Mount Sutro: An Electronic Periodical

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The Winter Wonderland

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Photo Credit: Lauren Gleason Patten — Pyramid snow formations in the courtyard of Gadsby's Tavern, a result of the weekend blizzard, 138 North Royal Street, Alexandria, Virginia, 19 December 2009 Although the winter months here are normally cooler than the rest of Florida, the past few weeks have been ridiculous. Twice this week there have been references in the local forecast to snow, flurries and sleet. The low yesterday bottomed out at 16°F and it was about that cold this morning. If the rain forecast for the overnight actually comes and the conditions are right, it could be a very interesting morning tomorrow. Snow in Tallahassee, while unusual, is not unprecedented. There have been thirty-two occurrences, seven of which were measurable, from 1891 to present. The record for most snowfall in a twenty-four hour period was set on 12–13 February 1958 with 2.8 inches, visible in this photograph of FSU students outside Bryan Hall. The winter storm of 1989 provided the last measurable snowfall of 1.0 inch on 22–23 December.
Update: Friday, 12 February 2010, 1940 EST

Make that thirty-three occurrences. According to National Weather Service meteorologist Tim Barry, a combination of rain and snow fell late last night. I did not see any of the flurries myself but there were a few people at work today who said they did. It will be below freezing here soon and flurries are again possible, but I am not complaining too much considering the week the northeast experienced.
While in transit from Buffalo with the moving van in September 1989, Hurricane Hugo was lurking about and made finding motel rooms in the southern states, well, impossible. Later as we crossed the state line amidst a torrential thunderstorm, we laughed at the "Sunshine State" slogan on the Welcome to Florida sign. A few months later, my uncle flew in to see our new house in Altamonte Springs and enjoy Christmas with us. Some snow was reported in Orlando at the time, but what I remember are the power failures. It was nearly Christmas by candlelight. Despite the possibility, I do not expect any noteworthy white stuff. On the other hand, based on the beautiful sheets of ice on my car the past two mornings, any overnight rain will no doubt be frozen and slick just in time for my morning drive to work—with the 50,000 college students back in town this week, no less. My only hope is an increase in temperature for next weekend when I am scheduled to camp in O'Leno State Park. Camping in the winter is one thing, but when it is this cold in Florida it usually means the humidity is extremely low as well, causing Red Flag Warning conditions that make campfires inadvisable. More importantly, I'd like the chance to hike in the woods and otherwise be outdoors and so the warmer, the better.
Photo Credit: Lauren Gleason Patten

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