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Weird Weather Weekend Open Thread

What Oklahoma looks like today (photo by Native1)

Another snowy view from Native1

It’s a weekend for strange weather. We’ve had heavy snow down south, and way below normal temperatures up here in New England. Dakinikat said it was only about 38 degrees down in New Orleans today. My aunt lives down on the coast in Alabama, and they only had temperatures in the 40s. Our Virginia Conflucians have had heavy snow today too. Here’s the picture that Indigogrrl took of her barn this morning.

I’ve always found weather exciting. Even though I don’t love dealing with snow and ice, I still find big snowstorms kind of thrilling, and there is a nice feeling I get when I know I’m snowed in and don’t have to go out till the storm is over. I love thunderstorms too. I was born in Fargo, North Dakota, in the middle of a terrible blizzard. My mom actually had to go to the hospital a day early because the doctor was afraid if they waited, she wouldn’t be able to get there.

I’ve heard stories about extreme weather from my parents all my life. Maybe that’s where my fascination with weather comes from. My mom often talked about having to dig a tunnel out of the front door of their house back in Hope, North Dakota, in order to get to school. And my mom has talked about the time the temperature went up over 120 degrees, in 1934. That same year in the winter it got down to 60 below 0. That is still a record for extreme temperatures in one location in a year, and it is still the hottest year on record in the U.S. Those were the dustbowl days. My mom says the dust storms were horrible. I found this photo on-line. I’m not sure where it was taken.

In Fargo, where my dad grew up, they have periodic floods when the Red River overflows its banks. Those can get really bad. In 1997, a flood completely destroyed Grand Forks. Much of the downtown burned and had to be rebuilt.

Grand Forks after the 1997 flood and fire

This picture was taken in Fargo during the big flood a couple of years ago.

A dog looking at the swollen Red River in Fargo

My first fully conscious experience with extreme weather came when I was three years old. We lived in Iowa then, and we experienced a tornado. I still have a picture of my three-year-old self sitting on a huge fallen tree. The next year, we moved to Kansas where I was exposed to extreme heat. Many of my memories of Kansas involve us kids playing outside on 100-degree afternoons while our parents took shelter inside. I’ll never forget the day it went up to around 115 degrees and the heat broke the big thermometer in downtown Lawrence. Of course there were the usual pictures in the paper of people frying eggs on their sidewalks. Here’s a classic of the genre.

Hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk!

Here in New England we get some pretty extreme weather at times–though not as extreme as the hurricanes down south, the tornadoes in the midwest, or 40-below-zero days they get up in the north country where I was born. But we get some wild nor’easters–those can be really bad, and if they come in the winter it can mean a blizzard with a couple of feet of snow. In February of 1978, Governor Dukakis had to close down the entire state for a week because of the terrible blizzard we got. Here’s a shot of a highway north of Boston after the ’78 blizzard.

Of course New England weather is notoriously unpredictable, and we never know when we’ll get a snow or ice storm in April or even May In the late summer and fall, we often get the tail-end of hurricanes, and once in awhile we get a full-blown hurricane. One October in the 80s we lost our electricity for a week because of a hurricane–I think it was Gloria.

This is an open thread, but if you’d like to share your extreme weather stories, please do.

73 Responses

  1. you think you had extreem weather ine time one day in san antonio it rained mud and im not kidding either

  2. Thanks for posting the pictures. I learn a little more everyday, especially with the great support from everyone here at TC. Thanks bostonboomer and dakinikat, you both rock!


    • I still don’t know how to put the pics in the comments, but I saw you got some up in the earlier thread. I love both of those pictures, especially the one with the dog in the snow.

      • That’s Ginny our corgi. She snuck out behind me and was having a ball playing in the snow. She would run and duck her head down and completely bury her self then pop up with what looked like a grin and then run off. Needless to sat she wouldn’t do it after I got the camera out.

  3. I went to college in Abilene, TX. and every time a big event took place in my college life (senior recital, graduation) a dust storm from hell would blow in. Teeth, nose, hair, everything…covered in dust. My poor family was very sweet about it, but I’m sure they didn’t enjoy traveling 300 miles for that kind of weather.

  4. Even perpetually balmy Santa Barbara has its extreme moments. In 2006, during a major wildfire, I went outdoors to find the whole neighborhood buried in ash. I had to wipe off my car to drive to work. Freaky.

    • California gets really freaky weather. My sister is out there right now. She has a house up in Occidental, north of SF. She says its really nice right now though,

  5. We just got done watching A River Runs Through It for the 3rd time. It’s so bittersweet…

    But the scenery is spectacular and my hubby fished those same waters of the Gallatin as I watched.

    • What kinds of nutty weather do you get in PA?

