Wednesday, January 03, 2007

More Beautiful Snow - Getting up the driveway

One of the things I checked before we moved from LA to Anchorage almost 30 years ago, was annual precipitation. Anchorage gets about 16 inches - about the same as LA (15.06 inches.) OK, no problem. But snow piles up a lot higher than rain. According to today's paper, December was the 4th snowiest on record - 36 inches. Mind you, the average ANNUAL snow fall is 69.5 inches. Matt Rosenberg, on About: Geography, says, "Generally, 10 inches of snow produces one inch of water. However, it can take up to 30 inches of loose, fluffy snow though as little as 2-4 inches of wet, compact snow can produce an inch of water." Well, today's snow is light and fluffy.

So, we are a two car family with a one car garage. After any significant snow fall, the city is supposed to plow the streets. This year, they've barely had time to plow, and no time to clear the snow. . That means I need to get my VW Van off the street or get plowed in. (My wfe's 4 wheel drive Subaru with studded tires gets the heated garage - that's a whole nother story on indicators of successful marriages.) We have about a 7 foot snow berm in front now, so when I park on the street now, there isn't much room for cars to go by. So it seemed to make sense to put my car in the garage till the street gets cleared. But we have a relatively steep - if short - driveway. Getting my car into the driveway means clearing the snow and sometimes putting down some gravel. Right now, my car really needed the comfort of the garage - so the sliding side door can unfreeze and I can get my skis in and out easier. You can see the skid marks as I barely made it up the driveway and into the garage after about an hour and a half of shoveling snow. I don't mind - it's a good workout. But you can also see how much snow fell while I was shoveling it clean.

And for those of you who have seen my December pictures of snow on our back deck, I want you to know that I cleared the deck down to the wood just the other day. Here's a picture from about noon today.

I got the Anchorage weather data at a NOAA site. There's a lot of interesting Anchorage weather data there. The LA weather data also came from a NOAA site, but it was only rainfall stats.

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