February arrived like it usually does with grey skies and 40F daytime temperatures. When the rest of the US got hit with a polar vortex that sent temperatures plummeting into the -60F wind chill (been in that, not fun, never wanna feel that again!), Seattle was business as usual.
Then, six days in, we got hit with a mild case of polar air. 17F is pretty cold for this region. Still, nothing a cup of hot cocoa and a warm blanket can’t fix.
On February 8, Seattle woke up to a rare, big snowfall that lasted until the 9th. The railing outside my porch wound up with around six inches of the white stuff! Our snowfalls are typically around one or two inches.
Now usually this stuff melts after a day since we hover near 40F during the daytime. But at six to eight inches, it would take a few days. Not really a big deal since this fell over the weekend and my tooth appointment wasn’t until Tuesday. I wasn’t worried.
More snow was forecast for Sunday afternoon and through Monday. What are the odds of accumulation in Seattle? Not too high, normally. Except outside looked like this:
And there was no sign of it stopping. The roughly three inches that melted were quickly replenished. At that point, I knew there was no way we were getting out of our driveway. No shovel and a muscle car = snowed in!
When you have steep hills like this, and nothing in the neighborhood gets plowed, we wind up with no food delivery on Sunday, no trash pickup on Monday, and no tooth appointment on Tuesday.
Nobody could get in and nobody could get out. Which presented a minor food problem since the food truck couldn’t get into the subdivision on Sunday during our normal delivery and we couldn’t go out to fetch anything.
Hubby: We’re snowed in! We’ll starve. Maybe I should call Pizza Hut and see if they can get in…
Me: I think you underestimate the amount of food we have in the house.
I drag out the box of pancake mix, two packages of bacon, and one tube of Pillsbury breakfast biscuits. With iron resolve, I look up recipes on making the dreaded gravy — something I tried long ago and failed miserably at. See, I grew up around women who could just toss that stuff in the drippings and whip up something that tastes awesome. Not me though. My attempts tasted like raw flour (eww)! I’ve had a hatred of flour ever since.
2:2:2 – two tablespoons of drippings, two tablespoons of flour, and two cups of cold milk. Who knew that was the secret to making gravy. Yeah, ok, to be fair when I asked experts about this, they gave me look and feel guidelines rather than actual measurements which would have helped a newbie. It also helped to watch a video that showed how long you are supposed to cook it. I love the internet for recipe instructions.
Aha! I made my first EDIBLE gravy and conquered my flour phobia once and for all!
Biscuits and gravy are fine, but wouldn’t last long. Thankfully, I also had one frozen pound of beef. No problem, I can make golden curry with rice.
Problem – no rice! It seems the hubby was being nice when he filled the smaller bag from the bigger bag, only he didn’t tell me, so I assumed I still had big bag rice left. Whoops!
No problem – I added a can of diced tomatoes and potatoes to the golden curry and it turned out even better than ever! Good thing because the snow kept on coming until late Tuesday, early Wednesday.
The city roads have been plowed, and they still look like a bad idea to be driving on them. I looked up our city’s winter equipment which would make a Midwesterner laugh:
- Three 5-yard truck with Plow/Material Spreader
- One 5-yard truck Plow/900 Gallon Liquid Anti-icing Applicator Trucks
- One 5-yard truck 900 Gallon Liquid Anti-icing Applicator Trucks
- One 1-Ton 400 Gallon Liquid Anti-icing Applicator Truck/Material Spreader Truck/Plow
- Two 9000 Gallon CCB Tanks
- One 140-Ton Salt Shed
Accumulation is so rare out here that I had fun watching the neighbor and two helpers try to get his car out of the driveway using a spade, a hoe (I kid you not!), and one rare unicorn snow shovel. At this point there was a foot of snow everywhere. Amazingly, his front wheel drive car made it into the street and past my house. Later though, the car returned, having been defeated at the steep curvy section leading out of the subdivision. So close!
After a few false flickers, the power finally went out Wednesday. Nothing says boredom like having no power. My high end laptop sucks battery juice faster than an athlete downing Gatorade, so writing was out. I could read on my Kindle, but the air temperature was cooling and I found playing pretend mummy and napping was the best course of action. Nobody dared open the fridge because who knew how long the power would be out?
It wound up being eight hours or so. Ah, electricity, how I missed thee! As an added bonus, the overworked city snow plows finally got to our subdivision for Valentine’s Day, so Safeway was able to sneak in a small delivery. Nothing says Happy Valentine’s Day like having more meat to make more food with glorious electricity restored!
I would like to call out Safeway for their awesome customer service. Their drivers kept trying to deliver even when the conditions were bad. They also tossed in free flowers on Friday when we finally got a real order delivered because their normal roses that the hubby ordered were in bad shape.
Also a big thanks to the city snow plow and electric crews who had to work in a foot of the white stuff through five plus days of snowmageddon.
Our front yard had some casualties in all of this. Oddly enough, it happened once the snow began melting and the ground softened. The front bush was so weighted down unevenly, that it pulled up from the ground. I’m not sure if it can be restored yet. Several other bushes were also pulled forward, but their bases looked solid, so I think they’ll recover. However, the front tree wasn’t so lucky. It has four trunks shooting up from the ground and the front, major one snapped off at the base. It’s going to look pretty sad come spring.
I found a recap of events from https://www.seattleweatherblog.com/snow/february-2019-seattles-snowiest-month-50-years/
February 2019 snowfall by the numbers (as of 6 p.m. Feb. 11)
Total: 20.2 inches
- 1.0 inches on Feb. 3
- 1.7 inches on Feb. 4 (tied daily record from 1949)
- 6.4 inches on Feb. 8 (daily record)
- 1.5 inches on Feb. 9
- 3.5 inches on Feb. 10
- 6.1 inches on Feb. 11 (daily record)
That makes this month the snowiest February since 1916!
It’s now ten days since the snowmageddon and there are still pockets of sullen white stuff lingering in the shadowy spaces. But it’s the end of February and the worst is over, right?
Magic 8 ball says…
Don’t count on it!