ellestra: (tiger)
So the real winter storm is here. The temperature today is not going to go above freezing (and feel even colder) and the precipitation started with snow but is to become snow with rain. Freezing rain. Which means that once again it's time for me to attempt flying out of this place. I feel like every time I'm going on any meeting in winter the weather decides to just got to crap. Two years ago I didn't fly to San Francisco because of snowstorm that grounded all the planes and made people leave their cars everywhere including middle of the road (or the ditch if that's where they stopped). Last year I managed to slip by in between two bout of winter. The planes were grounded before and after. I risked braking my legs to walk up and down the hill to get to the taxi (first one got stuck in that valley) but I got to the airport. I flew leaving the coldest weather that happened that year behind me and spent the 3 days in SF safe from the cold. This time the hardest part might be getting to airport through that freezing rain but if I manage to fly out I should be good. Of course if my plane manges to get here in the first place - it might be flying from somewhere worse affected and get stuck in there. That's how I spent few hours extra in Toronto last year.

Here it eventually should turn into snow and this whole thing is supposed to last all the way through Saturday. It should look very pretty so I'm a little sad I'm going to miss it - who knows if there is going to be another snow - but it also can shut off the electricity and that'd be no fun. I'd be happy to miss that.
ellestra: (lightning)
So the second bout of word erasing rain came today. Another Wednesday full of flood alarms (all the devices beep, buzz and screech at me like I've somehow missed it's pouring out there - I'm not Zoe Deschanel). Another day with streams going down the streets and the hill I live in (and turning actual streams into rivers). Just look at the view from my window.



If it wasn't for the tree roots the whole hill could've been washed off. I live on a hill and on second floor so I'm not afraid of flooding but I'm a little worried about mud slides. The tracks made by those temporary streams keep getting deeper. My friends' house started leaking - the ground is so soaked water started seeping into the basement rooms. And their neighbours house got a little crushed by a rock washed out by last week rain.

And so far we only have flash floods. People a little more inland had those and now they also have the river flooding as the ground can't hold this much water and it's all draining into rivers. There are many record and close to record water levels on Mississippi and it's tributaries.

It's still very warm. It got a little cooler when it got drier yesterday. I switched to heating for a moment but it's still 17oC now (it was 25 today) and with this humidity I had to switch back to AC (mostly to get humidity out - everything is rotting around here). The unusually warm weather is still holding over the rest of East Coast (at times New York had almost the same temperature as Sidney) while the West part of North America have unusually cold weather (in some places also very snowy so at least California is getting its snow pack back and can hope for a little drought relief). This is the reverse of last couple of years that had East cold and West baking. And then there were tornadoes.

It's also very warm in Europe - UK has yet to experience freezing and has it's own flooding problem. Spain is fighting fires and there is no snow in Alps due to unseasonably warm weather and Italy has smog problem. Although it's nowhere as bad as what is happening to Beijing.

But the weirdest thing is happening on North Pole. It just got very warm. Very, very warm - for North Pole in the middle of winter night - because it just went above 0. From yesterday temperature rose for over 30 o and it went from reasonable (for North Pole in Winter) -33oC to almost +1. I know that we all blame El Niño and the weird heat tunnel over Atlantic that takes hot and humid air all the way to the top but this is what really made this scary for me. What next - beach weather in Antarctic? Snow on the Amazon?

At least Poland finally got seasonably cold. We may get there on Saturday.
ellestra: (tiger)
It's still very warm and humid but since Wednesday all we had was the fog condensing into drizzle. There where even few moments of sunshine here and there. The Wednesday downpour was turning into fog every night then rose as clouds and drizzle down when the atmosphere just couldn't hold this much water. It was just above 20oC but the humidity made it feel hotter. Even in summer clothes we were all sweating like crazy (I took shower 4 times on Christmas Eve just to be presentable for supper). The rain is supposed to come back tomorrow and last for couple of days until the front behind it brings colder air again. So we go into the cycle of hot and cold. One week we have frost the other heat wave. I don't know which clothes to keep on hand and the plants are even more confused.

Here is a week ago (and week from now) - all frosty and cold - and now - with flowering quince flowering.



And all the other plants - forsythia, iris, first ornamental fruit trees etc.









