Well, it didn't really snow last night, but what snow was still left has now frozen over solid! It's nothing but glazed over roads and slippery sidewalks.
Due to inclement weather, all Multnomah offices - inlcuding Adult Degree Completion classes - are closed on Friday, 12/19/08.
It's Just A Little Snow!
Now I know that some of you from our more "winter-weather-inclined" states like Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, and the entire Midwest tend to look at our "feeble" responses to the snow in the Pacific Northwest and wonder "what's wrong with those guys? It's just a little snow!"
Well, there are three main excuses...err...differences as I see it that make our snow particularily dangerous for driving:
- It's not dry and powdery, it's all wet and slick from the beginning and it rarely gets too cold to be dry snow so it's always hovering between frozen and not - so as soon as the weather dips into the mid-20's and below, the moist snow and slush becomes slick sheets of ice on top of snow and this is a problem for a major metropolitan area.
- We don't have the monster army of sand trucks, de-icer machines and snow plows at the ready that even smaller cities in the midwest might have. We have a very good supply and very talented transportation safety crews, but not a fully adequate supply like elsewhere. Why? Because we don't need it as often. We're "lucky" if we need it once-per-year. Which brings me to my third point.
- Don't tell anybody - but we just don't get a lot of practice sliding into each other on the roads and so we get a little queezy thinking about the mangled piles of steel and risk to life and limb out on impossibly slick and icy roads. And yes, we do know how to get winter studded tires and chains put on our vehicles - but it just doesn't matter or seem to help as much around here. We'd rather live another day and contemplate the implications of shutting down the local economy over a hot cup of famed Northwest coffee!
With the exception of this week of winter weather and a few extra rainy parts of the year, the Portland area is actually quite temperate, quite sunny, and very lush. You should try it!