapped inn your house without heat or power, but you have to know how to use it!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:26 AM on January 4 [4 favorites]

Boston suburbs here. I'm supposed to be working from home but our VPN is overloaded so I can't do much more than check email.

It's... snowing. Wind isn't too bad yet. Snow is a bit heavy. Glad I don't have to drive.

My wife is about to head out for a walk before it gets worse. She does this "winter warriors" thing where she is supposed to do at least a mile every day but she's been doing three. So she's putting on the Gore-Tex and Microspikes and heading out into it. I'd join her if I wasn't working. We are both experienced winter hikers so I'm not at all concerned. It looks like fun.

I'll probably join her on her Saturday walk, with temperatures below zero. That will be fun and we can walk on the lake because the ice is really, really thick after about ten days of temps no higher than the teens. The ice is really flat and clear because it froze so quickly. I wish I owned skates.

This is a pretty bad storm for some. I think the Cape and Islands are getting hammered with wind. Losing power will SUCK once it gets super cold tomorrow.

We have a fireplace and a generator if we lose power here but my main concern is frozen pipes in the basement.

Be safe, everyone!
posted by bondcliff at 7:27 AM on January 4 [4 favorites]

It's currently a balmy 21F today in Kingston--which is messed up that I've been here long enough that I am currently thinking, "Aw, this is much better!"--but the weather folks have warned us that we are in for a seriously bitter drop in temps AGAIN this weekend. (Cue me going: "Nooooo! Stupid Dryanuary!!!")

Today is one of those very rare days where my mom in South Carolina is currently experiencing the same temperature as we are so I've advised her to: stay warm, avoid driving if the roads are bad, drink hot beverages, and snuggle her cat.
posted by Kitteh at 7:32 AM on January 4

It's so damn cold here in Indianapolis that I'm going to go stand in the corner, because it's 90 degrees there.

Seriously, I want to second Fizz's advice upthread. Be prepared when you're out driving, even if it's just 'around town'. You might be surprised at the number of places you pass on your daily rounds that could trap you in inclement weather. I was on I-80 once near Elk Mountain, WY, 7000 feet up when I got caught in a freak snowstorm. In MAY. I spent a very cold and miserable night on an exit ramp breathing fumes from a semi next to me. Luckily, I had food and drink and a couple of those little space blankets. Without them, I'm sure I might have gone hypothermic.
posted by pjern at 7:39 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]

This is the view out my front window.

That's probably slightly more than half the snow we're going to get, because we're just barely north of one of the edges (the I-95 corridor, as the weather reports put it). At this point we're more concerned about high winds. I am glad that my office closed instead of a late opening. It would have been safer to drive out at 7am than 10am. A late opening would have been the worst of both worlds.
posted by Karmakaze at 7:50 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]

Here in NYC, I fully planned to be in the office this morning. I took one look out the window and decided to change my plans. (I should have known better; last night a trip home that should have taken 45 minutes took two and a half hours because they were moving the trains underground to store them overnight.) I’m catching up on Black Mirror instead. I realize I’m very fortunate to be have the option to do that — many don’t. Anyway, wishing everyone a safe and warm bomb cyclone.
posted by holborne at 8:03 AM on January 4

I don't mind blizzards, and I am quite enjoying watching this one from my nice warm office. On my way home last night I grabbed a couple of emergency water storage jugs and got a load of firewood for the woodstove in case we lose power before the roads are safe - we have a standing offer with friends to bring the critters and bunker at their place if things go badly, but they're fifteen miles or so away, so a rescue would have to wait a bit.

(The less fun part, other than shoveling tomorrow, is that hurricane-level barometric pressure drops make my arthritis go bonkers, but I also have plenty of meds and LM kindly agreed to take my shift tonight, so I'm actually feeling ok, and will feel juuuust fiiiine in about half an hour.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:11 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]

Cold and snowy here in Philly. I started a new job as an EMT yesterday(yay!) so I’m out on the street (brr!) Meanwhile, my girlfriend’s school closed today, so she’s at home stationed in front of the pellet stove, sending me cute pictures of the dogs.
posted by coppermoss at 8:13 AM on January 4 [6 favorites]

Just north of Boston here. Snow started around 7 and for the last hour or two has been in full-on whiteout conditions, visibility of about 100ft (and dropping as I write this). We're expected to get about a foot.

We're fortunate to have central steam heat in our apartment, which means we still have heat if the electricity goes out. I just double checked all the flashlights (at least 3 working flashlights, not counting phones, with one stowed next to the bed and another next to the candles), just in case. In theory I'm working from home today, but I might just track a PTO day and goof off. A friend and fellow mefite within walking distance has also said that they might make a big batch of carnitas, so there might a little mini mefite gathering to give me an excuse to go out this afternoon.
posted by firechicago at 8:16 AM on January 4

Welcome to New England, r_n! In Portland Maine we started getting snow about 8am and it's been fast and steady ever since. Wind gusts take visibility to near zero, but it's not too bad when it's not blowing. Got normal weekly groceries this morning, apparently everyone else in Portland went last night. The Whole Foods checker says it was "basically offensive" to watch, and one of our local weather guys posted these desolate pics from Trader Joes.
posted by donnagirl at 8:22 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]

Reporting in from Western Mass. Coming down heavy here—looks like at least six inches, and I've been out to shovel the walk twice already, in fleece jacket, ski jacket, ski pants, immense knitted scarf, and Russian fur hat with ear flaps. Thank goodness I work from home (though I don't actually have any work at the moment, so I can hang out by the wood stove and read)! Stay warm, everybody.
posted by languagehat at 8:22 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]

I estimate the visibility to be about a 100' in Providence, too. The storm is not too bad yet, but I gather it'll warm a bit as they day goes on, and that, with higher winds, might start bringing down power lines. My workplace loses power about every other storm, so no idea if I am going in tomorrow either. Glad I have no good reason to be outside.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:24 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]

Southern Ontario is being spared the snow that the East coast and Atlantic regions of Canada and New York are about to receive. That being said, the cold temperatures are creating their own issues.

Homeless shelters have been near or at capacity in a lot of the larger cities like Hamilton and Toronto. And local govt has been a bit slow to react. Here's hoping they get their shit together. It's too cold for ANYONE to be out. These are not temperatures that the human body are good at dealing with.
posted by Fizz at 8:24 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]

Snowing hard and windy here in Western MA, I'm glad we're not getting hit as hard as Boston and am definitely hoping for a low-bust on the forecast. We are all home and indoors today, no plans to drive anywhere. I used to like big storms much more before I had a small child! Between a preschooler who hasn't been outside in two weeks and being six months pregnant, I'm a bit anxious about this being bad and the upcoming cold snap. It feels a lot more dangerous than it did when I was young and childless. Next year we'll have a woodstove, damn it.
posted by john_snow at 8:26 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]

Something I rarely tell myself at 11:30 on a work day: I should probably put on pants.

VPN is back up but I may break for lunch in a bit, get dressed, and light a fire in the fireplace. We brought in some extra wood that will hopefully last us through the weekend.

Amy is still out in it, with the visibility dropping and the wind picking up, but I suspect she's having a blast. Weather can be a lot of fun if you're dressed for it.

