Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My "Worst" snow days are in the fall season!!

I'm not a snow kind of lover. It's OK in the mountains, except when I'm hiking in the non-winter season, but I prefer rain in the valleys and perhaps that's one plus to the so-called global warming or climate change -- warmer winters.
Anyway, I've realized that my three worst snow days were all in the fall and all were 25-plus years ago!
Perhaps it is because you don't expect snow in early fall. But here's my look back at these 3 worst snow days.
(Since I used my diary to write these, they are much more accurate than with just my memory to rely on ....)
1. Oct. 18, 1984: It required 10 minutes just to scrape the snow off my car, a very wet type.
There was a big accident on Highway 89 in Farmington involving dozens of vehicles.
Salt Lake City got hit worst, but fortunately I drove to an express bus stop to ride public transportation to work.
"I could barely push the bus door open" to get out in downtown Salt Lake, as the snow was a foot deep and heavy.
Many tree branches broke from all the heavy white stuff.
It also snowed the following 2 days, though not as hard.
2. Sept. 21, 1984: Yes, 1984 was one of those record wet years in northern Utah and even the surrounding region.
I'm in Yellowstone National Park on Sept. 18-21. It is 84 degrees on Sept. 18. The Temperature drops to only 80 degrees on Sept. 19, but my wife and I hike to Shoshone Lake that afternoon, a 6.6 mile roundtrip, mostly flat.
By Sept. 20 it is windy, cooler and cloudy. At night staying at Yellowstone Lake Lodge, it starts to rain.
Sept. 21, 1984 -- It is snowing, but not sticking by 9 a.m. at Yellowstone Lake, As we check out, the hotel attendant said the south and north entrances are already closed, due to heavy snow.
It was "the wettest snow I had ever seen," I wrote in my diary. We had to drive north and follow a snow plow and then head west to the west gate at West Yellowstone.
The snow kept clogging and jamming up under the car's rear fenders. The muffler finally came loose, as the snow essentially torn it off and we had to stop in West Yellowstone and get it repaired.
It was only 36 degrees when we got to West Yellowstone.
At home, in Layton, it was 50 degrees, and no snow there.
(Sept. 21 was also my first wedding anniversary... and also the first official day of fall...)
3. Oct. 1, 1971: It snowed a couple of inches that day and was still an inch or more on the ground that afternoon for a Roy High School cross country race I was in.
I didn't expect any snow that early. I won the race, but this was one of the earliest snowfalls on record for the Wasatch Front valleys.

(ABOVE HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPH IS OF CARS STUCK IN SALT LAKE CITY DURING THE WINTER OF 1948-49, considered by many weather experts to be the state's worst ever winter. Fortunately I wasn't born then ... Photo is courtesy Utah Center for Climate and Weather.)

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