Friday, January 13, 2012

What Was That Sound??

I was having a meeting in my office this week, when I heard this weird sound outside.

It sort of sounded like someone trying to start a motorcycle or leaf blower.

Both would be pointless this time of year. The leafblower, obviously, because there are no leaves. And the motorcycle...well, unless you like sliding to the ground.

The ice here is just treacherous.

Folks make a good faith effort to clean the sidewalks. The trouble is, we are having a mild winter. Okay, not mild by my winter standards, but really mild by Estonian ones.

What this means is that there has not been enough snow. It keeps getting warm and melting the snow, making icky slush (I have learned two new words - lörts (sleet or slush) and libe (slippery) - of neccessity), and then getting cold and refreezing said slush into a solid sheet of ice.

You can't walk on ice. And I suspect you can't really drive a motorcycle on it either (as a side note, I really like the metal-studded snow tires they require here. Every bit of extra traction you can get is a good thing!).

Which brings me back to the sound.

Every March or April, as spring arrives, people get injured, sometimes critically, by falling icicles and mounds of snow coming off the roofs as the weather warms and the snow melts. Usually, at least one person gets killed per year.

And that sound? That is this phenomenon happening NOW. Because of this weird weather, the snow accumulates on the roofs, melts, and slides off. So instead of having this danger IN THE spring, we could have it ALL WINTER and THROUGH the spring.

So okay, the Estonians are right. It probably needs to be colder and snowier.


Connie said...

Yikes! Be careful! We had a big slushy, re-freezing snow/ice in the DC area before we left for Cairo, and there's just no easy to clean that mess! We had a sturdy garden spade to crack up some of the worst spots on our sidewalks, but it's hard!

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