After gracing Seattle with unseasonably beautiful weather in January, Mother nature blasted us with a wintery mix in February. (Sorry, I must have ticked her off with this post.) As you can see in the picture above, she seemed especially intent in burying the evergreen tree outside my window. In many parts of the country this would simply be called WINTER. In Seattle, it became Snowmageddon 2019.
Why? Seattleites and snow do NOT mix. Those who want to experience winter sports take a short drive into the Cascade mountains. The rest of us dread hearing that four letter word in the forecast. Since the greater Seattle metro area does NOT normally experience these events, adequate snow removal equipment is NOT available. This means even an inch or so will bring traffic to a standstill. Schools close, buses run on limited routes, and businesses shut their doors.
To be fair the recent series of winter storms were both unusual and record breaking. When the dire predictions aired, locals hit the stores and emptied shelves of groceries, shovels, and sidewalk de-icer. Even Michelle Obama and Justin Timberlake cancelled their scheduled appearances. Breaking news stories updated snow totals, school closings, and blocked roads. National outlets also followed the story. (See this article.) As the snowfall ended, local FOX station Q13, posted on their website, “Record shattered! This is the snowiest February since at least 1949.”
I’ve grown spoiled since I moved to the Pacific Northwest. I can tell you I don’t miss shoveling, shivering in below-zero temperatures, or washing road salt off my vehicles. Yet, it does amaze me that small amounts of snowfall paralyze the Seattle metropolitan area.
A prediction for snow always causes concern, but it rarely accumulates. Why? Seattle temperatures rarely dip below freezing. (Lucky us!) From time to time a cold snap follows the snow event. Since roads and sidewalks aren’t cleared, they quickly become treacherous. Combine that with the number of steep hills and driveways in the area, and you won’t be going ANYWHERE. A few years ago, we were trapped in our suburban cul-de-sac for an entire week.
However, if the white stuff piles up people know how to enjoy a snow day (or two). Those steep closed streets become ski and sledding hills. (See this video from KING 5, the local NBC affiliate.) Snowbound creatives dream up and then construct snow forts, people, and even sea creatures. While others, such as myself, who prefer to remain indoors, snuggle under a blanket, drink a latte, and watch the flakes drift outside the window.
What’s your favorite snow day activity? Share in the comments!
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