The Blizzard of 2007

The photo above shows the snow outside the bathroom window. The snow was halfway up many of the house windows and doors. Fortunately the porch is setup so the door opens inward for just this sort of situation.

Yesterday morning we had 18″ of snow by when we awoke – winter is finally here! Normally we have four feet of snow on the ground by now but this year we only had about a foot of pack. By the middle of the afternoon the temperature had risen to 3°F and the snow accumulation was at about 30″. This morning I estimate that the total snow fall was 34″. It is rather hard to tell though because of the strong winds that picked up yesterday evening. They caused drifting, burying some fence lines and revealing others. With extra hay the animals all bedded down and just waited out the storm as did we.

It continued snowing all day today while I plowed us out and the kids shoveled the finer details. Then in the afternoon they enjoyed the tremendous snow banks I had created with the tractor. It is hard to imagine how one would plow out deep snow like this without a bucket loader. I was very glad for the tractor! Doubly glad since Brent called to say they were overflowing with whey and asked if we could take an early load. He arrived just as I finished clearing the road to the top where the whey tank sits.

One of the unusual things about this blizzard is that it was so cold at the time it snowed. Normally we don’t get snow when the temperatures are that low.

This is a panorama this morning after yesterday’s blizzard. The winds were so fierce that in some places I could walk on top of the snow because it had been packed. In other places the snow was cut away like on the south ends of the roof of the house. In other places there were four to eight foot drifts. The strawberry level whey trough was buried under about five feet of snow as it is in the lee of a bank and stone wall. That affords protection from the winds for the pigs while they dine.

This photo of the tractor bucket gives an example of what happens in the lee of the storm winds. It was empty last night and it is facing south, away from the wind. The wind dropped snow inside the bucket where it accumulated and packed hard even though the bucket is tipped downward a bit. I don’t normally leave it up in the air like this – I was using it for slaughter last night and the winds had been so strong I hadn’t gone back out to lower it after carrying the last quarters in to the house after dark. Doing slaughter at 0°F in high winds is not recommended nor was it intended – another day’s story.

Outdoors: 3°F/-9°F Blizzard, 34″ Snow, High winds in evening
Farm House: 55°F/46°F eight logs
Tiny Cottage: 50°F/46°F no work

Outdoors: 15°F/0°F 4″ light snow all day, Partially Sunny, High winds all day
Farm House: 60°F/50°F eight logs
Tiny Cottage: no data – not shoveled out yet

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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7 Responses to The Blizzard of 2007

  1. Anonymous says:

    I bet that cold made slaughtering a very fast paced task. We’ve only had about 4 foot up here in Anchorage. But that was early on and now we have about 16 inches of hard pack. Well, enjoy the snow and the hams. Chris

  2. As fast as I could go but with cold fingers I probably went more slowly as I wanted to make sure I was cutting the meat and not me. :) The biggest problem was washing down the hide before beginning. I did have hot water via a hose but with the wind it was a… shall we just say, an interesting task. The tractor bucket and I ended up iced. Thank Walmart for heavy, full-body work suits!

  3. Here’s my son Will’s view of the blizzard. Take a look and leave comments! The kid’s love getting comments left on their blogs. Here’s Ben’s blog too.

  4. EllaJac says:

    Walter, the link to Ben’s Blog takes me to the same one as Will’s…

  5. EllaJac says:

    K, Walter, I think I added a NoNais thingy to my blog. It didn’t give me much choice as to WHERE to put it, so it’s very prominent. :) Thanks!

  6. tk says:

    I have my routine of checking for a new post on your blog everyday. I am a vet from Thailand trying to finish graduate school here in Ohio. Reading your stories give me a dream of having a pastured pig farm when I go back home. Well!! Just a dream :)

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