      • well, last week it was 61, today it’s in the 20s. We joke about our weatherman NEVER being right.

        • Just like New England then. What I love is the days when when the temperature suddenly drops 20-30 degrees within an hour. That usually means a nor’easter.

          • In Texas we call that a blue norther.

            Our weather is so unpredictable that we have a proverb: “If you don’ t like the weather in Texas, wait ten minutes.” When I was in eighth grade, the temperature hit 96 degrees on a February afternoon. The next day it snowed, something it does about once every twenty years.

          • We have that saying about New England weather too! I guess the weather is unpredictable just about everywhere except maybe southern CA.

  6. I love the weather, too, bb. In fact, many of my family and friends laugh at me because I am often watching The Weather Channel.

    On a summer vacation to Santa Fe a few years ago, I was driving around when a thunderstorm hit. Thunder, lightning, everything. As I continued driving, I realized that it was not hail hitting the windshield, it was snow. Being from Texas, I was not accustomed to thundersnow.

    • LOL! A few years ago, I was driving through Georgia. I kept hearing on the radio about tornadoes passing through. All of a sudden it started to rain so hard that all the cars just stopped dead on the highway. Then I started hearing these noises that sounded like gunshots! It was hail the size of tennis balls hitting the car. Luckily it didn’t cause any damage.

      Of course we got hail pretty frequently in the midwest, but usually not that big. We don’t get it much in New England.

  7. EEEk! 1/2 hour until SNL and Michael Buble’!! {{giddy giddy}}

  8. Unbelieveable exerpt from the book about John Edwards:

    In the book, Young also reveals that Edwards, whose 2008 presidential campaign was an indignant crusade against poverty, would complain about going to events where “fat rednecks try to shove food down my face”.

    At one point he asked: “I know I’m the people’s Senator, but do I have to hang out with them?”

    Edwards, an Atkins Dieter, was already famous for his $400 haircuts. Young recounts that his boss would demand “HairTec Thick & Strong Shampoo for Fine, Fragile Hair”.

    When Young demanded money to cover the costs of keeping Hunter in hiding, Edwards responded that he could come up with more cash once his wife died.

    His reaction to Hunter’s pregnancy? She was a “crazy slut”.

    I can’t believe I actually donated to his campaign. What a creep!

    • He must hate the smell of tourists in the summer too.

    • I can believe he’s not a nice guy, but if he was such a cretin and pig, why was Young so devoted to him? He seemed like a true believer, taking the hit for the team and all.

      • Did you see the interview with Young and his wife last night on 20-20? It was interesting, they said they just got caught up in everything and made serious mistakes of judgment and that they were sorry and trying to make good so their kids wouldn’t grow up thinking they were creeps.

        • I missed it, but I read that the sheriff’s deputies went to his house to collect the sex tape after Hunter was granted an injunction, and he refused to turn it over to them. So that makes me doubt his motives a bit.

          • I am here in NC and I don’t trust the courts. Also, I don’t think Young actually has the tapes.

        • Yuck all around. Good to know the media did such a good job covering these people when it mattered. There must be some unspoken wink wink rule. We can call it the Tiger rule.

        • I don’t buy the act from the Youngs. They come across like creeps and like they were enjoying every minute of it, taping Rielle’s belly–they knew they had a goldmine. John Edwards is the biggest creep of all–and a total moron to trust these people.

        • Too late. Writing that book is proof he’s a creep.

  9. I love the wild windy days we get, but the other day when it was nice and warm but blowing like crazy, I was walking down Boylston and started to feel like I was about to be picked up and blown right into the middle of the street. I actually braced myself against the lamppost.

    • Wow! It always gets really windy around tall buildings too. But Boston is actually the windiest city in the country–more so than Chicago. I always have to try to remember that it is going to feel about 10 degrees colder when I get into Boston than where I live.

    • That happened to me yesterday on the corner of Exeter and Boylston. I don’t ever remember the wind being that strong.

  10. Here’s a shot of a highway north of Boston after the ‘78 blizzard.
    The Blizzard of ’78..remember it well…snowed in at CHMC for 10 days.

  11. I can’t work out what Krugman is trying to say with this headline Cossack Rahm Works for The Czar. He’s getting all mysterious.


    • A reference to Obama’s comment about Bolsheviks?

      • I agree. The Cossacks were also the most vicious armed units of the Czar.

      • Didn’t the Cossaks really hate the jews in Russia? I thought they were sort’ve like the NAZIs who blamed their poor living on the jewish intelligentsia, etc. but maybe I’ve forgotten my Russian history.