Thanks El Niño!
ellestra: (lightning)
So today is the Winter Solstice and the days will finally start getting longer. I'm hoping that this is the reason behind me being so sleepy and tired all the time. This and the weather change. The season started with pouring rain and the beginning of heatwave (for winter). It's 10 pm and it's still 16oC (60F) outside and it's only going to get warmer. Also coming - more thunderstorms. I need to decide witch summer dress to wear for Christmas Eve. Tomorrow, I'm thinking capris since I'm going to spend 3 hours in the cinema (yes, I'm finally going to see Star Wars) and it might be cold inside. How is global warming treating you?

The third episode of The Expanse is on Syfy today but you can watch it and the 4th one on the Syfy website today. I saw all 4 of them and I love it so far but I'll write down the details after it shws up on TV. Also the shows you can see early are the occupied LA of the future drama Colony and Frankenstein-inspired cop drama Second Chance. I'm glad we are no longer playing the "leaked" pilot game and they just officially put them out early to get people interested in the shows (NBC Universal cable channels especially). It turns out that if you give people a way to watch thing legally that what they'll do - Netflix took over torrent as the main internet traffic hog by far this year. But this is still just US solution - the rest of the world is still left catching up on that other internet. Unless you don't care that much and wait for it to show up on TV. I remember that for shows I liked but didn't care to stay current on AXN channels, Fox and Universal were doing pretty decent job on staying current.

Meanwhile on real Mars Curiosity has drilled some more holes. We got detailed pictures of the real Ceres; some even in 3D (almost as pretty as Pluto). And Yutu shows that the Moon is more geologically complex than we knew. And here on Earth the robots are slowly taking over... raindeer jobs. Lucky us they don't fly yet or Robot Santa would come for us all.
ellestra: (lightning)
It was 24oC today (75F) and I was overheating in jeans so I dug out some of the summer clothes. I wasn't the only one - people in shorts and sandals where everywhere. If the days weren't so short you can almost believe it was spring. I know I'm far south but this is still 10o warmer than normal for this time a year and the North is asking where's their snow (apparently going to California). And my parents say there hasn't been much winter weather in Poland either but they do seem to have snow on the horizon. Here the very warm weather is supposed to last till the next weekend.

Today is also the peak of Geminids - the biggest meteor shower of the year. With nice warm weather like that I decided to go and take a look. I managed to see few but there is too much light pollution everywhere near, especially in the direction the meteors are coming from, so I could only spot the brightest ones. This meant they were far in between and I never managed to get a photo. But the warm days and cool nights also mean fog. A lot of fog. It made the sky even more fuzzy but it also makes some cool effects. And at least you can see Orion.
ellestra: (lightning)
My weather just went from warm on Monday to cold on Tuesday to almost hot on Wednesday to even colder today. It's been crazy and it hit the whole eastern part of North America (here's pretty nice description of what is happening). It was nice and warm on Monday until the evening when the temperature suddenly dropped. Then Tuesday was barley above freezing but then the temperature suddenly rose and it was 24oC on Wednesday and sunny and we all wore t-shirts and some even shorts and sandals. Today the day started warm but with heavy rain and then the temperature was dropping the whole day and now it's below freezing. Good thing that snow didn't materialise but the rain leftovers are still supposed to cover everything in ice. Tomorrow morning is once again cancelled but at least the buses should work normally so I can finish my experiment. This was supposed to be my first full week at work in half a month.

But starting the weekend the spring is to come. And after that the day temperatures are going back to more normal levels (15-20oC). At least I won't be forced to explain to my parents why I have more winter than they had this whole year. Finally, here going to be warmer than Warsaw. Just a tiny bit (2-3 degrees).
ellestra: (lightning)
This is what I call winter. It got really white and everything was closed and the whole week was generally cancelled. The branches were snapping and falling under the wight of snow and even the whole trees were downed A lot of people lost power. I did too but it was back before I woke up. Only my heating resets to 62F so it was pretty cold in the morning (17C). But it looked so pretty. It's melting now but I have pictures.














