Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ice Storm

I guess it's time to make a blog entry, although there is not a lot to talk about.  We stayed in TN until the 15th and then drove home in one day.  It is about 850 miles but the weather had turned cold and we did not want to sleep in the truck because it would have to idle all night.  That is a lot farther than I like to drive, but the big truck is made for covering long distances.

Since arriving home we have not been very busy.  We have both gotten our Dr. appointments out of the way and I have finished a couple projects around the house, but nothing noteworthy.

One of the interesting things about North Texas is that it is located where Arctic cold fronts battle with warm onshore gulf breezes and moisture.  It results in wild swings in temperature during the winter.  We have a few days of high 70's followed by days when it does not get above freezing.  This week we had one of the freaky weather conditions that happen occasionally.  A front brought very cold weather on the surface, but with warm, wet conditions above the cold layer.  The result is freezing  rain when the drops fall through very cold air which causes them to super cool and flash to ice when they land.  It results in an ice coating on everything.

Yesterday we had such a storm.  There were some icy spots in the morning, but by late afternoon it got worse and continued until about one AM.  When these storms hit everything comes to a halt.  Schools were closed yesterday and today.  Almost everyone stayed home from work and we did not leave the trailer at all Monday and Tuesday.  We finally ventured out this afternoon after the sun had melted the ice everywhere except some shaded underpasses.

I have lived in winter climates and have no problem driving in snow.  Ice storms are a completely different story.  It is not even possible to stand up, much less drive in these conditions.   If you have never experienced one, my recommendation is don't.

We plan to be here until the 23rd.   We will make our way to Phoenix again for a few days, and then most likely out to the Quartzsite dessert.  If Don and Betty can get away for a few days we may have a Lafferty Boondock Party.


  1. I've never experienced an ice storm and from the sounds of it I guess I don't want to. A friend of mine live in Missouri and made a twitter post that he will be without power for up to 3 weeks due to the ice storm. I can't imagine having to deal with that when the weather is so bad.

    I'm sure we will be able to get to Quartzsite sometime in March. I will be looking at going back to work by June at the latest so March is good.

  2. Interesting to hear you call North Texas "Home". I thought with your current lifestyle that home was wherever you parked the trailer, but I guess you have some roots.

    Maybe I'll try to make it to Quartzsite some time too, and try some of that famous "Quartzsite Dessert". Sounds delicious.

  3. Since it is way past the 23rd of January, I assume you mean the 23rd of February. We have had four days of cold winds (you know, the kind where the thermometer doesn't get out of the 60's,) but today it reached 70º or a little more.

    Ice storms are the worst; are there any limbs and branches on the ground? That can be scary, as well as dangerous.

  4. Roland and I hit an ice storm in Arkansas back in winter of 73/74. We had driven to Michigan for Christmas, then on to New York, and were on our way home. We spun out on an overpass, then again on a stretch of highway and landed in a ditch. Fortunately, tow trucks were cruising looking for victims and one came along within about 10 minutes to pull us back on to the road. We crawled (5 MPH) for miles until we could find a hotel with a vacancy. Even lobbies were full of stranded travelers. With a baby, we were lucky to find a room. It was scary, and has been quite an adventure story ever since.

    We look forward to seeing you in about a month.

  5. I'm always interested in experiencing extremes of nature. So far I've been in hurricanes (typhoons), earthquakes, 118 above and 24 below weather. I've been in blizzards, dust storms, dust devils, hail storms, and extreme thunderstorms. I've stood on the equator at the equinox and seen my shadow disappear under my feet. I've stood on a mountain at over 15,000 feet.

    Still to go are volcanoes and ice storms, plus I've never seen the Aurora Borealis or Aurora Australis, midnight sun or noonday dark, or a full solar eclipse.

    Ice storms may be dangerous, but I'd like to see what it's like from a safe, non-driving vantage.

  6. Oh yeah, I've never been in a tornado either. That one I may be willing to forgo...

  7. Hah! I've seen the Aurora Borealis! :D

  8. If you lived in Western NY, you would see the Aurora Borealis frequently in the winter. It's indescribable and so beautiful.

  9. I've been 8 miles from a Category 5 tornado. Daryl, I didn't know you were on the equator during an equinox. Cool! (Was that in Mexico?)

  10. Singapore. Actually about 1 degree off, but close enough for a blog claim.

  11. The next full lunar eclipse will be on Aug.21. 2017 visible near Boise. You might make plans with Robin and Ken to visit them at that time, although the way they move around, they may be in South Africa or some such, by then.