Not looking forward to getting out and doing the driveway tonight, but it goes with the territory.
posted by bondcliff at 8:26 AM on January 4

Northeast Rhode Island here, where we tend to get the higher amounts of snow. I mean, we're no Foster-Glocester, except I guess we kind of are now.)

For the first time in the seven years I've been working there, my site actually closed. When we lost power for a week after a hurricane a few years, it was all "Shower in the dark, we have backup generators!" So this is a Really Big Fucking Deal! (The other sites close for weather emergencies as needed, but they don't have that New England stoicism our site leader does.)

When I looked out my dining room's picture window, I could barely see my neighbor's house across the street. I can't fathom driving in this.
posted by Ruki at 8:31 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]

got to put the snow tires on the wheelchair tonight /wields tire iron menacingly
posted by angrycat at 8:33 AM on January 4 [9 favorites]

No one said anything about working from home last night, so I got up this morning preparing to go to work and hint broadly at about mid-day that "hey, maybe we can knock off early." But there was a text from my boss telling people "hey, the weather looks really bad, everyone work from home today."

My computer was still at the office.

I resolved to suck it up and go in just to get it, and then use the outside mission as a chance to also pick up a couple things for a crock post stew. There also was some early-morning thing I wanted to take care of (a couple of guys in our office were supposed to be heading for Florida today, and if they cancelled I wanted to cancel their hotel). I was into our office by 8:45, and then done by 9:15. Got right back out and on a subway, getting out right at the stop that was next to a Trader Joe's. Unfortunately, to get from there back to my apartment is usually a bus ride; so when I saw a cab coming, I threw myself at it and took that the remaining 15 blocks home.

I am now safely home, with a lentil-and-sausage stew simmering in the crock pot, and my boss just texted everyone a screenshot he saw of the MTA status page showing that just about every line was down.

...Every single subway station we passed through, I saw street people huddled under blankets lying down behind stairwells, slouched on benches, etc.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:51 AM on January 4 [10 favorites]

on the other hand, a friend of mine is looking at this.

(I told her to make draft-stoppers with the (unused) kitty litter and used plastic shopping bags until someone can get in to put in proper weatherstripping.)
posted by Karmakaze at 8:55 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]

I arrived in Boston at 10 pm last night. Around 5 hours ahead of the storm. In some ways, good timing...
posted by greermahoney at 9:01 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]

I thought y'all would be interested to know that computer models are indicating a big thaw coming, probably starting around the 15th and continuing for most of the rest of January. Hope those models are right.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 9:09 AM on January 4 [9 favorites]

I'm in Vermont and we have very light snow here and a little wind. Which is amusing because this is the place people stay away from because "Oooh wintertime!" but it's been fine this year, just cold. I went shopping yesterday and filled the house up with food and even a bag of apples if I want to make applesauce. Hoping people can stay warm and safe.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:10 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]

> Next year we'll have a woodstove, damn it.

Do it! Best purchase we've made since moving to Hadley. And the cats love it.
posted by languagehat at 9:11 AM on January 4 [7 favorites]

I'd like to assure everyone North of Miami that we have nearly everything up and running at 100%, just in time for the snowpocalypse. The temperature is 56°, which, admittedly is a little chilly for jet skis, but there are other things to do, like not freezing to death. Come see us, that's what we're here for!
posted by halfbuckaroo at 9:19 AM on January 4

Amy has returned after three miles out in the storm. "it was great!" was her review.

I decided a couple years ago, after taking four hours to get home one evening, that I would never attempt to go to work in a storm again. My old boss would do the "you work at a hospital and are an essential employee" every time, even though I work in IT and there's nothing I can't do from home. So I'd go in, arrive two hours late, shoot the shit about the weather for two hours (because nobody else came in due to the weather and having bosses that weren't terrible) and then he'd stroll around my desk around 1:00 and say "why don't you guys take off a little early today" as if he was doing us a big favor. We'd have given him eight solid hours working from home but instead we had hellish commutes both ways only to do nothing for a couple of hours. He did this because he liked the fact that he could.

So fuck that. After the hellish weather of 2015 I eventually said "nope. I'm working from home." I've been here 23 years and I'm out of fucks to give. I realize not everyone has the privilege to do this, but I do so I decided I'd take advantage of it.

But now I have a boss who is great and yesterdays she sent an email out saying basically "I assume you'll all be home tomorrow. Be safe." and life is good and I no longer have to take a stand just to, you know, be safe.
posted by bondcliff at 9:19 AM on January 4 [22 favorites]

I no longer have to take a stand just to, you know, be safe.

I'm glad that you're able to do that bondcliff. I'm about 1 year into a job where I also have that option, to work from home should the weather ever become too severe and it's nice to know that it exists.

It's bullshit that people are so worried about their job security that they'll go into work and risk their lives because people higher up on the food chain are inconsiderate, negligent, and/or greedy.
posted by Fizz at 9:22 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]

I defended the DC government's response in the other thread and now I am extremely mad at them because as of 6:15 this morning DCPS had a two hour delay and then announced sometime between then and 7:00, when we arrived at daycare, that they were closing (our daycare follows DCPS closures but not delays) so we had to turn around and now I'm working from home with a rambunctious kraken trying to get me to read Corduroy's Shapes every five minutes and Peek-a-Who every three minutes (yes, every fifteen minutes she wants me to read them both at once, FIzzBuzz) and I get that they're closed which is a perfectly valid choice but I wish we hadn't had to drive to and from daycare. Cancelling late is bad, cancelling late AFTER YOU'VE MADE ANOTHER ANNOUNCEMENT ON WHICH PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY BASED THEIR PLANS is EXTREMELY frustrating. At least I have the luxury of working from home on short notice, this is much worse for people who have to plan childcare further in advance. Anyway the snow in our part of Maryland (right outside DC) isn't too bad so we will be fine as long as the monster consents to nap when it is time (really any minute now would be good).

I hope everyone in more dangerous circumstances is staying safe and warm and checking in on their neighbors. Very very best wishes to all of you!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:25 AM on January 4 [4 favorites]

I'm pretty pleased that both the Governor and the Provost decided to make their "we will be closing offices/suspending classes" notices very early (by 4 or 5 yesterday afternoon). The previous Governor used to resist ever closing state offices, and, when he did, it was usually at the last minute -- around 8 in the morning, which meant that I (and a whole lot of other state workers) were already in the office, meaning about 3-4 hours of unpleasant commuting for no good reason.

Similarly, the Provost used to cancel classes late and by degrees -- so we would get "classes cancelled until 10am" at 8am, then "classes cancelled until noon" at 9:30am, then "classes cancelled until 4pm" at noon, then "oh, forget it" at 1pm. Now he just makes a clean decision and shuts the place down with plenty of warning, and everyone stays home. We have a pretty big commuter population, so this is definitely a good idea.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:38 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]

My brother lives in Jacksonvile, FL and his pipes froze last night. Crazy.
posted by phunniemee at 9:47 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]

Now he just makes a clean decision and shuts the place down with plenty of warning, and everyone stays home

I wish more businesses/cities made this type of a decision. I know that often it isn't as bad as predicted but I'd rather they be too safe than the alternative and risk people's lives. Sadly, they often think of the dollar/cost more than the human element.
posted by Fizz at 9:54 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]

I know that often it isn't as bad as predicted but I'd rather they be too safe than the alternative and risk people's lives.