And for the record the first time I saw the dress it looked white and gold but now I see light blue and gold brown which are actual colours on the photo (the real dress is blue and black). I'm proud of myself for seeing the reality but the colour change was weird. Whatever colour you see is completely convincing and you just don't understand how con it be anything else. It's not easy - the brain tries to autocorrect to either white and gold or blue and black - but it's the truth. Also xkcd explains it best as always.

More snow

Feb. 25th, 2015 11:20 pm
ellestra: (tiger)
Yesterday snow mostly melted by the afternoon but don't worry a brand, new snowstorm is here. The forecast varied between apocalyptic - 6 hours of freezing rain to just bad - heavy snow storm with 3-10 inch accumulation (that's 8 - 25 cm). Right now it's beautiful perfect winter wonderland. Someone even put their Christmas lights back on. I was out taking photos until snowploughs destroyed my perfect landscape.


In none weather related news. Orphan Black season 3 will premiere on all AMC Networks channels at the same time (remember they now co-own BBC America). I'm not suer if anything but AMC is really more exposure but it's nice to know they appreciate the show.

Nebula nominated stories you can read on tor.com.

The awesome Power Rangers fan film with Katee Sackoff and James Van Der Beek. It's better quality that the whole show. Watch it before the gets taken down.

And it's gone.
ellestra: (lightning)
So I did manage to get to San Francisco this year. And I did escape the worst cold this year. It even get warmer as I got here as it was still below freezing when I landed on Saturday but it was finally warm enough on Sunday for most of that frozen snow from last Monday to melt. And then it snowed again today. It's snowed most of the day and this time it was real snow.


This time they didn't close everything as the forecast said there would be much less snow. They kept extending the time when it was supposed to stop snowing and it only happened in the afternoon. This of course caused horrible things on the roads but when I walked back home from that other far away bus stop it made mi smile. There is something about the fresh snow that always makes me giddy.

It's not as cold as it was last week but the temperature today was -6oC for most of the day which made this the coldest day I ever experience in NC. It got a little warmer at the end of the day but then it got dark and temperature started dropping again without ever even getting close to 0.

The winter is here to stay for the rest of the week. It can snow again on Wednesday night and we can get snow and/or freezing rain around Sunday. And of course the minus temperatures every night. Meanwhile my mum says the snowdrops started blooming in Poland and it felt very spring-like last weekend.
ellestra: (lightning)
So after all those times when the north got all the snow and we got only rain and gusts of the cold air afterwards snow finally came to North Carolina. I say snow but it only snowed for a short moment. It was the powdery cold snow because it was also below freezing the whole day (-4oC at the warmest). It actually became warmer when it finally started to snow (as it often happens) and the wind subsided so it felt warmest in two days.

But as I said the snow didn't fall for long. It soon switched into ice. Not hail. It was ice needles, sometimes in clusters, falling from the sky. They hurt when the fell on exposed skin. It made that weird sound like falling sand. Like we were inside giant hourglass. It covered everything and it shifted like loose sand when I grabbed it:


It later turned into freezing rain so in the morning everything was covered by icing like crust. This made it dangerous to walk on and hard to drive as everything was closed - schools, most work places, public transport. This made cleaning up roads easier - almost no cars. I just wish they would clear sidewalks too. And then the sun came out and started melting the ice so it helped too but smaller roads still look like this:


And it's still cold. It was a little above freezing in the sun today but the temperature is to drop to -8oC tonight and than, after small snow fall tomorrow afternoon, it's getting really, really cold -15oC tomorrow night, -18oC (that's 0oF for Americans) on Thursday. So this ice is not going anywhere. I wonder if those will fuse and got hard enough to walk on?

Second try

Feb. 13th, 2015 11:56 pm
ellestra: (lightning)
Yesterday was Fat Thursday and I went in the search of doughnuts while the weather was getting progressively worse and worse. The day started nice with sunny and warm weather. Then it got cloudy and then the wind stated. The wind was getting colder and colder with the temperature rapidly dropping. I think I even saw couple of snowflakes. By the time I got my doughnut, finished work and was ready to go home it felt like it was below freezing. It wasn't but the wind chill and frigid air the wind blew in make it felt that way. The temperatures dropped to -6oC at night.

it warmed up during the day today and so it will tomorrow but the nights are to get colder and colder - I think -11oC on tomorrow night. By Sunday even the day temperature is to stay below freezing. On Monday and/or Tuesday it might even snow. I would be enjoying this possibility but I have air travel planned.

