This is what the precipitation map looked like all day yesterday:
I’m sorry this isn’t the animated version, so you could see the way those cotton-ball areas of snow park themselves over certain coastal stretches and stay and stay and stay. Some of you non-Midwesterners may not be acquainted with what we call “lake effect” snow, but that’s it, right there. It’s why western Michigan driveways and parking lots need three-foot day-glo sticks along their edges to guide the plows, like they have in ski-resort towns. It’s why the east side of Cleveland can get heaps of snow while the west side doesn’t. (Or maybe it’s the other way around. Borden?) It’s why snow in Buffalo and Erie can be nearly apocalyptic. It’s why, coming home from Milwaukee to Indiana, you can be all, like, what a beautiful day for a drive, round the southern end of Lake Michigan and suddenly realize it’s going to be a blizzard clear to South Bend.
Cold air races across rising warmer air from a large body of water and bingo-bango, precipitation. Lake-effect snowfall is a wash for lake levels, as it represents only a temporary relocation of water, and all melts back into the lake in spring. Last year, we had a snowy winter that came from storms moving south-to-north, and that was a good thing for the 21st-century Saudi Arabia of H2O. All ur waters are belong to us.
If you’re interested, western Michigan got 13 inches yesterday. We have the lightest dusting, not even enough to sweep, much less shovel.
Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice. That’s our state motto. If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.
Maybe not in January.
So much for fifth-grade civics. How was your day? It’s Friday, traditionally my Exhale Day, although there won’t be much exhaling today — I’m meeting a student later to cut some video, and tonight it’s the middle-school Christmas dance, known hereabouts as “the winter formal,” although it’s not. Girls must wear dresses and boys, ties. But it will require a Getting Ready pre-party, and I gather we’re hosting. So I’d best pull up my socks and get it in gear. Some bloggage? Oh, why not:
I’m not nearly as well-traveled as you might think, and certainly less than I’d like to be. For instance, I’ve only been to Los Angeles once, but the city has stayed with me. The hills and canyons were so strange to a flatlander like me; I found it fascinating how you could be in an unmistakably urban area one minute, take a right turn and two lefts, and be in some cleft in the hills that felt entirely off the map. Ever since, I’ve wanted to live somewhere that strange. And while the Grosse Pointes are hardly L.A., Detroit offers enough strangeness and off-the-map feel for years of exploration.
All that talk of cutout cookies yesterday prompted Lex to send along instructions for making your own mad gingerbread men.
Tiger Woods nude photos? As one of my FB friends says, he needs to start talking, and the words he needs to say are SORRY SORRY SORRY SORRY SORRY SORRY SORRY.
Via Fark, the headline I never got to write: Snowball the overweight hedgehog is running and swimming his way back to health
Costco awaits. Have a good weekend.