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Fargo should have been the least of my concerns!

Bloomington Weather StatsThis has been an interesting trip – at least weather wise – and not always in a good way.

From the moment I planned this trip I was most worried about Fargo and it’s extremely cold temperatures. Instead I’ve experienced a miserable snowstorm in Denver that made driving a challenge and, Tuesday afternoon in Bloomington, freezing rain that makes walking a challenge.

I just got back to my hotel. Thanks to a friend driving me to the city center, I only walked a few minutes: from a parking space to Bloomingfoods, a nearby organic grocery store, and then back to my hotel.

Ice at IUThis particular freezing rain storm is not that sever – at least from my perspective, but it does remind me of the first time I ever experience freezing rain, back in spring 1993.

Freezing rain is something that just doesn’t happen in Colorado, so I was greatly surprised when, the morning after the storm, I was able to walk on a thick sheet of ice over my suburban apartment complex’s lawn. My hefty weight did not crack the ice.

While that was amusing, less amusing was the at least and inch and a half thick sheet of ice over my car. I don’t recall exactly how many days it was before my car was freed from its icy tomb, but I do recall discovering de-icer in a can, and after that winter, I always kept at least two cans of it on hand, just in case.

As far as I can tell, Bloomington has shut down this afternoon. The university canceled classes from 2:30 Tuesday afternoon until at least 10:00 Wednesday morning. I wanted to poke my head in a nearby shop: it was closed. Good thing, as it turns out, because I got to Bloomingfoods, only to hear the announcement that they were closing early: only 10 minutes after I got there.

Ice on the Square

9 comments to Fargo should have been the least of my concerns!

  • See, you should have packed your ice skates!

  • Jerry Faust

    Today is one of the days when I don’t feel bad about no longer being a Chicago resident…

  • “Hefty”. A fine word, that shows your Midwest roots.

  • No freezing rain in Colorado? Ever?

    I an remember making my way from Laramie, WY to Stapleton Airport in Denver and being on the bus driving down I-25. I was looking at traffic on the northbound side of the road spinning out on ice sheets caused by freezing rain. I also remember the bus driver saying, “This road sure is slick…”

    I think this happened at Thanksgiving break 1993 between Ft. Collins and Denver if I remember right.

    Perhaps it was a rare event? *grin*

    In other news, I wish I could believe my electronic thermometer today. It told me it was 93 degrees F, but then I realized it was out in the direct sun. I need to move it.

  • MT – Fox 59 news show video of somebody ice skating down a street…

    Jerry Faust – you probably wouldn’t miss Bloomington either.

    The Honourable Husband – Is it really that obscure a word?

    Cynical Queer – There’s a difference between what you experienced in Colorado and what happens in Indiana — that was probably something more like black ice — which I’ve experienced a lot of places. The freezing rain here is a horse of a slightly different color, especially how it builds up. I’ve never experienced anything similar to the freezing rain here, in my life, in Colorado. Roads do get slick in Colorado, but not in the same way.

    • I admit that was my first experience with freezing rain, but given my time on the east coast I can tell it as something similar I experienced in Colorado. As I said, probably a rare event and not the thick, thick coating of ice that normally accompanies freezing rain.

      I can remember having to chip my car out of an ice cocoon back east a few times. It’s one of the reasons that when I bought a house, I got one with a garage. 😉 If the car isn’t outside in the weather, no need to get it out of the iceberg it would otherwise be trapped in.

  • mateo

    My favorite tree in my apartment complex was toppled by this freezing rain! 🙁
    At least we didn’t get tons of snow on top of all that ice!

  • Midwestern freezing rain is a giant pain in the ass, but a very unique experience. We had a series of severe ice storms when I was in grade school in Kansas City, and the entire world was encased in ice. Streets, sidewalks, especially the trees – the entire city was motionless and silent, except for the distant cracks of tree branches breaking off under the weight of the ice. Completely incapacitating but truly beautiful.

  • mateo – Sorry to hear about the tree falling. While wandering around town today, I saw quite a few branches that had fallen due to the ice.

    Sarah – it is beautiful–and there was actually a layer of sleet under the ice, which made it a bit easier to get around, but sidewalks were still nasty today — and it started melting–but temperatures have plunged tonight so I bet it’s a sheet of ice in the morning. Good thing I’m not leaving first thing.