The Energizer Bunny Winter Storm

Published at 19:28 on 19 January 2012

Ice-glazed shrubs in front of the house this morning.
Ice-glazed shrubs in front of the house this morning.

It keeps going, and going, and going…

Last night’s freezing drizzle intensified through the night, becoming mixed with sleet. From 1/3 to 1/2 inch of ice accumulated, depending on whether you measure it on twigs or on flat surfaces. Around 2:15 this afternoon, the sleet changed back to light snow.

Sometimes, it’s hard to forecast when the arctic air will finally get scoured out, and apparently this is one of those times. I really think it’s going to end tonight or tomorrow morning, though: the outflow winds that have been feeding us cold air from the Fraser Gorge via Bellingham have really collapsed this evening.

But sometimes storm systems have a way of reviving declining arctic outflows: arctic air has high pressure, and storms have low pressure, and the wind blows from high to low. However, it’s noteworthy that this is the first time the northerly winds have abated since this storm began (they never did abate yesterday evening, which made me doubt that I’d awaken to a thaw this morning).

The mild marine air always wins in the end, the only question is when.

It’s still been a surprisingly tenacious and strong storm for a place with a mild marine climate, even if the snow totals weren’t as whoppingly huge for us as forecast (though they certainly were whopping to the south).

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