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Author Topic: Let it snow, let it snow  (Read 1130 times)

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Offline Paul

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Let it snow, let it snow
« on: February 03, 2013, 08:10:19 PM »
The area south of Buffalo, New York has a well deserved reputation for massive snowstorms.  Situated at the east end of Lake Erie, storms can sweep full length of the lake picking up moisture that unloads as fast as it comes ashore.  But while the western part of the state gets all the publicity due to its proximity to a major metropolitan area, in a typical year, storms off the east end of Lake Ontario are much stronger and dump far more snow.  (After a bad storm on the Tug Hill Plateau, it is not at all uncommon for people to enter and exit their homes through the attic window and there are plenty of pictures to prove it.)

I lay the difference in snowfall to the fact that Lake Erie is relatively shallow and prone to freeze over thereby limiting the amount of moisture in the air, while the far deeper Lake Ontario never freezes.   Whatever the true reason, I thought some of you might like to see what winter looks like 25 to 30 miles west of us, just across the mountains.  The film is quite lengthy (twenty some minutes) and dated (the pictures were taken in the 1940's) but the plows shown are still in service as are a few of the old chain drive Lynn halftracks that are dragged out when the going is too tough for anything else.

At any rate, I hope you enjoy...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZR2WbD3Hz0&playnext=1&list=PL3vj74eebvWzbmIM1RseJXCL9Y9FYodQp&feature=results_main
 

Offline Amisheggpicker

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Re: Let it snow, let it snow
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2013, 08:31:12 PM »
I don't know about how you are fairing Paul...but I'm FREEZING..hahahah....we have had spells with temps going to -11 degrees...but I should up...I was reading Jackie Clay's blog and they had -35 in Minnesota...I almost didn't make it out to Church this morning...the car was buried...and we all (brother and his wife, sister and her husband, and my family) contemplated even whether or not we should go, because the church is down in the valley...and that's means traveling down very steep mountains...but my brother in law was preaching...hahahaha....so they slid down...haahha...I was able to navigate down and back up with little problem...but I'm still freezing!

how about you...and all you other folks in the North...are you cold?
Proverbs 21:20  In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil,

but a foolish man devours all he has.


Offline Paul

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Re: Let it snow, let it snow
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2013, 09:21:27 PM »
We are in a warm spell.  I just looked and our thermometer says 16 degrees.  Last week or perhaps it was the week before, I don't keep track of such  things anymore, we were more than 25 below for three nights in a row.  As for snow, we haven't had much this winter.  Our big storms usually come through in March - not always! 

Thanksgiving of 69 the plows did not make to our road for three days, then in 71 on Christmas day, we were living in a house trailer and from the midsection on back, the the trailer including the outside fuel tank were completely buried by a drift.  That took four days to dig out.  We ran out of fuel and made do with a little electric space heater.  The toilet froze and broke as did most of the water pipes.  When the fuel truck finally got through, we had water all over the place.

The other bad storm of note was on May 25, 1975.  It was only about a foot of snow but there were so many trees and branches down some sections were out of power for more than two weeks.  (Wife's uncle was a lineman/supervisor for Niagara Mohawk and when he got his overtime check, he went down to the Mercury garage and paid cash for a new car.)

Offline Langenator

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Re: Let it snow, let it snow
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2013, 08:27:09 AM »
Reasons why Fort Drum has never, ever been anywhere near the top of my list come assignments time...
Fortuna Fortis Paratus
“In the house of a wise man are stores of food, wine, and oil, but the foolish man devours all he has.” Proverbs 21:20
"We are content with discord, we are content with alarms, we are content with blood, but we will never be content with a master." -Pashtun malik, 1815

Offline oldguy52

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Re: Let it snow, let it snow
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2013, 12:44:35 PM »
Oh yeah, been there, done that!

We don't get the lake effect snow here on the west end of the Great Lakes, but that doesn't mean we still don't get buried from time to time.

Just a few things I can remember fairly well over the years:

Mar 25th 1965: Three feet of snow in two days. Schools were closed for most of a week. When it was done we could walk up the drift at my friends house and on to the roof without stepping up. The drift was packed so hard you literally didn't sink into it at all when you walked on it.

January 1975: I was in the National Guard at the time. We again got 3 feet of snow in 2 days. Those of us that were able to make it to the scheduled NG meeting that weekend spent two days in our 4 wheel drive pickups following frontend loaders around the country roads bringing in, or at least checking on farm families whose power was out so they wouldn't freeze to death in the 3 days of 25 below zero and 30 MPH winds that followed shortly behind that storm. Like in your video, many times we were driving in what appeared like a canyon of snow where all one could really see were banks of snow and the sky.