It's worked pretty well for RI in the last couple years, and RI has extremely variable weather (three major weather systems kind of wrestle each other at Cape Cod, and, as a result, any weather system can wander 100 miles off course at almost any moment, meaning it's really hard to predict what's going to happen). I think once in the last three years we've had a storm shut down that proved to be unnecessary, but that's pretty good odds when it's stacked against all the time (and maybe lives saved) by the more deliberate action.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:10 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]

It's brutal here in NYC! Daycare is closed so my brother is experiencing his first snow day as a parent and it's...not as much fun!

I'm about to walk a block to the grocery store, and of course I'm grateful that everything in my neighborhood stays open. But I do think about all the shift workers/working parents/both for whom city shutdowns are brutal because they don't have the luxury of paid days off or working from home.
posted by lalex at 10:13 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]

I came into the office this morning and the roads were not great. They definitely should've called it and closed the whole day. We get to leave at 2; hope the roads are in better shape than they were this morning.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:14 AM on January 4

My school district in Southern Tier NYS just announced closure for tomorrow. We're not expecting much, if any snow, but have a wind chill warning from tonight through Sunday. It's good to hear those affected by stormier weather checking in.

Stay warm and safe all!
posted by jaruwaan at 10:24 AM on January 4

I took a two-mile (one and three quarters but I'm allowing myself the extra quarter for difficulty) walk to work this morning because it was either that or spend like 20 minutes in a cab praying to every god I can name because visibility was maybe a block and the plowing around my neighborhood is ...irregular. It wasn't too bad but it also wasn't too cold. I suspect we're not closing early at my office today so the walk home after dark when the temperature drops will be uh interesting.
posted by griphus at 10:31 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]

It's currently 56 degrees inside my house. We had about 1/2 inch of ice and 3 to 4 inches of snow on top of that. Thankfully, the winds have calmed and the sun is out. Even though the outside temp is 31; we have some melting! Which is great! It will be 17 degrees tonight! It will all freeze into one block!

I went outside early this morning and the storm door latched behind me. I couldn't get it open because there was so much ice encrusted. Finally, I was able to go around and break in the back screen door to get myself in. Of course, this was supposed to be a quick trip out in my sweatpants and robe..... clearly, I don't do winter weather very well.

Later, I was finally able to unleash the car from its frozen tomb. A bit later after I warm up some, I'll move it and shovel out clear spots for the tires and, hopefully, traction.

I had to tell mom that I am not taking her to the pharmacy today. She didn't quite get it because the people on TV (newscasters) had made it in.....

The birds are enjoying the shoveled walkway and birdseed I put there for them. I added a pan of warm water in case their water sources are frozen up.

There have been so many trips outside that I am drying socks and gloves everywhere.
posted by mightshould at 10:34 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]

it is 24 outside and 79 inside and i am cozy as heck. later i might sweep the stairs so i can go get a donut or 12 but shoveling outside isn't super urgent as only 3 ppl live in my building and we are all currently at home in pajamas.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:46 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]

hi from across the river, Languagehat! We were really hoping for a stove this year, but there's another home repair we have to do first (support column) and we just couldn't swing it in time. Next year for sure. (Where did you get your stove? Any local recommendations?) I do worry a bit about the safety of a wood stove with two small ones, but I know there are lots of safety devices out there, and my brother and I did just fine with the stove when we were kids.
posted by john_snow at 10:47 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]

Boston is getting some pretty impressive coastal flooding.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:47 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]

I’m in a Boston suburb, with plenty of snow to shovel later, but snug inside until then. I’m worried that if we get a power outage, the pipes could freeze and then burst in the single-digit temps that are on the way. Any idea how long it could be ok for power to be out in a small, old house that starts off warm upstairs/cave-cool in the unfinished basement before that’s likely? Probably no insulation to speak of (except for >100-year-old horsehair).
posted by daisyace at 10:55 AM on January 4

> Next year we'll have a woodstove, damn it.
I have a small wood stove, but it will heat the house in an emergency as long as I set alarms to feed it during the night. I got my wood stove on craigslist; EPA-certified and has been a champ for 9 years. I keep the house pretty chilly and the wood stove keeps the living room toasty. It's snowing hard and accumulating quite a bit, and a bit windy, though that is expected to increase. I made sauerkraut soup, because I'd been wanting to try it. I was at Whole Foods in Portland yesterday to return an Amazon purchase and buy beer. It was pretty nutty. After a week of subzero and single-digit temps, it was in the mid-20s yesterday and it just felt so much better to be able to go outside and not hurt. It's in the 20s now, but is expected to be seriously cold again tomorrow, so that's no fun.

Warm up soon, mightshould. I love how excited the weather people are as long as I don't have to go out. The homeless shelters have been trying to get people in out of the severe cold and weather and not lcosing during the day as they usually would. I hope people are safe.
posted by theora55 at 11:00 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]

Heavy wind, switching back and forth from rain to snow and back again, temps dropping here on MV. All boats and planes cancelled. Vineyard Haven harbor is eating Beach rd.
posted by vrakatar at 11:04 AM on January 4

I’m worried that if we get a power outage,

Winds in Cambridgeport haven't been particularly high, so I'm less worried about a power outage than I was yesterday.
posted by Coventry at 11:09 AM on January 4

Snowing sideways in the east village of nyc. I haven’t gone out in it and I don’t intend to until at least tomorrow. The UPS guy said yesterday that they’re expected to deliver today in this weather. A friend is out west taking park lessons for snowboarding because there is so little snow.
posted by bilabial at 11:12 AM on January 4

Boston is getting flooded, Atlantic Avenue is literally the Atlantic right now. But just one high tide at the height of the storm so the worst should be over, well unless something opens up and floods some subway lines. Went for a nice walk this morning, finally not in the teens and not too windy, lovely just me and pickups with plows all zooming along, seriously worried about the next couple of deep freeze days.
posted by sammyo at 11:14 AM on January 4

Oh. And we’re up to 8-12 inches expected, according to wunderground. Last night they were saying 3-5.