Last year I didn't manage to get to a conference in San Francisco because snowstorm cancelled all the flights. Let's see if I can get there this year. I'm to fly on Wednesday. Right now the forecast says it should be snow free but it can still move. Last year it did. It moved and hit precisely as I was supposed to take off. Also I'm flying there through Atlanta and then coming back through Detroit. I hope I'll be able to go through both of them without a problem. Especially on my way back. I don't want to get stuck in Detroit in cold winter weather. I'm not going to have the right clothes for northern kind of winter.

I usually only make post about my travel public after I'm back but since the snow is coming tomorrow I'm making it visible to friends. Let's see if I'm going to get there or not.
ellestra: (lightning)
It's cold. Not as cold as some other places but the problem with a place that doesn't often gets cold is that it's not well prepared for cold. It was -13 oC this morning when I woke up the temperature today never climbed up to plus temperatures (I think it was -3 at the warmest) and now it's rapidly dropping again. This means the temperature in my apartment is some between 18-19 degrees and I'm sitting here with my Uggs on and few layers of clothing. And tea gets cold so fast.

Part of the problem is that the heating system is not really up to it but it's the crooked doors and windows that are probably the biggest problem. One of the windows was rimmed with ice on the inside this morning (no frost outside - it's too dry) and I was barely able to turn the key in the door (not a problem when it's warm). I made a complaint but it will take a while for it to get fixed so right now I'm waiting for warm-up. It's supposed to come on Sunday. But another, lesser cold with possible freezing rain or snow is coming next week.

Meanwhile everyone made their lists of the most interesting sci-fi and fantasy movies coming out this year. I'm waiting most for Avengers and Jupiter Ascending (I like it more and more with every trailer). I will also see Star Wars and last The Hunger Games. I'm still not convinced by Ant-Man (the trailer didn't do much for me) but I'm starting to consider Terminator as the trailer was actually pretty good. Also new version of Mad Max looks good. But those are all franchises and one of the most exciting thing about Jupiter Ascending is not any kind of -quel nor reimaging or adaptation of anything. This is also why I'm excited about the AI films - Ex-Machina and Chappie. That and of course my continuous obsession with AIs. Tomorrowland looks good too. Anything else will probably be spur of the moment decision and will probably depend more on how much time I have than anything else.

Right now I'm considering Predestination because I love All You Zombies. Project Almanac seems interesting but little too like a repeat of Butterfly Effect idea. Paddington got very good reviews and Kingsmen some very fun trailers. And some animated ones - Home and Inside Out mostly.

Here's also list of the SF&F TV series coming this year (at least the ones they know of so far) and the new ones I'm excited about are: 12 Monkeys, iZombie, Daredevil, Westworld and all the SyFy adaptations - Childhood's End, Shannara, Dark Matter, The Magicians. But most of all I'm exited about Humans and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell adaptations. The thing that already makes me cringe - CSI: Cyber - it's going to be as bad as Scorpion and probably as popular.
ellestra: (lightning)
When I last commented on weather - on Thursday (all those leaves are gone now) - it was just getting colder after 20-something day that had people wearing shorts all over the campus. On Friday it was barely 5 and it felt colder and as soon as it got dark (and that's pretty soon now) it got even colder. It was -6oC at night and I had to take all the flowers from balcony inside. Then it started getting warmer again and today it was 20oC again and foggy, rainy in a kind of nice warm autumn way. Now it rapidly getting colder again and it's supposed to drop below freezing soon. Tomorrow's highest temperature 3o with windchill making it feel 5 degrees colder. It will feel below freezing all day. It will drop to -7 at night.

It's going to be colder here than in Warsaw, especially at night, but it's supposed to snow back home (with rain to make it really dangerous and unpleasant instead of pretty) so they are still closer to winter. Of course it already snowed in a US - it snowed in the mountains here in October (the skiing resort opened) and in New Mexico at the end of last week . And this second wave of cold is supposed to repeat it all over again (some more panicky media use the word blizzard, other just promise snow storms). I don't think it's going to snow here (my friend said she saw a snowflake on Friday but that's just hearsay) but my Brazilian co-worker can't wait to see some. For now she marvels at her first ever autumn leaves.

