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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Polar vortex?

Much of the nation is currently under the grip of a severe snow storm. Many family and friends up north are bundling up, battening down and lighting wood stoves/ fireplaces. Keep those sweaters and long johns on, guys.
Down here in Texas, a cold front is tricky. Not 'snow' tricky, but ice and sleet. I would go so far as to call it treacherous. Now understand, I've driven in snow. I'd rather drive in a snowstorm than ice. Even if it didn't rain the night before, the roads can and will screw you up.
The first piece of advice I got driving in town during the winter was, 'watch out for the bridges.' What was up with that? The reasoning is simple and complex at the same time.
The cold air under a bridge can reduce the temperature of the road a good fifteen to twenty degrees. if the highway you're on has even a touch of water, that bridge is now one big ice skating rink... and your vehicle doesn't have skates. The chances of you fishtailing and skidding out have now gone up exponentially. The rules of controlling a skid, the part where you turn into the skid, no longer apply. So far this year I've lost control twice. The first time I had my foot planted on the brake, the wheels turned in a hard right and my car still went left... and sideways.
The second time I ended up fishtailing 90 degrees. For a brief moment I thought I was going to roll like they do in the movies. Before you accuse me of speeding, understand I was going 30 miles an hour. The first skid I was going much less.
A few years ago, I attempted to go to work, but there was one problem: my truck had two inches of ice on it. Yeah, I measured. Somewhere I have the pictures to back this talerup, but I can't find them right this second. At first I can add them later if I find them. Long story short, I ended up chipping the blocks of ice off my truckcicle. Will we survive this mess? Of course we will. This can only mean one thing: there will be a lot of soups and stews being served at my house.

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