I made some pickled beets with cinnamon that were terrible and we just finished the quart of them (it took a week instead of two days, only able to eat a few chunks at a time, they were that....floral) so I put four boiled eggs into then brine. Maybe they’ll be good? They’ll certainly be interesting.
posted by bilabial at 11:16 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]

Kid Ruki is in high school, and the announcement that school is closed on Friday came out hours ago. (So far it's only Woonsocket and PVD. Don't want to get your kids' hopes up yet, wenestvedt.)
posted by Ruki at 11:21 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]

Here's the NWS Boston's coastal flooding threat map - take care along the coast, please.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:24 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]

(I mean, it basically just says if you are on the coast there is the threat of flooding, but ...)
posted by ChuraChura at 11:25 AM on January 4

On the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay the storm is blowing water out of the Bay and boats are sitting on the bottom and hanging from lines. I'll probably be heading to a marina to help friends adjust their lines later today. I've never seen the water blown so far out. It's eerie.
posted by jointhedance at 11:36 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]

Lots of snow in Central Maine, and now the wind has kicked up so it's even snowier. Supposed to get at least a foot of the stuff. I was never so happy in my life to get a text message as when I got the one at 5:30 a.m. telling me the office is closed for the day. It's hard not to worry about the power going out, but I'm trying not to since there's nothing I can do about it. I have a fireplace but it's in the basement and I've never used it and don't know anything about it -- probably should not start experimenting at this time.
posted by JanetLand at 11:37 AM on January 4

There don't appear to be any problems in this thread, so let me just quip that as a lifelong Californian I have a little bit of envy for all of you experiencing actual weather. We did have an earthquake last night, though.
posted by rhizome at 11:39 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]

Good to know that the weather service here is informing us that as of tomorrow wind chill levels will be reaching unbearable and dangerous. *weeps gently*
posted by Kitteh at 11:59 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]

There don't appear to be any problems in this thread,

I get what you're saying, but...

...Every single subway station we passed through, I saw street people huddled under blankets lying down behind stairwells, slouched on benches, etc.

and I do completely get the impulse to be envious of weather events, it's just that this will be serious for many, many people.
posted by cooker girl at 12:03 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]

Good to know that the weather service here is informing us that as of tomorrow wind chill levels will be reaching unbearable and dangerous.

Yeah, I'm planning on getting out and doing the driveway as soon as the worst of it is over, before the temperature drops too much. Gonna be brutal the next couple of days.
posted by bondcliff at 12:05 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]

Me and the boy are wrapped up in his blanket nest on the couch, the cat spread out between us.

He's a bit restless, but things have been manageable so far.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 12:09 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]

He's a bit restless, but things have been manageable so far.

And how is your boy doing? ;-)
posted by Fizz at 12:11 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

I live in NYC and I was already on vacation until Monday. I want to make cookies and need butter and am trying to decide whether to walk the two blocks to the grocery store now, in the blowing snow, or tomorrow, when it will be astronomically colder but not snowing.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:14 PM on January 4

That first sparrow video is very beautiful, not_on_display, and the second one is too, once the wind starts blowing hard enough to make the branches of the tree start oscillating.
posted by jamjam at 12:18 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

This was something I'd never thought about, so... advice from a AAA tow guy, recently, that is seeming more relevant with this kind of weather: During winter in places that get cold, don't let your tank drop below half. Ever. If you break down or get stuck and are stuck relying on your car heater, you are potentially in serious trouble if your car's down to under a quarter tank, especially. When my mom taught me to drive, she always filled up between a quarter and an eighth of a tank, in order to optimize things like grocery store discounts from the gas station. I'd been doing that for years without thinking about how it could be dangerous.
posted by Sequence at 12:20 PM on January 4 [6 favorites]

If you go get the butter now, showbiz_liz, you'll have cookies sooner than if you wait until tomorrow. Cookies now vs. cookies later? Just think how warm and cozy you'll be tomorrow, with your cookies, when it's astronomically cold.
posted by cooker girl at 12:21 PM on January 4 [6 favorites]

When I went outside in East Village/Union Square it was actually...better than I expected! Your neighborhood may vary!
posted by lalex at 12:24 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

A homeless man froze to death in our city a day or two ago. We have shelters here and stuff but I do not know what happened. The homeless have a community here (I suppose they do in every city) and they are in mourning. And this is NC. I cannot imagine what it must be like for homeless people further north.

Cold can kill. Thinking of you folks up north.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:45 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]

Definitely get the butter now! If you go now in the blowing snow you will feel like an arctic explorer and when you get home you can stamp the snow off your boots and getting inside will feel so toasty and warm and you can make cookies and have them today AND tomorrow. If you wait until tomorrow it'll be cold but much less beautiful and it'll be cold enough that getting inside will be like "oh thank God I was about to die" and not "oh how pleasant, what a snug home I have".
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:46 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]

Still hunkered down in Somerville, MA. Debating when to go out and do a first round of shoveling - I suspect the line between "snow petering out" and "temperature still tolerable" is not going to go in my favor.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:50 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

The snow will be even more disgusting tomorrow, more slushy, more filthy. This, in addition to the cold would spur me out the door if I needed butter. Or anything else. Mostly I'm just enjoying Trader Joe's popcorn with the politics thread. I bought two bags yesterday because I didn't need eggs or bread or TP. Though now I wish I had gotten eggs to bake a cake....
posted by bilabial at 12:51 PM on January 4

I suspect the line between "snow petering out" and "temperature still tolerable" is not going to go in my favor.

It looks like it's going to taper off around 8:00PM but the temperature is not going to start plummeting until the wee hours of the morning. Wind isn't going to let up much though, which can make it difficult to use a snowblower. I'm planning on heading out after dinner. Anything that falls after I'm done will either blow away or It won't be enough to worry about.

Just looking out my back window I see drifts everywhere. There's snow halfway up my back door.
posted by bondcliff at 1:02 PM on January 4

I think the snow has abated here in NYC, but the wind has been picking up. I'd heard that the further east you were, the worse the wind would be, so I called my parents on Cape Cod to check in.

Dad reported that they had heavy wind, and a handful of ten-second-long power outages, but no snow and the power did come right back on after winking out each time, so they were fine. Then he grumbled that I'd woken him from a nap.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:04 PM on January 4

The Philadelphia office of the NWS has a nice current briefing document that updates whenever there is a weather event. (That link stays the same functional for different events.)

I was a little startled just now to see DANGEROUS COLD as the headline. I don't think I've seen that one before.
posted by Karmakaze at 1:13 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

Just a thought, but having an emergency kit within arm's reach is a good idea in case you are trapped behind the wheel or simply can't access the back or trunk. Perhaps a vacuum sealed blanket under the front seat?
posted by Beholder at 1:17 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]

Butter secured.

When i went downstairs, i discovered that the fine snow had blown right through the miniscule gap between the door and the doorframe. Maybe a few cups' worth.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:38 PM on January 4 [5 favorites]

> (Where did you get your stove? Any local recommendations?)

This place. We got a Jøtul; we were worried the model we chose might be too small, but the very helpful people at the store told us it would put out plenty of heat and with a small fan attached to the doorway between the living room and kitchen would keep the rest of the house reasonably warm, and they were right. Let me know if you get one!
posted by languagehat at 1:51 PM on January 4 [7 favorites]

Ruki, my family had trooped up the street to do a second Good Shoveling Deed when our neighbor came out waving his arms. His son was on the way to plow, he said, and school had just been cancelled. (We’d been shoveling for three hours and missed the calls and texts, it seems.) I don’t know which piece of news made the kids happier!
posted by wenestvedt at 1:55 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]

(Also: already twelve+ inches when we started shoveling at 1:30, and itwas still coming diwn when we quit at 4:30. Damn, the only thing worse than all that snow is the WIND! Got one boy working the snow-thrower and the other willing to try, which is nice.)
posted by wenestvedt at 1:56 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

i meant to go out and get some eggs but when i got all my layers on it was so unbearably cozy that i took an accidental nap curled up on the floor in a coat nest while trying to lace up my boots and now i am sweaty and eggless
posted by poffin boffin at 2:15 PM on January 4 [20 favorites]

Based on all the conversation here, I wouldn't be opposed to someone making a post about wood stoves. ;-)
posted by Fizz at 2:20 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]

In DC we got about ¾ inch of snow. The Capital Weather people said to shovel early, so first thing this morning (well, first thing for this unemployed problem sleeper, so 9AM) I layered up and went out into the wind and shoveled our walk. We live on an alley so I always shovel a path across, and the neighbor on the other side of the alley is elderly and I trade off shoveling her walk with the neighbor on the other side. Lucky for me he'd been up before me, so all I had to do for her was put down some ice melt. And then I took a shower and by the time I got dressed the wind had drifted fluffy snow across a couple feet of our walk again. Grr.

