Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What happened to spring?

This is what I see as I look out my work window. *sigh* This is NOT normal end-of-April weather! What the hell??!!

It has been snowing steady since 6pm Monday evening... it is now nearly 5pm Wednesday. The snow is supposed to stop tonight or early tomorrow morning. Do you want to know WHY this is SOoooo depressing? It was 80 degrees only two weeks ago!! The grass is green somewhere under all this snow, the trees were budding out, the neighbors had daffodils and tulips blooming. *shaking my head*

OK, now that I have the whining out of the way-- here are the wonders of this storm:

Great Falls set a new snowfall record of 8.1 inches yesterday. The last record had held since 1970, but I don't know how much snow fell on that day. The town of Saint Mary, which is on the East side of Glacier Park, received FOUR FEET of new snow yesterday, with another foot expected today. The town of Browning was experiencing drifting up to 6 feet deep.

Roads were (are?) closed throughout the North Central areas of the state. This is not a small area. We are talking Interstates and major highways being closed in (approx) a 250 mile X 200 mile area! If the roads aren't closed, then they are restricted to emergency travel only. This area is larger than some East Coast states! This is one Hell of a storm. We are a hardy lot, and we know all about winter driving, so our roads don't close very often. Schools, too. Our school districts don't even plan for "snow days", but this storm closed schools in at least 6 districts. It isn't the snow, really, but the wind causing severe blizzards across the Rocky Mountain Front and the plains. Remember the blizzard in the book Little House on the Prairie? Yep, that is what some areas are experiencing here.

As I look out the window, the snow is still falling, the trees are beautiful covered in the spring snow, random clumps dropping from the tops causing mini-cascades of snow. I am happy in the knowledge that this will all be over by tomorrow afternoon, and spring will return for the weekend, with temperatures in the high 50's (still low for this time of year, but better than the 25-30 degrees we have had these past few days). The snow is helping fill the reservoirs that have been so low over the past few years because of drought, and giving the soil much needed moisture. The snow holds the water in place longer than a heavy rain storm would, so the trees which were tinder-dry last summer will have a chance to absorb more water through their roots.

June will be awesome-ly green and there will be tons of wildflowers. So many people are complaining about this late storm, but they are overlooking the benefits that nature will reap from it. It is beautiful and good for the environment... BUT, I really AM ready for winter to be over.

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