How cold was it?

Which way you going, Billy?

The above photo, with a caption taken from the title of a schmaltzy 70s song, is of our back deck yesterday. We got a little snow/sleet with the arctic blast. Mainly it’s just been pretty damn cold. It’s a lot better today now that the wind has died down although it’s still about 30 degrees outside right now here at about 10 a.m.

Yesterday’s winter storm was a blue norther. I don’t know how widely the term is used to describe a strong “winter” storm with a subsequent cold snap. The “Handbook of Texas Online” says it is a term peculiar to Texas. But I can’t say with certainty that is completely the case (although that hasn’t prevented from going off half-cocked before).

The description in the online handbook does perfectly describe this current jolt of northern air:

” … a rapidly moving autumnal cold front that causes temperatures to drop quickly and that often brings with it precipitation followed by a period of blue skies and cold weather.”

Yep, that would be our storm.

The handbook surmises a couple of explanations of how the term came into being. One attribution is the one which I always thought was from where the name originated. That would be the reference to the blue-black sky in the north that precedes the leading edge of the front.

Blue norther skies always seemed so ominous-looking to me. It wasn’t especially scary but it just kind of gave me the willies sometimes. That reminds me. I’ve got to look up the origin of “the willies.” I’m sure it’s something quaint.

I had to get out in the mess yesterday for a medical appointment at the Dallas VA, clear on the other side of Dallas from me. The ice had not yet begun forming on the roadways by the time I got home just after noon. I had taken the light rail from Plano to the hospital and back so I did not drive the freeways. It was later that the roadways, particularly the overpasses began to ice up. I spent awhile yesterday watching the KXAS-TV Weather Channel, which had live coverage of the “Arctic Blast” or “Cold Sumbitch” or whatever else they called it.

Particularly interesting was the live picture of a flyover coming down onto Central Expressway from I-635, which is at the relatively new interchange known as the “High Five.” If I had driven on the freeways yesterday, someone would have had to hold me at gunpoint to make me drive on even the lower levels of the High Five. High roadways and ice are just never a good combination.

The “Blue Norther of ’06’ will forever be remembered for … well, I can’t think of anything other than a little sleet/snow and watching wrecks on the TV. As one might guess, I’m pretty easily entertained.

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