Deck Officer: Sir, Commander Skywalker hasn’t come in through the south entrance. He might have forgotten to check in.
Han Solo: Not likely. Are the speeders ready?
Deck Officer: Not yet. We’re having some trouble adapting them to the cold.
Han Solo: Then we’ll have to go out on Tauntauns.
Deck Officer: Sir, the temperature’s dropping too rapidly.
Han Solo: That’s right. And my friends out in it.
Assistant Officer: I’ll cover sector twelve. Have com-control set screen alpha.
Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back
When Iowa and the rest of the upper midwest decide to have a blizzard, they don’t play around. Although our on-the-ground snow fall total of a little over a foot isn’t anything to write home about – peshaw, we used to get up to three feet at a time at least once a year back in West Michigan and Dad Windu routinely pushed that off his car in the morning while at school up at Michigan Tech - this place has wind like I can hardly believe. It takes that foot of snow and WHIPS it around. It’s absolutely blinding. The snow blows this direction to that, up and down, and all around. If I read that snow here sometimes flies inside out, I’d be inclined to believe them. And when the straight line winds decide to kick in… Oh boy, they spin that snow upwards of 40-50 mph.
And they close highways down here. Literally. They close them down. With gates. You no go, cowboy. Stop. Un uh, not gonna happen.
It’s for good reason, too. I must admit, it’s hard to take weather advisories seriously when they use the word “blizzard” in the same sentence as “4-9 inches of expected accumulation”. Drivers like Dad Windu who blasted through “real snow” in the UP (Michigan’s Upper Peninsula) and semi-truck drivers who meet every type of lousy weather condition as just another bump in the road, simply roll their eyes and push on through. I’m so glad we live within blocks of his job and he was able to just sidewalk-skate into work today because he would have been on the roads bright and early, damned be the conditions. He’s got a DEADLINE, ya know.
But our little local blizzards are serious. The state police shut down I-35 (a main north-south connector highway, MN and TX) due to zero visability last night and it’s continuing into today due to a 25 car pile up that has left 2 dead already. I-80 is also still closed in spots due to semi-trailers jack-knifed across all or most lanes. Every school in our larger viewing area was closed. The colleges were all closed. All state government offices were closed until noon. The downtown shops were almost all closed. And good on them! I hate to think that anyone unnecessarily put their lives on the line so that I could buy more stuff I don’t really need.
Stay safe out there, everyone. And all you folks in the line of… well, snow? Yeah, take it seriously.