Winter arrives a bit early

broken tree

Tree damage is widespread in the Denver area

The big news here today is our first winter storm. It’s a bit earlier than we’d like, but certainly not unheard of. The weather people have been warning us since Sunday that it was coming, but emotionally it was tough to get ready for. We’d had a week or so of beautiful, sunny fall days with temps in the 70s. Monday the official high in Denver was 80. Nevertheless, right on schedule yesterday, the clouds rolled in, the temperature started dropping, and the snow started falling. Sometimes meteorologists are so dead on with their predictions, it’s spooky.

This morning I opened the back door and deployed my self-powered canine snow measuring device; the dog-hock indicator showed 7″ of white stuff in the backyard. Bummer. I’d prepared to spend the day indoors of course, cuddled up to the TV and Xbox, enjoying hot soup for lunch and chili for dinner. However, the weather peeps had warned that most of the trees still have a lot of leaves and are vulnerable to breakage under the weight of so much snow. And sure enough, the branches on my one small tree were hanging down at about 150° from the vertical, so I got dressed (grumbling the whole time), went outside and, armed with a long-handled ceiling fan brush (improvisation!), knocked off as much snow as I could. No breakage, fortunately, but it hasn’t stopped snowing yet. The top third of the tree is back up to something between 90° and 45°. Better, but still pretty sad looking. Meantime, I have to hope some neighbor’s falling tree branches don’t knock out my power. I understand that’s happening all over town.

No doubt there’s a lot more snow farther south in downtown Denver (I’m about 15 miles NNE of there). That’s the norm anyway. Always more snow down there. I guess the joke’s on President Obama, who is here today. The city probably assigned two snow plows (desperately needed elsewhere) to accompany his motorcade wherever it goes. He’ll have to be content with indoor photo ops. None of those sunny outdoors-with-a-beautiful-mountain-backdrop shots. My son works downtown, and didn’t even go to work today (computer geeks can work from home). The traffic downtown is awful on a normal day, insane on a snowy day, and impossible when the president’s in town. Seems the city closes major arteries, limiting them to “president only” when he’s in town. I guarantee that won’t win him any votes among residents who have to deal with it.

Oh well, this is life in Colorado. It’s supposed to be back up in the 60s by the weekend. Gotta love it.



Categories: Culture

4 replies

  1. Thanks for the heads up. I think. The biggest problem in recent years here in southern Missouri has been ice, not snow. We’ve got our fingers crossed.

    • My impression was that this was very much a mountain-related storm, not bound for Kansas or points east. Yes, ice was always the concern in Oklahoma, too. It’s been a pleasant change here, dealing with snow rather than ice. Snow is “do-able.” Ice is just ridiculous. I had to laugh at CNN talking about how now all our ski areas would be opening. The first one opened on Labor Day!

  2. What, you mean all Coloradans (if that’s actually a word) don’t all rush to the slopes when the white stuff starts falling? Damn all those TV shows, movies and “Visit Colorado” ads! And apparently even white crap rolls downhill. My local news is forecasting a serious drop in temperature with a few “wet flakes” mixed in with the coming downpours. Well, I guess the “diarrhea” part would have an easier time getting down that old hill… 😀

    • There’s an ongoing discussion re “Coloradoans” vs “Coloradans,” with “Coloradans” seeming to be the preference of most. The stampede to the slopes happens every weekend, when about two-thirds of the entire population heads to the mountains to ski — and unfortunately almost all have to take I-70 to get there. It ain’t pretty.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." ~ Edmund Burke

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