While it is 13 degrees in Seattle, it is in the 30's in Fairbanks and Anchorage and 40's in Kodiak. Snow is serious business in Seattle: it doesn't happen often, and when it does, all chaos breaks loose. The same is true when it rains in the winter in Fairbanks: the streets turn into ice skating rinks, quite literally. It sounds like the weather in Fairbanks right now is similar to February 2003 when it rained in Fairbanks and the icy roads were covered in water. I remember that you could barely walk around campus without falling.
It started snowing in Seattle on Monday and I opted not to go to school based on my previous experiences trying to get to and from campus in the snow. I usually ride the bus or bike and neither is a very good idea in these conditions. Buses often get stuck, run extremely late or never, and if they do run, they sometimes run alternate routes. I've spent my fair share of time waiting for buses in the snow and if I can avoid it, I won't do it again. After hearing about the horror stories of people stuck on I-5 for 11 hours in the middle of the night trying to get home, I'm very grateful that both Ryan and I had the flexibility to not go to work!
Today it was beautiful and clear with a good 3" of snow on the ground at our house. UW closed the campus today and I think a lot of people stayed home if they could. Being snowed in is a good excuse to walk around our neighborhood. Yesterday we walked to the grocery store and today we walked to a restaurant to meet some friends who were just passing through Seattle for the day. It makes me think that we really should be walking more, but alas, hopping in my car and being at the grocery store in 2 minutes is just so convenient - and so American.
In addition to the snow, it has been a bit blustery here too. It started on Saturday and shortly thereafter one of our lovely neighbors came over to tell us that part of our (new) roof was coming off. Ryan was on it immediately and it looks like he did a great job gluing/nailing it back down because it's held ever since. Ryan and his dad with the help of some of our friends re-roofed the back portion of our house about a year ago. Seattle is not normally very windy and I think the winds we had this weekend were the strongest our new roof has ever seen. Last night it blew about 20 mph with gusts up to 35. I read that there were widespread power outages and I am so glad we haven't lost power. We have electric heat (no woodstove or fireplace) and I would hate to find out how well (or not well) insulated our house is on the coldest day I have ever experienced in Seattle.