I'm waiting for another hot spell - week from now it's going to be above 20 again. Right now forecast says few 16o nights which means sleeping with open windows again. Although I wish the weather would just decide one way or the other. Right now it's almost like switching between winter and summer clothes on a daily basis.
ellestra: (sunrise)
A week ago it was still 28oC and it was hard to remember that October was ending. Then came the first cooling and the temperatures dropped to below 20o and then on Halloween night it got even colder and started to rain. In the mountains that rain fell as snow which is apparently shocking at the beginning of November (even if not unheard of) but here it was just cold drizzle. A real November weather in other words. It continued on and off through Saturday and the temperature was barely above 10o. On Sunday it was even colder but sunny again and the lack of clouds meant the night got really cold and the temperature dropped below 0o for the first time this autumn. So this morning, while I'm still not fully switched to winter time and it's easy to wake up at dawn, I went and took some photos of frost.





ellestra: (river song)
So it was above 20 on Saturday and today we have a second day of drizzle that turns into ice from time to time. The highest temperature today +3oC. In two days will be back to 20. I feel like my body finally starting to give up as my throat hurts.

Meanwhile, in the unreal world, I learned that Keely Hawes is going to play a villain in the new season of Doctor Who. She should be a time travelling villain obviously but so far all we know is that she's a banker on an alien planet. Not quite the 80s but it'll do.

Past is another country as this fan 50 anniversary video says. It also shows all the Doctors blending from one to another all the way to 11 with all his friends cheering him up at the end.

And here are some of the classic Doctors talking about 12.
ellestra: (lightning)
This week's cold attack culminated today. It rained when I was falling asleep yesterday and it was raining when I woke up. However, sometime during the night this turned to ice (or snow) because there was ice slush on the wooden walkway from my staircase to the pavement. Everywhere else the rain washed it off and there was no sign of ice or even forecasted minus temperatures. But there promised ice storm must've happened somewhere because there was no power in the whole neighbourhood this morning (later I saw the fallen iced over trees on the news). So it was cold, rainy and I couldn't even make myself any tea.

So I went to work because there was light and functioning kettle. I'm working my way through a very time consuming project that has to be finished by end of next week and I already spent a week on it and it slowly drives me crazy. But I managed to get over half way through the most time consuming and work intensive part (nine hours today). The thing I've always tried to explain to my mum was that the work of biologist is much more physical than most people imagine. This project barely gives me time to look at my email but there is a lot of running around so I'm barely standing on my feet by the end of the day.

At least, after whole day of pouring rain (cold rain - it was barely 3oC), it finally stopped raining when I was going home and I saw last moments of sunset. This made me realise how much longer the days already are. Only couple of weeks left before spring equinox. And Americans are changing to Summer Time already this weekend so the days would seem even longer next week. I always say I could be leaving in the Summer Time permanently so I'm pretty happy about them doing it so early here but I don't want to get up early next week. Next week is really bad time for it.

Of course when I went home it was below 17 degrees in my apartment because the thermostat resets itself to that temperature after power outage and there was no one to set it back to anything normal.

Tomorrow - sunny and +17 outside. Later next week it's back above 20 (23 on Tuesday) and then below 0 at night. It could at least stabilise for more then half a week.

And I was so tired yesterday I forgot to change it to public again. Good thing noone cares anyway.
ellestra: (lightning)
On Friday the wind was cold and it barely felt like it was above 0 even if thermometers insisted it was actually +7. Yesterday it was over +20 and I was walking around in sandals and even come back from a birthday party late and night in my summer dress and a light sweater. Now it's snowing and -6. It's supposed to be very cold till Thursday and then the next weekend +20 again. I no longer even put the jackets and shoes away. I just keep everything - from sandals to winter boots and from hoodie to down jacket by the door so I can just grab it in the morning after I check the weather forecast.

