Friday, February 4, 2011

Slip-Slidin' Away

We did not get snow, and it's only 29°F outside. But the ice on the roads makes up for it. Three tollways are closed down until Saturday. There have been 100 wrecks in four hours. One baby was born on Loop 610; now that kid is a real Houstonian! And one car, I've heard, slipped off a bridge, though I have no details.

And Stella is out there in the middle of it right now, on her way to work.

Few people here have either the equipment or the experience to drive in icy conditions. For those who must, I wish them luck. I'll never forget the time I had to ride home from work on a bicycle on a hike-and-bike trail with freestanding bridges over the bayou...

As I was writing this, I just got a call from Stella; thank the good Dog she made it to work safe and sound! Now all she has to do is make it home this evening.

AFTERTHOUGHT:  I just spent some time reading a thread on the Chron's "SciGuy" column. I do not recommend this thread. Based on the comments posted there, I think we need a new slogan: "Houston: City of Assholes!" Considering that most current-day Houstonians moved here a couple of decades ago when jobs were scarce in the Northeast, one could make the obvious generalization. But I won't.

From the EVERYTHING-IS-POLITICAL department: commenter Met on the same thread notes this, regarding the inaccuracy of yesterday's forecast:
Back in the early 90's the NWS in D.C. closed the upper-air (weather balloons) at Victoria. We were left with nothing but Lake Charles and Corpus Christi in this area. Computer models are useless if you don't have good observations to initialize them with. The precipitation type is mainly controlled with temps at about 5000 feet (850mb). The models were off by 50 miles or so as to where that freezing line would be.
 It's just another example of "cutting out government waste." IIRC, a Republan was president in the early 90s...


  1. I'd rather have snow than ice any day.

  2. This was supposed to be snow on top of the ice. That is about as frictionless a surface as nature provides, and nothing without tracks will move on it with any hope of control of direction.

    It is the absolute pits.

    Either is much better than both.

  3. I just glanced outside. There's some sunshine, no visible snow, and ice visible only in small shaded spots... some gutters, patio chairs, etc. Stella just called to announce that she is bringing home a pizza, so it should be a pleasant evening. We have another hard freeze tonight; after that, it's supposed to be considerably warmer and sunny for several days. Things are looking up!



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