Saturday, January 09, 2010

The big white sheet of granular, frozen snow over Atlanta decided to freeze solid and turn into a big white sheet of ice. Friday morning, driving on the road in front of my house was like driving on a hockey rink, and I couldn't get my car up the roads leading out of the little valley in which I live. I was trapped on my block and couldn't go to work at my new job until mid-afternoon, when the sun warmed the dark asphalt enough to finally melt off some of the ice.

Of course, as soon as the sun went down, that melt water just refroze into black ice. When I got home from work, I couldn't make it up my own driveway and had to park on the street overnight.

As noted here before, it's been unusually cold here in Atlanta since the New Year began. The front that brought in the snow, however, dropped the temperatures lower still. My poor, over-matched furnace and I were struggling with temperatures down in the 20s; this morning, following the snow, temperatures were down on the teens.

I spent most of today at a "retreat" ("retreat" here being a euphemism for an all-day meeting) over at Emory University with the Beltline Advisory Committee. The meeting room was a lovely facility with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking trees with snow-draped branches. However, it proved impossible to keep those big windows from soaking up all the interior heat. The room was freezing; the thermostat read only 49 degrees F. It was perversely gratifying to see that even a learned university like Emory was no more adept at keeping up with this freakish cold than was my little house.

I've seen it cold here in Atlanta before (the dirty little secret of the city is that we get fairly cold winters, with temperatures usually hovering in the 30s and 40s and lots of freezing rain), but I've never seen it this cold for this long.

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