I thought I was done and safely inside for the day, but then I found that the external drive dock I use for all my computer backups had failed, possibly corrupting more than one backup in the process, and this is the replacement for the previous failed dock, and I didn't feel like going into a frigid weekend where the power might go out without good backups, so I layered up again and headed to the Apple Store just to buy an adapter that would let me use an older but more reliable dock on my new iMac. The wind out there is nuts and we haven't even gotten the really cold air yet. But my backups seem to be mostly OK again, so yay.

I used to ride my bike to work every day and every time I encountered weather I couldn't dress well enough to ride in I bought whatever clothing would make that ride possible again. I haven't pulled out the creepy murder balaclava yet but it's always exciting when the Polartec tights pay off a little more. I may get my money's worth out of them yet.
posted by fedward at 2:31 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

His son was on the way to plow, he said, and school had just been cancelled. (We’d been shoveling for three hours and missed the calls and texts, it seems.) I don’t know which piece of news made the kids happier!

You've reminded me of two lovely moments from other snowy days in the past:


I was trudging up the hill on my way to work one snowy morning. Across the street, but in earshot, a man and his two daughters - about eleven and eight, I'd say - were also struggling up the hill on the sidewalk. As we all walked, I overheard them talking about what time they'd end up getting to school.

"Hi!" I called over. "I actually heard on the news about 20 mintues ago - schools are closed today."

They all stopped dead and looked at me. "They're closed?" The father called back. "The whole city?"

"Yep, it was on NPR about 20 minutes ago."

There was a pause. Then the younger girl shouted "WOOO-HOOO!" and started running back down the hill, towards home.


Another snowy day - another trudge to the subway. This time, I was passing by an apartment complex. Two beat cops were standing on the sidewalk in front of the building - and about 15 to 20 feet away were three pre-teen boys, each holding a snowball in his hands, and nervously and meekly looking at the officers. But they were in conversation and didn't notice.

Finally the officers stopped talking, and one of them looked over at the boys - and started laughing. "It's okay, guys," she told them. "Really, go ahead."

The boys blinked, then all turned to each other with grins and lobbed the snowballs at each other, giggling.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:32 PM on January 4 [6 favorites]

Finally the officers stopped talking, and one of them looked over at the boys - and started laughing. "It's okay, guys," she told them. "Really, go ahead."

To be fair, they can be forgiven for balking.
posted by rhizome at 2:37 PM on January 4

Seems to be calming down here, and some satellite images I was just looking at seemed to show it has wobbled due east. Good news in the short term if so.
posted by vrakatar at 3:56 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

I'm compensating for the temperatures outside by running a 102° fever. Whee.
posted by pemberkins at 4:43 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]

We kind of gave up on any attempts at snow removal at work today until about 3pm. Tomorrow may be interesting as we have a lot to do and I'm off, my coworker hurt his shoulder and that leaves my boss to do it by himself. I may come by to help if I can.

The cold and wind is going to make it difficult.
posted by sciencegeek at 4:59 PM on January 4

We here in western NC are not getting the bomb-cyclone thingy but we're plenty cold and windy with some scattered snow. High today was 22 and low was 7; it'll stay cold until Sunday, then we go into a slow warmup and by Wed-Thu we'll be near 50. After 2-3 weeks of really really cold, we're ready to thaw. I'm shivering in sympathy with all the east coasters and hoping you keep your power and stay warm and safe.
posted by MovableBookLady at 5:23 PM on January 4

Damn wind is back!! Going for a walk as the temps dip: I ate three big bowls of hot soup and feel Full.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:25 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

Just got in from doing the driveway. The most stressful moment in life is just before you go to start a snowblower after a storm. Fortunately it started right up but the second I engaged the auger it stalled. Repeat, same thing. I eventually discovered my auger was seized. There was ice build up in the channel as well as behind the auger, so it wasn't going anywhere. I grabbed a few hot coals from the fireplace to help heat it all up and then spent a good 30 minutes chipping away at the ice. Also, when I took the cover off to disconnect the spark plug (you don't want to go sticking your arm into an auger with the spark plug connected) I discovered some critter had built a nest inside my snowblower. No sign of any critter, but that explains why my choke wasn't working properly last time I used it.

Anyway, I eventually got the thing working after about an hour and then spent a good two hours doing the driveway. No matter where I pointed the chute the snow just seemed to blow back into the driveway, so I had to go over the thing a couple of times.

Wasn't too bad snow-wise, maybe a foot total, which varied due to the drifts. The temperature is dropping and the wind is really howling now. I'm glad I'm inside.

I also just got a Fitbit today and I managed to do 10,000 steps doing the driveway!

Oh boy I can't wait to walk to the train in -10 tomorrow!
posted by bondcliff at 5:43 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]

I love the cold! Bring it on! The worst part is having hat hair. On the other hand, I save time and money from not having to style it in the morning.
posted by AFABulous at 5:43 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

Not much snow here in Pittsburgh but it's going to be cold enough that most schools have already announced that they're closing tomorrow.
posted by octothorpe at 5:44 PM on January 4

Did three more fire hydrants on the walk. It was beautiful every time the wind died, then suddenly awful again.

posted by wenestvedt at 6:10 PM on January 4 [6 favorites]

I live in South Florida. North of Miami, south of Boca Raton. This past week has seen my small yard's record number of atala butterfly emergences. I was afraid the cold snap a couple of weeks ago may have killed them, but no: I've been counting 20 or more new emergences daily. The tiny black and red butterflies, wings studded with electric blue dots, sun themselves, then flutter off in little sparkles to feed on our native plant garden. Today, though, I've been finding the new butterflies in stupors on the cold ground. I don't know if it will save them, but I carefully moved each of them to the most sun-drenched-yet-somewhat-sheltered-from-the-wind flowering plants I could find. It's the best chance I could give them.

I forced emergency blankets onto my husband and son to put in their cars. It's not direly cold here, at least for short exposures, but there's a lot that can go wrong in a place with this many canals and crazy drivers. And if they don't need the blankets themselves, they may spot a homeless person who does.

Positive spin: My niece in south Georgia got to see her first ever snow. She is 40.

Ya'll more northerly friends, stay safe and keep us posted.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 6:30 PM on January 4 [6 favorites]

Grew up in and live primarily around Minneapolis. I liked the snow and cold better when I was little and didn't have to go outside unless I wanted to play, and didn't have to think about all the adult things.

