Monday, January 19, 2009

Feeling like Rexburg

The last 2-3 weeks of weather is really bringing back memories of being in Rexburg, a place I lived in the better part of three years while I attended BYU-Idaho. For anyone who is currently experiencing this winter here in northeast Ohio and has experienced one in Rexburg, you know what I'm talking about and I have mentioned it to several friends and family members already. For those who don't know, it has been very cold here for about 2 weeks, especially this weekend. Friday morning the temperature was right around -10 F (-23 C) with wind chills around -40 and the high barely got above zero (of course I was in Bloomington, Indiana that day where it was a whopping 5 degrees). While sub-zero temperatures certainly aren't unheard of in these parts and we usually get a few each winter, they aren't that common and double digit sub-zero temps are actually pretty rare. The last time I remember it getting this cold was in January 1994 when the low temps bottomed out at -24 F (-31 C) with highs not even reaching zero and wind chills at night as low as -55 F. This lasted about 3 days in an event that has been referred to as the "deep freeze."

Now, how is this like Rexburg? In Rexburg, during this part of the winter the temperature will stay below freezing for an extended period of time (a month or longer at times). Seemingly every night new snow will fall; an inch here, 2 inches there so after about a week near a foot of snow is on the ground. The three years I was there we never got anything more than 4-5 inches of snow at once and most nights it was just an inch or so; enough to make the roads (which were rarely plowed) slippery. So, for a month or longer it's freezing and usually there's a week or longer when the temperature is well below zero with a nice strong wind to make it even more painful. Such has been the case here. Although we got the bulk of the snow over a week ago (about 8 inches from the storm on January 9-10), we have gotten more and more, just a few inches at a time mixed in with some more extreme cold and no days above freezing. Usually we'll have a week or two where it gets very cold and snowy and then we'll have a brief warmup and all the snow will melt before the cycle starts again. So far that hasn't happened with this latest snow and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight, though we may get close to 32 F (0 C) sometime later this week, but not before more snow and temperatures in the single digits.

The garage on the can see how much snow is on the roof and the windows are all frosted; At right, the old air conditioning unit behind the house is a good measure of how much snow is on the ground! I also can't help but notice how much heat seems to be leaking from the walls as evidenced by the low snow cover closest to the house.

The picture on the left was taken today; the picture on the right was taken after our first major snowfall back in November (which I blogged about). Note the bushes and how weighed down they are with the latest snowfall, not to mention how the porch seems level with the top of the snow! The large amount of snow on the roof is actually a great second insulator! On the far right of the latest picture you can barely see the top of our well sticking out. It's about a foot to a foot and a half tall.

I took a few pictures of the house in the snow. In case you were wondering, yes, that is indeed the flag of Israel flying on the pole my Ohio flag is usually on. I have a growing collection of flags and recently acquired the flags of Israel and Australia. In light of the current situation with Israel (tentative ceasefire is on), I thought it would be my way of showing support and expressing my opinion rather than shouting anti-Hamas slogans at a rally, holding a picket sign, painting my face, or burning a Hamas flag in public. And I do have to say; the flag of Israel looks really nice flying!


Camille said...

Aww...this makes me miss your house. But not the snow!

Krissy said...

ah, my snow-bound friend. i am feeling your pain. we had record snow fall for december - over 30 inches. i hear that the snow and bitter cold temps usually happen in jan or feb, so up here in the frozen tundra, our winter is just beginning. :( the farmers are not happy - we had a wet spring and some crops still haven't been brought in due to the soggy and now frozy ground. what did we do to deserve this? i guess we're just lucky :)