I appreciate a snowy landscape as much as the next guy, but this is getting ridiculous. This winter is officially the snowiest ever recorded in Madison and it is still far from over.
We’ve had over 79 inches of snow so far with more forecast for tomorrow and Sunday. When we shovel out the end of our driveway (after the plows helpfully fill it with snow from the street) we have to carry the snow fifteen-twenty feet from where we pick it up because the snow mounds on either side of the driveway are already five feet tall. There are numerous spots around town where visibility is nonexistent due to large snow mounds. When I was at the curling club last night someone described the experience of driving around town as something similar to navigating a large white maze.
According to National Weather Service statistics, we’ve gotten measurable snowfall just about every other day this winter. Then, on the weekends we’ve gotten those arctic blasts of air that drop temperatures below zero. All of this conspires to keep outdoor ice skating rinks unusable (the snow insulates the ground and keeps the flood water from freezing) and the snow piles from shrinking (due to the extreme cold).
Many cities and counties are running out of salt for the roads due to the fact that they weren’t exactly planning for a historically snowy winter. Snow plow drivers are working sixteen hours days seven days a week and have been since December.
On a personal level, all this snow means that I haven’t ridden my bike at all this winter. In a normal year, we’d get snow and I’d take a day off from riding to give the City time to clear the roads. Then I’d likely be able to ride for a week or so before we got more snow. This year, we get snow one day so I don’t ride that day. The next day I take off to let the City clear the roads and the very next day it snows again! Argh!I enjoy winter at some level and fully expect that we’ll get some cold and snowy weather but this is winter taken to an extreme. When you’re in Antarctica you expect some cold and maybe even some snow so you aren’t disappointed that cold and snow are all you get. When you live in Madison, expectations are a bit different and un-ending snow and cold are greeted less amiably.