Friday, May 03, 2013

Global Weirding

I live in Rochester, Minnesota. It has been an odd year, weather-wise. The winter wasn't terribly tough, but we have just been struggling to get it to leave. Temperatures were below normal for the majority of April. We have had excessive amounts of rain, freezing rain, sleet, and all of the other cold and unpleasant forms of precipitation. Of course, thanks to the precip we have also had clouds. The entire month of April was gloomy and depressing.

Imagine our collective joy when we finally, FINALLY had several days in a row of sunshine and warmth. On Saturday, April 27 my family and I spent the morning at a neighborhood park picking up litter for a community cleanup project. We wore t-shirts. I wished I had brought a hat and worn sunscreen. It was nearly 80 degrees. And we knew a storm was coming. From the reports I had heard, we were to be getting rain followed by snow -- 4-6 inches was the number I heard most. Which, when you live in Minnesota, you are not shocked by. Eh, ok, there will be a day of snow, which will melt and make a mess, but in a day or two (no more) all will be back to normal again and we can resume our delayed spring.

Until I woke up yesterday morning. To the SIXTH snow day of the school year for my children. (I grew up in NORTH DAKOTA and never had 6 snow days in a school year!) And to six inches of snow in my back yard, which grew throughout the day until we had a grand total of 15.5 INCHES. OF SNOW. It took out power lines, including ours. (Shout out to the awesome peeps who braved the snow, the treacherous roads, and the bitter cold wind to bring me power in just over 3 hours. You ROCK!) It was so wet and heavy it weighed down tree branches and split trees. It toppled a pine tree in my neighborhood and pulled its roots out of the ground. It squashed our 6-7 foot tall arbor vitae hedge (that blocks the neighbors' heinous yard from our view) and I am concerned it won't recover this summer. Maybe ever.

The city forester posted on Facebook that the city lost more than 500 boulevard trees in one day. Let me say that again: more than 500 boulevard trees. The day we did the litter pick up there were dozens of volunteers in that park and the surrounding neighborhood planting 200 trees. Volunteers. Last year our city did a tree planting where, I believe, 1500 trees were planted in a day, mostly by volunteers. Our city forester is a tree hugger of the first magnitude. Our city is indebted to him for the amazing dedication and passion he has for his job. We plant a lot of trees here, and the community gets its hands dirty doing it. And in a day we lost 500 trees on city land. I can't even imagine the number of trees we lost on private property. Unreal.

So today, is it melted? Is it gone? Well, sorry, no. We got 2 more inches of snow overnight (ummm. no I am NOT lying) and later today it is supposed to rain. Have I mentioned that with all the earlier moisture we had my basement has been a soggy mess for 6 weeks? Oh. Never mind.

The local weather guy said this morning that since records have been kept in Rochester (1886), the total snowfall in May for all of those years combined is 4.9 inches. In one day we got 15.5 inches.

Tired of winter? Frustrated? Disappointed? Angry? None of that seems to come close to what "Rochestafarians" (thanks Ryan) are feeling right now. I usually am pretty good with words, but today, my vocabulary is inadequate.
I took a picture on my phone -- will post that shortly.
If you are the praying type, pray for spring.
And hurry, please.

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