Here in Vicksburg in the USA South, we do occasionally get snow or ice storms, but the frequency diminished in recent years. But in the last few years, we have been experiencing snows more often as well as other extreme meteorological events. Overall, the climate is getting warmer, as demonstrated by bird species that previously would have migrated south to the Gulf Coast or to South America, but now remain here. (No, I won't get into the debate with denial idiots that climate change is a hoax.)
Snow is rare enough that I can't resist wandering around with a camera and recording the way that snow outlines roads, topography, and rooflines. The following will be some digital snapshots. I also used film, but it needs to be developed. I will post film frames in mid-summer when the temperature is 30+ deg. C.
Storm 1, January 11, 2021
|Kansas City Southern tracks, Pearl Street|
|Overturned rail cars at track bend below Washington Street|
This January storm was not too intense and roads were open. I took a tour around town thinking it might be the last snow of the winter.
Storm 2: February 14-18, 2021
What, again? An immense storm pattern blanketed the southern and central United States. Houston, Texas, experienced rare snow and temperatures well below freezing. Here in Vicksburg, the freezing rain began to fall on Sunday, the 14th. Monday welcomed us to a white city.
|Room with a view. Wait, what's all that white stuff? (Morning, Feb. 15, 2021)|
The mayor imposed a 24-hour driving curfew, which was smart considering that no one around here has snow tires (or ability). And consider, Bubba Joe normally gets in his old truck with the widest and baldest tires and drives as fast as he can. Brakes, friction? What are those? Fire trucks and ambulances installed snow chains.
|Confederate Avenue view west (Feb. 15, 2021)|
|Halls Ferry Road from the Confederate Avenue bridge. Where did the traffic go?|
It is so peaceful when there is no traffic. The mayor extended the driving curfew to Wednesday, the 17th.
|Footbridge over Stouts Bayou, Avenue B (Feb. 15, 2021)|
I walked to Avenue B and crossed the little footbridge over Stouts Bayou. I saw six unusual speckled birds with long beaks down at the riprap near the water. They were Wilson's Snipe. Here, in the city? As I crossed, they flew off, and two more followed. Later, I saw a Belted Kingfisher.
|Drummond Street view south (Feb. 16, 2021)|
|Drummond Street view north (Feb. 16, 2021)|
|Monroe Street view north (Feb. 16, 2021)|
I know you readers in the northern USA or Canada, let alone Scandinavia or Russia, will not be impressed with this snowfall, but for us it is a big deal. It certainly changes the scenery. The Interstate highways are treacherous and dangerous because the highway department has very few plows.
Oh, oh. About noon on Feb. 17, the rain started and it soon turned into freezing rain. By late in the day, every surface was coated with ice. This mess magnified through the night.
|Temporary toaster (Feb. 18, 2021)|
|OK, skip the toaster; eat Panettone instead|
|Comfort food for those chilly nights|
Hey, where did the electricity go? Fortunately, it returned around 09:30 on Thursday (Feb. 18). We heat the house with a gas-fired hot water furnace, but the system depends on two electric pumps to circulate the water through the house piping and radiators. So no electricity = no heat.
|No, not just snow, but ice-saturated crust (Feb. 18, 2021)|
Every surface outside was slippery. I tried to break up some chunks of the crust to fill a bucket, but the crust was rock-hard. The City water came back on mid-morning, but we will keep some buckets filled just in case. And the sloping driveway was too slippery to descend safely, so that ended my limb and brush clean-up. Maybe I should have not sold my crampons and ice axe.
Some spectacular news for Feb. 18: The NASA Perseverance rover landed on the surface of Mars at 12:55 PM Pacific Time. Bravo!! It demonstrates what science and engineering can accomplish.
From the Past: 1989
|Feb. 6, 1989, ice storm. Polaroid Type 54 print|
The 2021 scenes are digital images. I also took photographs with film, which need to be developed. I will post them some beastly summer day when the temperature is 100º F to help you remember what it is like when it is cool.