Whisper to the Living

The fall of a leaf
Is a whisper to the living

– Russian Proverb
………………………………………………………………….

Maybe the last leaf blowing around in Wisconsin until next fall… 10″ of snow predicted for tonight and tomorrow preceded by freezing rain and sleet. There are two types of heavy snow producing storms that hit Wisconsin… the Alberta Clipper and the Oklahoma Hook.

What is an Alberta Clipper?
Ok, so here’s my attempt at remembering my Meteorology class in college…  Warm, moist air comes into Canada from the Pacific Ocean. Moving East, the air mass comes into contact with the Rocky Mountains in British Columbia and Alberta. Falling down the lee side of the mountains, the warm air meets the cold air of the Canadian prairies forming a storm. The storm then is then forced around an already existing high pressure area circulating around Canada’s mid section, causing it to run right into The midwest United States.

I like to imagine a giant merry-go-round spinning counter-clockwise above Canada… the Alberta Clipper steps onto the west side of the merry-go-round and is flung down and around south and east until it finally falls off just before it hits us. Now, it is generally known that Alberta Clippers have weak stomachs and will always blow chunks, in the form of snow after this ride.

What is an Oklahoma Hook?
Basically, a low-pressure system forms in the Oklahoma panhandle and moves North bringing moisture from the Gulf. The system usually brings a mix of freezing rain and heavy snow to the midwest.

So that ends today’s meteorology lesson.

There’s always a sense of excitement leading up to these big storms… a hurried grasp at preparedness always occurrs. Get what you may need from the store and make sure you have a shovel or that the snowblower is in working order. Plans are changed in anticipation of travel problems, and weather becomes the topic of conversation, with vigilant attention paid the the latest forecast.

Me, I am getting new tires at lunch time today to better battle the incoming snow.

………………………………………………………………….

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