        • odd to use a Cossack metaphor with some one who is Jewish, that’s what I think, I guess unless it refers to that odd little band of Cossacks in the Ukraine that actually took Jewish members for some ill conceived reason … but that’s so historically obscure I can’t imagine him using that in a public forum

          • He’s probably invoking the fearsome enforcer reputation of the Cossacks. But bringing up the whole Czarist history, it’s like Krugman sees himself as a populist all of a sudden.

          • Krugman used the metaphor because Obama brought it up in his appearance at the Republican conference.

    • He’s saying that obama is the Czar, and he’s the one who should get the blame for the lack of leadership:

      But don’t blame Rahm Emanuel; this is about the president. After Massachusetts, Democrats were looking for leadership; they didn’t get it. Ten days later, nobody is sure what Obama intends to do, and his aides are giving conflicting readings. It’s as if Obama checked out.

  12. Michelle Obama to star in a new movie.


  13. Hi, all! In case anyone is interested in reading Hillary’s thesis on Alinsky, and in case I missed it if anyone had already posted the info, it’s here — http://www.scribd.com/doc/24567737/There-is-only-the-fight-An-Analyisis-of-the-Alinsky-Model-by-Hillary-D-Rodham-May-2-1969

    Also, with all the talks about Hillary in 2012, here’s a British commentator talking about her in 2010: “Poor Obama – Hillary Clinton is doing a fine job” (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/rupert-cornwell/rupert-cornwell-poor-obama-ndash-hillary-clinton-is-doing-a-fine-job-1884360.html)

  14. W-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-y off topic… but I’m so impressed at how versatile this president is! Who’d a thunk he could fit it into his busy sched.


    • This is where his masterful public relations machine is suspect. Is this how the country really wants to see their leader in the middle of a severe national crisis. I don’t think so. But it’s where his head is at.

  15. I am house bound in Durham, NC. 7 inches of snow plus sleet (icy mix -whatever that means) . I have consumed a little Jameson and I rarely drink anything so my cat (G.Gordon Kitty III) is watching me closely and considering an escape through the cat door to the garage.

    Fortunately I discovered that my tivo took care of my entertainment needs this week and among other things decided to record Tracy Ullman’s State of the Union on SHO.

    Tracy is a genius and the best observer and commenter on American politics and culture. Few tv programs cause me to laugh out loud – but she always does.

    Hope I can get out of the house tomorrow.

    • Now you know what my winters are like. LOL! I just hope I don’t ever get to find out about really bad hurricanes like you all get.

  16. We’ve had a really weird winter down here in Southern NM… in fact, a couple of days ago we had our 4th(!!!) snow event….Temps have been steadily cold, not the usual sunny, pleasant days with cold nights. We’ve had a lot of gray, overcast weather that has kept it that way…

    Over the 10 years I’ve been here, the pattern has been to have a few rainy/bit of snow weeks around Christmas, than glorious sun during January.

    Not this year!! I’ve actually dragged out a sweatshirt to wear ALL DAY, not just for an hour or two in the morning…

    Frankly, I feel like I’m back in NJ in March!!! EEEK!!

    • Insight, it’s been pretty much the same up here in Burque, overcast and gloomy for days at a time. I feel like I’m back in Illinois–the last time I went back was Christmas 2007, I was there for 10 days, and the sun was out for exactly 1/2 hour the whole time.

      I keep hearing our weird weather is temporary and because of El Nino more than a permanent result of climate change, but I’m not sure I believe it.

  17. So BO has numbed his Progressive base with kool-aid, he’s neutralized other constituents of the Democratic Party with race baiting, now he’s going the defang the conservative opposition with bipartisan browbeating. No president should be beyond reproach, not in a democracy and not under these economic circumstances when wealth is migrating to groups who apply the most pressure on government.

  18. My hideouts in the desert and the Sierra here in CA are wonderful places for extreme weather. Although I admit that my major job in retirement is to avoid the extremes and live somewhere around 70 F. Yesterday we had a glorious 70 day. I spent the am hiking up a touristy Palm Canyon and reveling in that rich bright green of a budding spring as you see everything jumping to life. My favorite is the ocotillo. They respond to rain almost instantaneously; one day they are brown and look totally dead and a day or two after a rain they put out their little green leaves. It makes them look all fluffy but the thorns quickly tell you, hands off. A favorite landscaper trick here before a patio party is to hose down the ocotillo the day before to green the natural decor. That brilliant green leafing and their fantastical weird shapes delights me. They also have a “fall” season where their leaves turn orange and red. One year we had a brilliant display of those red leaves just before Xmas; it was magical.

    • It sounds wonderful. I was talking to my sister yesterday. She is back in CA for a couple of weeks and was telling me how springlike it is now. She moved to Indiana to be near her daughter and grandson, but she really misses CA.

  19. Yes, these females are charming however these ones are bout it bout it. View Mitsuko Pecinovsky http://bit.ly/ds1se

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