13 December 2008

ignore the woman behind the curtain, episode 01

it seems like seattle proper missed the fun and games of the snow event, as the low pressure centre decided to move 100 miles further north instead, stalling the cold air mass at the canuckian border until the pineapple express rain was mostly dissipated.

but, it doesn't mean we won't get SOME weather freakiness.

later this afternoon, temps will start falling from right-around-freezing at the moment, and are forecast to stay below freezing into late next week.


nothing like a lot of rain, followed by below-freezing temperatures for extended periods to make the roads into skating rinks. it's not bad enough that seattle-ites (in general) haven't a clue how to drive in rainy weather, but combine that with frictionless roads, and the whole region is going to be an insurance company's nightmare for the next week...

last year's main snowstorm demonstrated problems in my town that, to the best of my knowledge, have not yet been mitigated. there are only a few ways to get from the lowlands up onto the plateau, and not a one of them has a slope less than 5% grade, nor a distance of that grade less than one-half mile, so you can imagine what a little ice can do to your commute. as an example, it has been estimated that fewer than 50 cars made the plateau inaccessible to thousands of people returning home as they spun out on all of those approaches during that storm. i'd be willing to bet 49 of those cars were driven by idiots who thought their car had super powers.

a few days later on the radio, my theory is confirmed. evergreen ford, a local vehicle retailer, blatantly stated "... you would not have been stuck if you had been driving one of our new four-wheel drive SUVs."

you have to love clueless marketing weasels.

this could have been funny on a number of fronts if it weren't for (1) my sleeping at work because i couldn't get home, and (2) the primary plugs on those roads were SUVs which were left where they stopped because they couldn't manage the icy conditions.

anyway, i'm hunkered down, and will walk to the local store later for a little fresh fruit and blushing cheek action. tomorrow, if i'm feeling particularly feisty, i may take a camp chair and a thermos of hot chocolate about a mile down what should be an inch-thick ice road to watch people who think a 7% grade, gravity, physics, and the physical properties of their cars are different from everyone else's.

cheap entertainment, provided i'm not in the firing line...

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