I just gotta say that this is the very first time that the National Weather Service, which regularly issues Severe Weather Alerts over rain, was totally, completely, entirely accurate. To wit:
“MAIN IMPACT: STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL ACCUMULATION OF 6 TO 16 INCHES FOR THE FOOTHILLS WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS WITH 2 TO 3 FEET LIKELY ABOVE 3000 FEET FOR THE WEST SLOPES OF THE NORTHERN SIERRA.”
I just whipped out my handy-dandy 13-inch plastic 1980s-era U.S. Army ruler, turned the porch light on and stuck it into the snow on the cement walk in front of the house. It disappeared an inch or so beneath the surface.
My little house sits at roughly 3,200 feet on those West Slopes. And this is, in the 12 years I’ve lived here, the very first time we’ve had more than oh, five inches of snow accumulating during one single storm. In fact, it’s more than we’ve had accumulate here during several days of storms.
My family is still asleep. Given my enthusiasm yesterday over the prospect of an “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas” snowfall, they may well murder me when they arise and look out the windows.
The poor dog boinged out the door to take his morning constitutional and sank into snow up to his shoulders. He stopped dead and looked back at me, standing in the doorway, turned around and slinked back inside.
His whole being communicated “I can wait.”
… a little later …
My daughter got up. “Holy s**t, Mom,” she said, as if I’d had something to do with the whipped cream world outside the windows. As it was obvious she was not driving down to Placerville for work anytime soon, she texted her boss to let him know her ETA was uncertain at best. He texted back that their power was out at the newspaper building and that the whole town has a foot of snow, so he was pretty uncertain about the prospect of anyone getting there, at least until much later in the day.
In reality, Cary loves the snow as much as I do. She’s delighted. “I can’t wait to get a picture of my “ice Cube,” she said, referring to her new Nissan Cube, currently parked up at street level under 14 inches of snow and counting. “I sorta wonder how I’m going to get up there, though.”
“It’s powder, kiddo. You can just push through it.”
“I bet it’s slippery, though.” She was thinking of the steep slope of the driveway.
“Yeah, but if you fall down, it won’t hurt. You’ll just floof.”
She laughed. I laughed. The lights flickered.
We both went still. “Stay on,” I breathed.
I doubt she’ll be getting down to work today, even if it stops snowing in the next hour or so. There’s just about always traffic noise rising up the mountainside from Highway 50, a quarter-mile or so away. Not this morning. It’s as silent as a pristine, snowy alpine morning out there (which is what it is, of course). That means the snow plows have been overwhelmed. No traffic is going up or down the mountain. And until they get the highway cleared, they won’t bother with the surface roads. And until they get those cleared, they won’t bother with residential streets, like ours.
It’s just as well. Cary has never driven in snow before. She only just bought chains (on my insistence) on Saturday. Of course, chains wouldn’t matter in snow like this. What we need is a snowmobile.
… later still …
It’s still snowing. Anybody have a St. Bernard handy?