Blizzard Warning

A Blizzard Warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities are likely. This will lead to whiteout conditions… making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel.

March is our time for the big snow. Everyone gets pretty revved for it. One year, the March snow came up to the level of our hot tub — about four feet deep. The roads were closed for four days. It was perfect because it began to put it down the night before David had to leave for a meeting. We were both trapped in town, buried under snow. A rare reprieve.

Living in an isolated area means you have to travel to get to anything. My boss’s kids in New Hampshire were surprised when I said I live in a small town of 27,000 people. After all, their town is only about 4,000 people. But you can ride your bike down a winding road through a lightly populated woodsy neighborhood and be in the next town, and the next and the next, like a string of pearls. For us, it’s an hour on a fast highway through antelope country, to Cheyenne or Ft. Collins. Two hours to Denver. The road conditions website is bookmarked on everyone’s computer. When they say “no unnecessary travel,” they mean that it better be worth risking your life.

It’s great to have this warning system. Yesterday it was 63 degrees and gorgeously sunny. I can see how the early settlers were fooled. It would have seemed like a perfect day to head to town for provisions. No signs of a blizzard loomed, except for the curious southwest wind, perhaps.

I have to get to Nebraska today, for work. It’s only an eight-hour drive from here, but I decided to fly from Denver because of the possibility of the spring blizzards that roar straight down I-80. Now I just booked a ticket on the puddle-jumper from Laramie to Denver, because it’s often much easier to fly out than drive out when it gets like this. At least there aren’t tractor-trailers zooming past the turbo prop in white-out conditions.

I’ll probably be able to get out, which is the responsible thing to do.

But I had half-hoped the storm would have hit by the time I woke up. That the storm would keep me here, tucked inside while the snow piles up. Here it is, nearly 8 am, a full two-hours past the predicted start, and nothing yet. Though road conditions show it snowing and blowing on the webcams.

As it is, I’ll probably miss it all. By the time I get home Thursday night, the snow will be melted and trampled. The roads might be snowpacked, but open. We’re moving to Victoria partly to leave the severe weather of our high sagebrush plain behind.

But I had hoped to have one more blizzard.

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