Also, Winter Storm Dick Grayson.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:54 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]

Or Amanda.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:03 PM on January 4

I'm in central MA and the winds are still howling; every time start to get ready to go out and shovel before the temperatures really plummet a huge gust sweeps through and I think, "fuck it, I'd rather be cold and chiseling this stuff in the daylight at least."

So I am wrapped up on the sofa watching ice skating and keeping the kettle pretty much permanently whistling away.

(Count me in as someone else who needs tips about what to do to save pipes if there's a power outage, though...?)
posted by TwoStride at 7:21 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

Whoof, time for a shovlin' break! And when I take a break, I always come to MetaFilter™ to lose track of time.

See? Just like that, and whoop, it's time to go back and dig out that 5-foot berm the snowplow left in front of our driveway! HEY WHERE DID ALL THE DEGREES GO
posted by not_on_display at 7:48 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]

I shoveled out the (drifted to knee-high on me) snow on the sidewalk in front of my house. Definitely the sort of snow where you shovel in layers rather than try to scrape the pavement and pull the whole thing up at once.

After the previous snow, I was feeling really beat-down by winter and the snow. Strangely, after doing all that shoveling, I'm feeling better about it - more capable. I think it's something in my head saying "yeah, okay, you're a New Englander - pull on your big-girl gloves and get to it."
posted by rmd1023 at 8:25 PM on January 4 [5 favorites]

Yes please if anyone would like to do a post on woodstove and woodstove installation, especially in Central MA. We were meant to have one installed a few weeks ago and they showed up and said our chimney is too tall and then left. All our neighbors have the same size chimney and have woodstove. I am flummoxed. And also chilly today.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 8:36 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

I have gotten lots of useful wood stove information from the forums at hearth.com.
posted by theora55 at 9:02 PM on January 4

I would just like to note that I really enjoy saying “bomb cyclone.”

Thank you.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:32 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]

After a while yesterday I was seeing it as "bombcycle" and reading it like "icicle". Bombsicle.
posted by you must supply a verb at 6:06 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]

I'm freezing my butt off in New Orleans, of all places. I'm staying at an airbnb, and the heater died unexpectedly yesterday. The host has been scrambling to get it fixed, but it just happened to be one of the coldest nights of the year. Space heaters were sold out at every single store. Who knew I'd be colder here than I was on the east coast?
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 6:19 AM on January 5

Update on the cold coast of SE NC; no traffic out on road; car tires that I cleaned around are surrounded by ice from water that helpfully migrated to the open area and re-froze over night.

I have placated mom with promises of a trip to the store tomorrow afternoon when things will be, hopefully, thawed.

Monster kitty No.2 is terrified of me in a knit hat....who knows what happened in his past; or he's just being typical scaredy cat. I mean, he can watch me put the thing on and suddenly I've transformed into an ogre.

The heat pump is useless: it was 13 degrees overnight. I am running space heaters and saving the propane stove for overnights. I have the water dribbling constantly in the far bathroom. Kitties are loving the display of birds at the feeding saucers.
posted by mightshould at 6:35 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]

I love the cold! Bring it on! The worst part is having hat hair. On the other hand, I save time and money from not having to style it in the morning.

I also love the cold - I'll shovel snow outside in shorts until about -15C which makes everyone I know very uncomfortable. I find this time of year one of the only places that I, a cis het white male, feel othered as EVERYONE loves to commiserate about how cold it is and nobody wants to hear that the cold can be loved.

The key for me is to always be moving, so this AM with a windchill of -33C I threw on Run the Jewels 3 and bopped until the bus came.
posted by notorious medium at 6:35 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]

I took advantage of a lull in the wind and did about half of my shoveling at 1am last night (sorry, neighbors!). Now the wind has kicked up again and I'm staring at the giant drift in my driveway... Sigh. Good thing I managed to dig up a balaclava that I'm pretty sure I bought for a halloween party like 15 years ago.
posted by TwoStride at 6:40 AM on January 5

To keep pipes from freezing:

-Keep the faucets running at a drip or slight trickle.
-If you can get to them, wrap the pipes in something; blankets, fleece, towels.
-Keep cabinet doors open so they get some house heat.
posted by cooker girl at 7:19 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]

In Minnesota, I always wondered at the people who ran out to catch busses with wet hair.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:29 AM on January 5

It's warmed up to 0°F here. My car started fine this morning but I didn't pay attention to how filthy the side windows were until I tried to merge left on a bridge and realized that I couldn't see the left side-view mirror. You have exactly two car-lengths to change lanes on that bridge or else you're going to end up on the wrong side of the river so I just gunned it and hoped for the best.
posted by octothorpe at 7:59 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]

According to my weather app, we have two days of vortex hell and then it gets up to positively steamy temps next week. PLEASE tell me this is true.
posted by selfnoise at 8:03 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]

You have exactly two car-lengths to change lanes on that bridge or else you're going to end up on the wrong side of the river so I just gunned it and hoped for the best.

So, normal Pittsburgh driving, then.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:06 AM on January 5 [7 favorites]

Just reporting that yesterday my toddler son fell asleep in the plow while "helping" daddy. We have a 1/4 mile driveway in the rural suburbs of Boston and bought a Gator with a plow attachment last year because we were so so tired of relying on being plowed out by our (very nice) plow guys. Best purchase ever, but it does mean my husband spends hours outside dealing with the snow while I spend hours inside dealing with children with a bad bad case of CABIN FEVER.

Concord, MA got about 17" all in all and it's cold as balls today. I had to shovel out our chicken coop and our beehives last night. Everyone is safe and sound, if pissed that they can't go outside.
posted by lydhre at 8:20 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]

New York City, Friday.

My usual commute is bus-to-subway, subway-to-work. Usually it's pretty smooth. However - it does involve standing around at a bus stop, which on a day when it's this cold would be sub-optimal; so I first checked into what it would cost to to Lyft. They were double their usual rate so I said screw it, and tried to time it so I wouldn't be waiting long for the bus.

Fortunately I wasn't. But all the trains at my subway stop were about 15 minutes' delayed when I got there. I jumped on a sub-optimal train (a local that I'd have to change trains away from) and got to work a half hour late.

A co-worker has a similar commute, only she comes from farther away and has a longer haul to the bus stop. She was an hour and a half late.

And the guy who was here already was coping with other random workplace crap unrelated to the storm.

We're all cranky today.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:52 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]

We had about 8" in Queens, NY with a solid 2 foot drift against our front door last night. A neighbor had to help dig us out of the house as we couldn't push the door open and our heavy iron screen door was frozen shut. That's never happened before. The winds were brutal last night while I was digging out our car. Ripped my breath away.

This morning, it's very, very cold in New York. Wind chill was reported at -8, -14 and -18 depending on what channel you were watching. Drove a few blocks to run an errand at 9am. The main roads seem clear but our side roads (even the plowed ones) are covered with a thin, compressed layer of snow and ice. It's as if the city hasn't spread salt on any of the side roads. Cars were skidding everywhere. Dangerous. Please be careful, everyone.