It started with cold rain that turned into tiny ice balls and finally into snow. Everyone escaped from work around noon but I have a very time consuming experiment that I need to finish before 13th so I went home only after I saw white accumulating on surfaces around the building. Of course because it was so warm recently some trees started blooming - including the early magnolias - the cold tonight will probably kill the flowers but I got this:


There is a little more snow now on grass, cars and roofs but all that fell on asphalt turned to water and now ice. So tomorrow morning is going to be fun.
ellestra: (muppets)
So what one does when one gets snowed in and cannot fly to a conference? Take a lot of photos, obviously (as you could see in earlier posts) but I couldn't spent my whole days on taking pictures. I also need to do important stuff like calling airlines (it's kind of hard to do while running through snow). And when you have to wait and hope that a human will eventually pick up there isn't much else you can do. You can post your photos. Sort your emails. And you can also watch TV.

This means I binged on the Olympics this past few days. I don't think I ever watched so much of it. But it was all good to me because Poland has FOUR gold medals in Winter Olympics so far:
2x Kamil Stoch - Ski Jumping both on normal and large hill
Justyna Kowalczyk - 10 km Cross-Country Skiing
Zbigniew Bródka - 1500m Speed Skating

Zbigniew Brodka's story is one of those movies about underdog that doesn't have experience or money and trains sliding in socks on wooden floors or at night when water freezes on asphalt and works as a fireman to support his family and then beats the Dutch that have everything - a medal factory with all the training facilities and equipment and care that technology can make and money can buy. Only it's all true because there are no speed skating tracks in Poland under roofs and only couple in open air and none with good ice. Short Track people can at least train on ice skating rinks. Long Track either have to go to Germany and only see their families through Skype or do the things listed above. At least after women got bronze in Vancouver the sport federation buys them enough skates and pays for the trips. So everyone is in shock, not only because it was 0.003 that decided Zbigniew Brodka won but because we don't deserve him. He certainly doesn't deserve us.

Kamil Stoch and Justyna Kowalczyk were favourites but that didn't mean they had it easy. Justyna Kowalczyk had to fight with everyone to get to the top - not just rivals. It only got little easier when she started to get medals but now she had to fend the doubts after she didn't medal at first run and revealed she's running with a broken foot (that's right she won gold with a broken foot). They were telling her to give up and go home. I still remember that little kid Kamil Stoch used to be - 12 years old and winning kid ski jumping championships and dreaming of Olympics (the one they replay now again and again on Polish news) - and I remember all the talk about how puberty screws up body and balance and that he probably will never make it as an adult. And for a while he was unimpressive or, at least, he was shown like this when in comparison with Adam Małysz who used to win so much that everyone wanted every Polish ski jumper to be at least as good as him. When he finally hit his stride in last couple of years (he is World Cup leader right now) everyone started expecting everything on this Olympics even though it didn't even happen when Adam Małysz was at the hight of his career. And this time we were not disappointed.

Now they all did what no other Pole has ever accomplished in Winter Games Justyna won gold in second Olympics, Kamil won two in one and Zbigniew one the first one ever in speed skating.

We are a nation of naysayers and defeatists. Always ready to tell someone why it will never work. Maybe it explains why those who succeed in sport in our country are good at ignoring those voices, determined and obstinate. They are just doing what they do and only complain afterwards (you know how other people, when they get awards, thank those who supported and help them? - in Poland that's only half the talk; the other is finally being heard about all the bullshit the had to go through to do it). Sometimes I can't believe we are able to even compete on any serious level in anything but I suppose there just are enough of rough talent among 40 million people that even all of this can't destroy them all.

NBC mostly shows boring stuff like Ice Skating and Hokey on TV so I usually just let the streaming play in the background. I don't know where they get their streaming coverage. It's all done by Brits and in metric (distances in meters, km/h speeds and temps in C so it's easier to relate to for me) so I thought for a moment that maybe they just take Eurosport feed but then it seems like they are talking about US as "our team" but then it creates funny moments when the British commentator completely forgot about it when Lizzie Yarnold was going for gold in skeleton and was all "Go, Lizzie, go" (how can you not when it's your country's only real hope for gold). What really gets me is that those are not the same feeds as on TV. When I watched the final series of Ski Jumping on normal hill they were both streaming it with a British commentator and showing it on TV with American ones (American also shows their measurements so meh). The funny part is that they mispronounce the names of Polish jumpers in a different way. For example the Brit says Kamil Shtoh (it's Stoch - pronounced as Stoh) and Adam Malash (Małysz - Muhwysh - the name of former Polish champion) and Americans say Stock and Malysh (Americans are closer - weird - it's usually other way around). It's a relief to hear the names said correctly by the Russian announcer.

