Subzero Sunday

Subzero Sunday

Sunday, February 7—

Sun and subzero Sunday–Welcome to Chiberia!   Remember Chiberia? Here’s a post from years ago.

Brutally cold wind chills, the lake is steaming. The latest round of snow, from winter storm Peggy, is fortunately light and powdery stuff, and not too much of it.

I wore four layers to shovel and sweep off the front steps, and it was so bright blue sky  with the sun on the snow, and the fat little sparrows chirping on the neighbor’s roof. No one is out, not even the people walking their dogs.

Yesterday, there were people running in the streets. A little cold isn’t going to deter them. But I don’t see the runners today. Who can blame them with -20 wind chill?

So far, this winter has not been too cold, or too much snow.   It’s February now, and days are getting lighter.  There is so much to be grateful for.

It has been just over a month that an angry mob stormed the Capitol in an attempted coup. That we can’t forget!

President Biden has been busy since then. Yes, there is work to do.  Things are changing.

But there is one thing that hasn’t changed. One question I ask every winter.   It has mystified me in all the years I have lived in Chicagoland area. No, not Dibs, which is not unique to Chicago, by the way. Dibs, I can almost understand, even though I don’t drive or have a car.

No, what I can’t understand  are the gigantic mountains of snow piled up right at the corners, where people would cross the streets. For the most part, the sidewalks are shoveled. Right now this means there is a covering of snow on the walkways, a cleared path between rounded hills of snow.

Why are there mountains where people would be crossing the streets? It’s almost impossible to make your way over them–and dangerous, too.  If you have any clue about this, enlighten me. Please let me know in the comments!

Thank you everyone who has cleared the walkways. Dress warm and travel safely, all you people out, today.

Like this? Why not subscribe? Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.



Leave a comment
  • Thank you for a vivid post that makes me happy to have stayed inside all day. You make a very valid point about the snow mountains at corners. I wound up sitting on one by putting a foot wrong near it. As far as I can tell, the mountains are either "I can't leave this in the street" or "This is as far as I can go." But surely it doesn't take that much extra shoveling to clear at least a skinny path to the curb, eh?

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Thanks so much for reading! Yes, it was quite intense in the sun, today. As for the snow mountains, I think you're right about the end of the street--the crosswalk is an open space to leave the snow. People walking do make a narrow treacherous path over those mountains, too. It takes skill!

  • The mountains are undoubtedly placed there by the municipality, and unless the municipality then uses Bobcats to clear the sidewalks, are going to stay there.

    After a foot of snow, where is it going to go? While I live on a private street, the snow is all piled up next to the county road, so it is hard to see going out. Contractor told the Board that there would be an additional cost to haul it away.I'm surprised the board paid for salt this year.

    Surprisingly, it didn't feel that cold about 2 pm yesterday, and, predictably, my McDonald's coffee was still roraring hot when I brought it home, although my Big Breakfast was not (which is a recurring problem 11 months into the pandemic lockdowns).

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks for reading, Jack! Yes, there's a mountain in the cul-de-sac on the way to Walgreens---that's the Village plowing, I think. Kids do climb on it, but most of us have to take a detour around it. Surprisingly, the sidewalks along Roosevelt Road are more navigable this year.

    It did warm up a bit in the afternoon, didn't it? Not so subzero. Yes, 11 months of lockdown! I hope you are staying well, and doing okay.

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    Other than the bottom of the roll on the take out egg salad and a Big Mac collapsing, hanging in there.

  • "...we have internet..." And we have the Weather Girl, too. 7 years ago. The more things change, the more they are the same.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Oh, AW, so much has changed! But we do still have winter and weather. And your wonderful postings, too, thank you!

  • 1. You can rerun this headline next weekend. It is looking less like my prediction on The Quark that it would thaw in about a month is looking less good.

    2. Speaking of predictions, NOVA: Prediction by the Numbers included an interesting discussion of how weather modeling worked, including getting statistics from weather balloons, and applying equations dealing with fluid dynamics. The thesis was that small changes in information way out result in spaghetti plots, but they converge closer in time. The conclusion appeared to be that the models do not say that it will snow at a particular place, but the probability that it will.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks, Jack--Yes, it looks like snow and cold for a while, now. Stay warm!

    I'm sorry I missed that NOVA episode. Maybe they will re-run it?
    Tim McGill also discusses models and probabilities on his blog. It's fascinating!

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    I got it on 11.2 or 11.3, so it will be back, and there are references on

  • In reply to jack:

    That's great. I will definitely look for it again. Thank you Jack!

Leave a comment