January 1976: Repeat the above.

Those are just a few incidents that really stuck in my mind. There were many more that, for whatever reason, weren't as memorable.

While it's still not unusual for us to have blizzards that drop 12 to 18 inches of snow at one time in our part of the country, we haven't had storms like that for quite a few years. I wonder with the sun spot activity on the decline if we won't be coming back to those types of weather again in the not too distant future. You may remember that 1975-76 was pretty much the peak of the "coming ice age" scare.
O.G.

"Stupid is supposed to be painful, it's nature's way of learnin' ya" - Me, 1994

When one finds himself living in interesting times, it is prudent to become as uninteresting as possible.... Me, 2011

Offline BooMushroom

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Re: Let it snow, let it snow
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2013, 10:51:58 PM »
Wow, what a difference we can have in the same country!

I am looking forward to our last frost date, which is a mere week away. I'm actually holding out for the actual day (the 11th) as it's actually forecast to get down to 32 degrees on Saturday.

Offline Langenator

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Re: Let it snow, let it snow
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2013, 08:24:39 AM »
I thought last winter was mild...this winter has been even warmer.

We've had lows in the 50s with highs in the 70s most of the last week.
Fortuna Fortis Paratus
“In the house of a wise man are stores of food, wine, and oil, but the foolish man devours all he has.” Proverbs 21:20
"We are content with discord, we are content with alarms, we are content with blood, but we will never be content with a master." -Pashtun malik, 1815

Offline Amisheggpicker

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Re: Let it snow, let it snow
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2013, 08:38:55 AM »
Well this is the time of year when we think about moving south...but then March come along and we start to see slight glimpses of springtime...and we forget about our winter troubles...

Here is what we had to deal with the last two days.

Its very cold and our electric went out.  After a quick call to the outage center at the Elec Co-op...we found out that it was on our end.  But our breakers were fine...my husband went down to the electric pole and those breakers were off...he reset them, but he had to figure out why it turned off.   To make a long story short...he discovered that the pipe to the submersible pump split because of the cold.  Even though it is down below the frost line.   Our well is quite a distance from the house, down in the middle of the woods....he nearly froze repairing that...the pump was continually pumping, but because of the split pipe, it couldn't get enough water to the house, so that caused the hot water heater to blow up.  And then when the electric was out, some of our water pipes in the house froze. (we keep a small electric heater in the basement to keep them from freezing.)

Sunday night, we went to home depot and purchased a new hotwater tank.  Monday morning, my husband had to haul that thing down by hand to the basement....but you have to understand, our car is parked on a hill a little distance from the house...he literally had to push it down the hill...and the snow kept piling up in front of it...it took him two hours to get it down the hill....

Once he got it in the basement, he went to hook it up and then all of the sudden...EVERY water pipe in our house split....I had to leave work and go back up to Home depot and buy replacement pvc pipe and some more pipe insulation...

It took my husband until 8:30 at night to replace the pipes and get the new hotwater tank in...and he was looking like a frozen popcycle when he got done....then he had to haul wood for the woodburner....

Thank God for handy husbands...because this would have cost a a whole lot more money if we would have had to pay someone to do this....
Proverbs 21:20  In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil,

but a foolish man devours all he has.

Offline oldguy52

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Re: Let it snow, let it snow
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2013, 10:28:16 AM »
Wow, what a difference we can have in the same country!

I am looking forward to our last frost date, which is a mere week away. I'm actually holding out for the actual day (the 11th) as it's actually forecast to get down to 32 degrees on Saturday.

Last frost date the 11th of February? We'll consider ourselves fortunate if our last frost is done by the 11th of MAY. The ice should be off the lakes by then though and most of the frost out of the ground. We have a season called winter here, usually going on five months. Where you're at, I guess folks from up here would call your winter, a couple weeks where it gets a little chilly.  ;D

It's warming up a bit here, about 18F right at the moment, but that usually happens just before it snows..... again.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 10:43:02 AM by oldguy52 »
O.G.

"Stupid is supposed to be painful, it's nature's way of learnin' ya" - Me, 1994

When one finds himself living in interesting times, it is prudent to become as uninteresting as possible.... Me, 2011

Offline Paul

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Re: Let it snow, let it snow
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2013, 08:37:21 PM »
because of the split pipe, it couldn't get enough water to the house, so that caused the hot water heater to blow up. 

