Arctic air still upon us. Friday’s early AM low was 1.1F/-17C. I have to laugh as the current temp at 1:05 AM (Sat) is 1.1F/-17C! The National Weather Service expects our low to be -5F/-20,5C and the highs tomorrow in the single digits. Sunday close to the same thing. The forecast for Sat. AM is calling for 1"-3"/2,5-7,6cm of snow, with a repeat later on in the evening. The frigid arctic air is still going to be with us for several more days.
From back in my snowplowing days () I remember driving an old 1945 Oshkosh snow-fighter up a 3-mile/4,8km road (all uphill) to open an intersection where the road made a loop around the very top of the hill. This vehicle had smoke stack that was in the center of the hood, a 4-speed transmission and 3-speed axle. It had “balloon” wheels and chains on all four wheels, a V-plow a wing, and a sander on the back. You couldn’t drive over 30 mph/48 kph because it would start to bounce up and down as though you were riding a horse at a fast trot. (Hmmm… the road grader always did the same thing.) As I approached the wye intersection, I realized the snow drifts were higher than this vehicle! There was two steps plus the top of the saddle tank (fuel tank) you climbed up to get in - oh, and this old truck’s doors had “piano” hinges and two strips of thick leather to keep the doors from swinging too far open. And there was plenty of wood inside this old gal! All metal, wood and leather! Nice! Anyway, I had to move to the extreme left side of the road (we keep to the right here in the U.S.) and make one pass through the intersection. Moving back to the right side of the road I continued around the 1/2-mile/,8 km loop. After stopping, I set the wing about even with the bottom of the window (nearly 6 feet/1,8 m), set the brace arms out and locked, and started to take my first bite out of this snow drift that was just as high as the truck. I have to point out that the hill on one side of the intersection was higher than the road, so the snow drifted from that high point across the across the road and into the field on the opposite side. That first “bite” was like an adventure out of a comic book. As the snow started falling over the top of the V-plow and the wing was creating a “shelf” along the side of the truck, there was flame shooting out of the stack in the center of the hood about 2+ feet/,7 m. high! That old girl “walked” through the snow, first with one side grabbing and moving forward, then the other side catching up and moving ahead some. It was like she was doing a little dance - shaking her butt - as she pushed through the snow. Once I got to the point where there wasn’t too much snow coming off the plow and wing, I’d back up and grab another bite out of the drift. After an hour, I had moved the drift from the intersection over into the field on the other side of the road. I still can’t get over how that flame would shoot straight up toward the sky as she pushed the snow out of her way! The next day it was the Cat 966-C payloader’s job to move that snow farther away from the road - to make room for more snow later on. That old Oshkosh was even used to “create” snow fences out of snow out in a cow pasture to capture the snow before it reached the road at the top of a hill by a dairy farm in town. I thought for sure we were going to get stuck, but it was the 1977 Oshkosh that got stuck - and we had to pull it out of the pasture. That old '45 was finally retired by the town at the end of 1996 - 50 years of great service! I do believe the town got their money’s worth from that vehicle. But… those were the “fun” days!
EDIT: 0230 Sat.: Around 1 AM clouds moved in and the temperature has been hovering at 1.1-1.3F/-17C since. At this rate, I don’t think it’s going to get down to -5F/-20,5C like it was forecast. Oh well… the heat has still been turning on quite a bit every hour. And Cagey, Angel is staying nice and warm at my house with the thermostat set at 71F/21,6C.