Clear and Cold

Time 10:30 AM, Temp 22.6° F, Dew Point 1.9° F, Wind 5 mph ENE, Humidity 40%

Gibralter Road on South Fidalgo
Our Fraser Valley nor'easter continues, but the low that delivered snow yesterday has moved into Idaho.  South Fidalgo got about 2 inches (5 cm) of snow and our temperature this morning dropped to 19° F/-7° C.  Seattle is pretty much shut down and I don't think there are any schools open in the greater Puget Sound region.  We were lucky here, but some spots got as much as 10 inches/25 cm of snow.  The power pole in the photo does not lean due to bad camera work.  This is part of the aftermath of the 1990 landslide that affected a stretch of South Fidalgo shoreline, but that's another story.

Today it is sunny and beautiful, but very cold by our standards.  This gave me a chance to try out the "Snow" setting on the camera.  It seems to work well.  With a slight breeze, the wind chill was about 16° F/-9° C.  This was enough to make bare ears start to sting quickly so my photo hike was cut short.  This is what 19° F does to Nasturtiums:

There is intense fragrance of Nasturtium foliage in the patio.  Ice crystals probably burst the plant cells releasing the aroma to the air.  When the ice melts, the plants will collapse totally.  Rhododendrons don't take kindly to cold weather either:

The leaves commonly droop in the cold and the plant will look fairly decrepit.  Unlike Nasturtiums, when the weather warms again, they will perk up and return to normal.  Despite the cold and snow, the birds are out foraging today:

The front patio looks like a scene from Hitchcock, only kinder and gentler.  This is where most of the feeders are.  I scattered some extra seed on the patio for the ground feeders, Juncos and Towhees.  They seem to appreciate it.  The Starlings showed up at the BirdCam, so I had to take it down for a while.  They are such disgusting, gluttonous creatures.

For some geeky science, your word for the day is "sublimation."  In very cold weather, the snow does not melt but it does sublimate.  This is when water moves from the solid state directly to the vapor phase without first becoming a liquid.  It is why snow will disappear in cold weather without ever melting.

The cold is supposed to continue for one more day, before warming up on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day.  Getting over the river and through the woods will still be a bit difficult on Wednesday.  Stay warm everybody.


  1. Chilled all around. Currently here it's 14F with a wind chill of 8F.

  2. Great pics! I feel cold just looking at them! Stay safe and warm!


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