I kind of miss the overexcited Polish commentators (My dad let me listen to some of their talk over Skype). I miss the information and the emotion they show. The only moment I felt a little bit like that here was when one of the NBC commentators said about Marit Bjoergen (Kowalczyk's arch-rival) after Justyna Kowalczyk won - she tried to fly to close to the sun and burnt. Being ridiculously poetic is something Polish commentators do all the time - it felt so right.
ellestra: (sunrise)
So it snowed on Wednesday. Then cam the freezing rain and covered everything in a sheet of ice so the next day everything was crunchy and hard to walk on but also pretty.


Then on Thursday first came rain mixed with hail. Then it turned into more snow and since this time it was above freezing and it just rained the snow was sticking to everything. At least for a little while.


After that everything started melting. I mean it was on the minus during the night so everything frozen solid and I observed with amusement as a moving truck was sliding down the hill on our apartment place tiny, full of very frozen ice street. And I got scared by the snow plough when it skidded to my side of the road while trying to push the ice and frozen snow off the road when I was taking photos of winter lake. But I liked how the snow it pushed off the road looked on the ice:


Then it got very warm very fast. It was above 20 oC in the sun and water streamed down the hill making me glad I live on it. At least I don't have to worry about flooding now.


Luckily for the people who live lower it got colder. It was raining in the morning and that melted even more snow but with the ice protecting a lot of it this wasn't enough and the air today was much, much colder then yesterday and temperatures tonight are going into minus again (tomorrow too) so it will be couple more days before it's all gone. It's already the longest staying snow I've seen here but there was quite a lot of it. However, we are supposed to hit over 20 oC (in the shade) later next week so it won't be that long. So here a memory keepsake - one true winter sunset I got (in HDR):


I finally managed to get through to the airline yesterday. When a human finally answered (I started using skype to call and just let it stay on hold for hours) I was so surprised I almost didn't know what to do. I almost lost hope of ever getting through. But then it went quickly as the only question they asked was reschedule or refund and, of course, in my case it was the latter. Lets see what the accounting will say about all the other things.
ellestra: (lightning)
I was supposed to fly to a conference today but my flight was cancelled. At least the first part of it as most flights here were cancelled. My boss was also supposed to fly out to a (different) conference and his flight was also cancelled. The sad part is that it only started snowing around 1 pm. It was only bitterly cold before that (as usually felt much colder then it really was). All the planes got stuck at other airports and that lead to all this mass transit disaster. I can't even get to the airline as their lines are permanently blocked by too many calls (most of the time I'm not even on hold - they just kick me out). They did this to themselves by sending emails saying one can only change the reservation by calling. Not that I'm planning to fly anywhere now - it's too late anyway as I'm not going to make it to any of the talks (I was just going for one symposium) - but I need this to get my refunds.

So when I finally gave up on any chance of flying out today I decided to go shopping as I had no food in the fridge because I was to be in San Francisco for the next couple of days. When I was leaving my apartment it was just starting to snow. When I was coming back half an hour later everything was already white. Few hours later there was about 20 cm of snow and then the snow turned into hail. Tiny ice balls were falling from the sky and it sounded like somebody was throwing sand at things.
See the begining and the end:


This time it was cold for two nights and a day before it started snowing so the snow didn't melt so much. It still caused that weird phenomenon that makes it feel warmer when the snow is falling then just before it does and it still melted a little bit by the ground but most of it was sticking. Because it was soft on the asphalt it clumped under tires and because the temperature was below freezing the whole day today it wasn't readily melting under the tires of cars. So all the roads are white and people abandoned their cars all over the place. Mostly on the sides of the roads but there was some genius who left his/hers in the middle of the street.


The forecast says more freezing rain, snow rain mix and then more snow again tomorrow. But, at least it's to be above 0, tomorrow and on Friday we are to start a big melt. At least I don't need to worry about floods.

And now, for a nice ending - birds in snow:


May 2016

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