It sounds as if the heating element burned out when your tank ran dry.  If that is the case and the old water tank does not have a hole in it, you may want to consider using it as a preheater for your hot water.  All you would need to do after removing the metal cover and insulation from the tank is to cut it into your inlet line between the well and the new tank.  The outlet from the old tank then is connected to the inlet from the new tank. 

The way it works, cold water from the well comes into the old tank where it warms up to the the ambient temperature in the basement.  The hot water heater then only has to raise the temperature X number of degrees more than the tempered water from the old tank.  I've hooked up several houses like that and it is surprising how much electricity it saves.*

* If you feel your cellar is too cold during the winter for this to work, with flexable fittings on the inlet and outlet pipes it is easy enough to bypass the old tank during the coldest months.   

Offline Amisheggpicker

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Re: Let it snow, let it snow
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2013, 06:45:39 PM »
That's what we were hoping because we have the kind of elements that you can unplug...but unfortunately it was leaking profusely....we are now the 5th household in this area that has had to replace the hotwater tank...crazy...but this cold did something to them....I will print out what you said and give it to my husband...he is chief fixer around here....hahahah!
Proverbs 21:20  In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil,

but a foolish man devours all he has.

Offline AuricTech

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Re: Let it snow, let it snow
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2013, 08:50:52 PM »
Well this is the time of year when we think about moving south...but then March come along and we start to see slight glimpses of springtime...and we forget about our winter troubles...

Here is what we had to deal with the last two days.

Its very cold and our electric went out.  After a quick call to the outage center at the Elec Co-op...we found out that it was on our end.  But our breakers were fine...my husband went down to the electric pole and those breakers were off...he reset them, but he had to figure out why it turned off.   To make a long story short...he discovered that the pipe to the submersible pump split because of the cold.  Even though it is down below the frost line.   Our well is quite a distance from the house, down in the middle of the woods....he nearly froze repairing that...the pump was continually pumping, but because of the split pipe, it couldn't get enough water to the house, so that caused the hot water heater to blow up.  And then when the electric was out, some of our water pipes in the house froze. (we keep a small electric heater in the basement to keep them from freezing.) (emphasis added)

This is where the "one is none" part of the "two is one, and one is none" saying comes into play.  From my Lofty (over 4600' above sea level, where I live, is pretty lofty, after all  ;) ), Pluriscient* Perch (LPP), I could easily proclaim that you ought to have had a propane-fueled catalytic heater on-hand as a backup to your electric heater, just in case the power went out.

OTOH, I can't see, from my distant LPP, what issues using such a heater might cause in your particular situation.  For instance, I have no idea what kind of ventilation your basement has.  Since catalytic heaters need a sufficient supply of outside air to function indoors (especially if "not killing the building's occupants" :o is part of the mission statement), such a proclamation on my part, no matter how many readers might sagely nod as they read it, might be totally useless for you, if your basement couldn't simultaneously provide needed ventilation and maintain temperatures sufficient to keep your pipes from freezing.

In short, while having some sort of backup system is important for every part of your shelter's life-support system, the backup systems I might choose may not be appropriate for someone else's shelter.  The principle of redundancy is more important than the specific execution of said principle.

*"Pluriscient" is my neologism by which I claim to know at least something about multiple topics, without claiming to be omniscient....  ;D
American parachutists...devils in baggy pants...are less than 100 meters from my outpost line. I can't sleep at night; they pop up from nowhere and we never know when or how they will strike next. Seems like the black-hearted devils are everywhere....

Offline Drang

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Re: Let it snow, let it snow
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2013, 09:06:02 PM »
This is where the "one is none" part of the "two is one, and one is none" saying comes into play.  From my Lofty (over 4600' above sea level, where I live, is pretty lofty, after all  ;) ), Pluriscient* Perch (LPP),...
A matter of perspective.  I first visited Ft Huachuca from Ft Carson, 6000' ASL...
*"Pluriscient" is my neologism by which I claim to know at least something about multiple topics, without claiming to be omniscient....  ;D
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Offline Amisheggpicker

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Re: Let it snow, let it snow
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2013, 10:25:58 AM »
100 percent correct AuriTech.....one of those heaters are now on our "list".  We had gone away when the initial problems started, and I went to borrow my fathers shop heater (run by propane) but it was too late...We never had this extensive of a problem before...

Unfortunately we are not the only ones...like I said....times like these makes us dream of moving south...hahahah  All is fixed and we are bracing for a storm again.  This winter hasn't been to nice...
Proverbs 21:20  In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil,

but a foolish man devours all he has.


 

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