For my fellow New Yorkers, NYC's Snow Plow site is up and running. Here's what the colors mean.
posted by zarq at 9:01 AM on January 5

We got about six inches in Portland but jesus god the wind! It was terrifying to me, and I'm from the windy-ass Midwest. About 9pm there was some horrible crash that sounded like something huge landing on our roof but if it was, it blew on away because this morning there was nothing. My wife got up at 5 to clear the driveway and work thru the massive snow plow pile at the street. Probably 4' of packed up snow there. Now the cold comes, but I saw 30-plus temps in the weather app for next week and just about cried.
posted by donnagirl at 9:35 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]

I'll shovel snow outside in shorts until about -15C which makes everyone I know very uncomfortable.

You're that guy! I've always seen guys like you around and never really known what their deal was.

I went out to the post office and library yesterday after thinking the weather didn't look too bad which was probably a mistake. Roads were terrible but fortunately it was only about a mile of driving so I was fine and the USPS folks and the librarians seem to appreciate the visitors.

I was SO relived to wake up today in an apartment with electricity and heat (I live in the woods so when it's super windy it can be dicey with the power) that I've been bopping around the apartment in my PJs and when the Fedex guy came, I walked right out on to the porch in bare feet without even really twigging that it was 2° out. I thought he was delivering my humidifier replacement part but he was just delivering my box to send my old iphone back for a cheap battery replacement, I am boiling water on the stove for humidity like a pioneer woman. It's normal-cold here and one of the high points, possibly the only high point, about the weight I've put on since my mom died is that I stay a lot warmer when I'm outside.

We basically missed most of the snow yesterday and only got a few inches. Even so I'm watching the Vermont plow map because it's fun.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:50 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]

Grumpybearbride and I are safe and warm! The snow uncovered an issue with our back door which is apparently "sagging" and as a result has a small air gap tat let melting water in. That has temporarily been fixed with masking tape, to great success.

Philly appears to be back to normal already, which is nice.
posted by grumpybear69 at 10:21 AM on January 5

Just spent 2.5 hours outside finishing off my sidewalk, driveway, and the ridiculous snow berm the snow plows created blocking the steps to my house. My kindly neighbor, I think after seeing my slow going on the driveway, came with his snowblower and did my drive in about 10 minutes, which freed me up for tackling the 5' snow berm.

Even though there is a ton of work I should be doing today, I think I'm going to make hot cocoa and bask in feeling virtuous about all that shoveling as I recline on my couch.
posted by TwoStride at 10:23 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]

The wind knocked over the 24ft Christmas tree at work. Pretty grateful that it didn't happen when anyone was anywhere nearby. (We rescued the menorah before anything happened to it)
posted by sciencegeek at 10:48 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]

I was just thinking about walking across to the library during my lunch hour when there was this sudden huge gust of bitterly cold wind outside. Nope On That. Guess even after 20+ years I'm still not much of a Mainer.
posted by JanetLand at 11:00 AM on January 5

I had to shovel out our chicken coop and our beehives last night. Everyone is safe and sound, if pissed that they can't go outside.

i like this mental image of thousands of bees forced to read ahead in their school books instead of going outside to play
posted by poffin boffin at 11:33 AM on January 5 [16 favorites]

I had to shovel out our chicken coop and our beehives last night. Everyone is safe and sound, if pissed that they can't go outside.

i like this mental image of thousands of bees forced to read ahead in their school books instead of going outside to play

We have the perfect children's book about learning to use your time wisely and how to hunker down in a snow storm. It's just right there waiting to be written/illustrated.

Let's do this.
posted by Fizz at 11:38 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]

The chickens spend all their time complaining and not doing their work. The bees though slightly disgruntled try to make the best of it.
posted by Fizz at 11:41 AM on January 5

Yeah, I was mad at my chickens for not laying eggs since Thanksgiving but given the temperatures I’m cutting them some slack. Thorin, Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin, Balin, Dwalin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Ori, Nori, Dori, and Bilbo are glaring at me from the hen house and refusing to step outside in the snow, not that I blame them.

I have not named the 40000 bees and who the fuck knows what they’re doing though I bet there’s some wild ass parties going on in those hives.
posted by lydhre at 12:37 PM on January 5 [14 favorites]

MetaTalk: Butter secured.

I’ve spent the day being aghast at the even worse than usual job of plowing and shoveling Providence has done. It’s almost impossible to leave your block on foot. What a city....
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:30 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]

I put a version of this comment on the FPP since my first comment was there, but here is a check in.

My toddler and I are not in New York where we could not go yesterday on an airplane. My partner made it there this evening and has to finish rescheduling his MLA interviews for tomorrow - two were supposed to happen today. I imagine all the hiring committees had to accomodate people.

Maybe early January is not a great time for a giant conference in this Anthropocene era of ours.

Meanwhile it is still cold in Ohio. My mom in Winnipeg said it was milder today and when I looked to see how warm it had gotten it was still -25C. lol mom
posted by Lawn Beaver at 7:19 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]

We have the perfect children's book about learning to use your time wisely and how to hunker down in a snow storm. It's just right there waiting to be written/illustrated.

Do you want Bee Movie 2? Because this is how you get Bee Movie 2.

Please, please don't tell me they made a Bee Movie 2.
posted by loquacious at 10:27 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]

Right now in Winnipeg it's -35C (almost the same in Fahrenheit) with the windchill. A couple of days ago that windchill was -50. We've had several weeks (with a few mild days thrown in) of cold and would very much like to never see another polar vortex as long as we live, but that ain't happening at this latitude.

Tomorrow they say the winds will pick up to 75km/hr (about 45 mph); hoping it's warmer by then. Starting the car every few hours at school to stop the battery from freezing is rapidly losing its charm.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 11:56 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]

Even so I'm watching the Vermont plow map because it's fun.
If a transmitter is offline, the truck may appear off the coast of Africa or another invalid location. We are not plowing there.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:21 AM on January 6 [5 favorites]

It is 5:30 AM and I am sitting in my car at the parking lot at work. There is black ice on the roads so I left a little early. Made it fine, but the parking lot has not been plowed. I believe we have a contract for snow removal....will have to check about that. It may be more dangerous here in the parking lot than on the roads.
posted by mightshould at 2:33 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]

Even so I'm watching the Vermont plow map because it's fun.

If a transmitter is offline, the truck may appear off the coast of Africa or another invalid location. We are not plowing there.

posted by wallabear at 3:44 AM on January 6

It is Saturday, it is 8 degrees. It is the morning of my CSA distribution, which requires me to leave the house and go to a place between 9 and 10 am to collect my box.

It is a 15-minute walk, but I am seriously considering taking a taxi. I walked about that distance last night - I was picking up some fancy meatstuffs from the fancy butcher in the fancy food shop next to where I get my CSA - and my hands were turning numb halfway home.

When I get home I will be spending the day knitting and making warming soup stocks and such that I'll be keeping on hand in the freezer. (The fancy meatstuffs are for a batch of the pasta sauce from Goodfellas.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:24 AM on January 6

Back! I bundled up in about 7 layers, and was okay walking there - but totally caved and jumped in a taxi for the trip back. I asked the two people handing things out how they were holding up and if they wanted coffee; they said that they had arrived early and loaded up on "a lot of coffee" at the shop across the street already.

Now I am trying to figure out what to make with another 2 pounds of sweet potatoes (the carrots, regular potatoes, and onions are all going to be easily spoken for), and waiting for my bulk-order of freezer containers to finally get here so I can start cooking and then freezing stuff. The butternut squash that was in my box is already showing signs of freezer burn so I'm going to turn the whole thing into a soup right away, at least.

Also - I have a couple pounds of beets. Any good borscht recipes?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:09 AM on January 6

It is a balmy 6F at our house and we had everything prepared to just stay home all day but now we have learned that there are such things as vanilla milkshake poptarts so it looks like egress might be required
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:42 AM on January 6

If a transmitter is offline, the truck may appear off the coast of Africa or another invalid location. We are not plowing there.

How sure of this are we?
posted by Fizz at 8:50 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]

It's -10C outside which the internet tells me is 14F, and I am debating whether Trader Joe is worth it :)
posted by Ender's Friend at 12:02 PM on January 6

I can't tell if you're kidding. I just walked a mile in 14F with no hat or scarf. For fun. It was fine. Granted, it's not windy.
posted by AFABulous at 12:19 PM on January 6

The sun was out so I had the bright idea of going over the park and shooting a roll of medium-format B&W film in the snowy landscape but I got about half a dozen shots into the roll and the shutter on my camera froze in the 10F weather and wouldn't fire. I'd complain to the manufacturer but they went out of business fifteen years ago.
posted by octothorpe at 12:28 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]

Oh and when I came in, my transitions eye-glasses refused to lighten up from being almost opaque from the snow-glare and cold so I was stumbling around the house for ten minutes until they finally warmed up and cleared.
posted by octothorpe at 12:31 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]

The National Weather Service has a hazardous travel conditions warning out for Atlanta for Monday and ever since the Snowpocalypse of 2014 that gives employees plausible deniability to work from home at many companies in Atlanta. The fact that president Drumpf is coming to town AND the college football championship is happening downtown on the same day make it practically mandatory. Drumpfballpocalypse 2018, at least I get to sleep in and skip my commute.
posted by mumblelard at 1:22 PM on January 6

We've had cold snaps before but for some reason this one has caused the End of the Fucking World here in southern Maine. Heating oil deliveries are basically impossible right now because everyone is backed up for weeks. I have half a tank and I'm still worried because nobody will even return your calls.

Meanwhile we know multiple people who've had burst pipes in the last week. At least things are supposed to turn warmer next week... I hope.
posted by selfnoise at 2:24 PM on January 6

My wife and I did a three mile snowshoe today. We walked across the lake, which has been sculpted by the wind into all these cool snow drift formations. We walked a route that we have previously kayaked, which sort of makes me feel like Jesus.

We were bundled up pretty tight.

Walking back on a trail covered with snow drifts was like playing Russian Roulette. Some steps you'd walk on top of the wind pack snow, other times you'd sink in a foot or two.

Winter can really suck sometimes, but it can also be a blast.
posted by bondcliff at 2:28 PM on January 6 [5 favorites]

The mister's garage key just got stuck in the frozen lock and the WD-40 is, of course, in the garage. The original owners of our house, who we bought from, built a 20 x 20 living room addition and a garage. They did not include a door from the garage to the living room. They also didn't buy a front door that was quite long enough for the frame, a fact that they remedied by stapling a desk mat to the threshold. We finally got the proper weatherproofing stuff, but it's too long, and the sawzall is, you guessed it, in the garage.

Good Ol' Mr C. also put up fakeass wood paneling with no dry wall or, really, any insulation, behind said living room addition, although there is a supplemental gas heater that benefits no one but the cat, so I've spent the past few days under three blankets in bed.

PS. Buying this house was totally the mister's idea.
posted by Ruki at 5:29 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]

Did I mention that to access the attic, you have to put a ladder on the top step of the basement stairs? Because that's a thing, too. Ok, back to googling WD-40 free and non-electricity requiring frozen lock solutions.
posted by Ruki at 5:31 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]

Hey Ruki, LOL, I had a place with an attic like that but there was a ladder attached to the attic hatch that folded down and felt very firm. Heights don't bother me but it was still pretty weird to climb a ladder over the basement steps. It's like suddenly finding yourself in an Escher drawing. Just feels wrong, but I would suggest finding one of those.

Also had a garage like that. That house was built in 1958. Maybe that was a thing back then. But why? You can use a hair dryer to warm the lock and get the key to turn. If you don't have a way to power a hair dryer you can heat the key with a candle. If you have a rubber mallet light strokes on the key can help. But if you have one it's in the garage, right?

I've so been there done that.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 3:51 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]

Hope you got in okay, Ruki?

Also had a garage like that. That house was built in 1958. Maybe that was a thing back then. But why? You can use a hair dryer to warm the lock and get the key to turn. If you don't have a way to power a hair dryer you can heat the key with a candle. If you have a rubber mallet light strokes on the key can help. But if you have one it's in the garage, right?

Our screen door froze shut the other night. Metal door. Couldn't turn the doorknob. Couldn't open the door.

Called our neighbor for help. Do you have WD-40? No? Okay. How about a long lighter? No? Okay, how about a candle?

"I have tea lights."

He showed up with a big rubber mallet and a travel hairdryer. Handed me the hairdryer through the window and while I went hunting for an extension cord he hit our screen door three times with the mallet and it opened without a problem.
posted by zarq at 10:24 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]

I think Zarq lived next to my stepdad at some point.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 2:41 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]

The funniest part is, right before he banged it open, my wife walked into our living room holding a can of WD-40, Sabbath candles and our long lighter. She was planning to hand them to him through the window. This hadn't occurred to me. Or him.

She's a lot smarter than I am, for which I'm grateful. :)
posted by zarq at 11:22 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]

Hope you got in okay, Ruki?

We don't actually use the garage for anything except storage since it's so dang difficult to access. As of now, the key is still in the lock, the snowblower is still in the driveway, and the mister is now in New Jersey. I did get WD-40 from my parents, but I think we really need a rubber mallet. Or, the next three days are supposed to be in the fifties, with Friday being close to sixty(!), so...
posted by Ruki at 1:00 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]

Oh wow.

Hopefully the weather will help. Good luck!
posted by zarq at 6:31 AM on January 11


Schools canceled last night. Work told us to be ready to work from home, but didn't decide to close the office early until a few of us were already in and the sleet had changed over to snow.

Main roads are mostly OK, helped by there not being any traffic. They didn't get as much salt down because it rained all day yesterday. Kroger parking lot was difficult to walk/push cart through due to the depth of slush.

I shoveled about 1 inch of snow off my driveway. It's going to stay below freezing for the next couple of days, so there's a chance of some re-freezing if the roads don't drain.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:50 PM on January 12

...make sure we're all safe and warm.

Today I found myself saying, “Oh good, the low for the next few days is only going to be 15 (°F)." Does that mean winter’s over?
posted by LeLiLo at 6:50 PM on January 18

The kids here have been out of school since last Friday. WHEN WILL WINTER BE OVER???
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:32 PM on January 18

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