Tuesday, February 1, 2011

SNOMG! The Chicago Blizzard of 2011

So this is a nature photography blog (99% of the time) and nature is about to smack us around a good one, so I'm going to photoblog the "SNOMG!" storm of 2011.

If you live in the US you know by now, I'm sure, that the Midwest is getting hit with one doozy of snowstorm today.  Chicago news reports that it's entirely likely that this will be the worst snowstorm Chicago has *ever* seen.  Worse than 1967 when 50,000 cars were abandoned in the streets because they couldn't move.

I'm not going to leave my neighborhood.  There is no good reason for me to be on the streets.  (Though if I feel up to being cold for a few minutes, I kind of want to walk to the lake to see what's going on down there.)  I've gone out and set up a very homemade snow gauge and moved my car to a corner spot.  (One thing I learned from driving a rear-wheel drive truck for 8 years is that the corner spots are the spots to cop when it snows.  This way when the plows come through and pile up the snow along the side of your car, you can pull straight back or forward to get out.)

I am going to go out and shoot every hour or two - at least to hit the snow gauge - and document this storm.  It's about 22 degrees F here right now, but the winds are already kicking in.  I'm not a fan of coats or hats, so when I went out to set up, I layered up, but left my hat inside.  Big mistake.  My ears were very, very chilly in the ten or so minutes I was out there.  I think they said this morning on the news that it's about +5 F with the windchill figured in.  From what I see, temperatures are going to hover in these areas until after the storm passes.  Then we're going to start seeing highs in the single digits again.  Oy.

I'm not in the Loop or any area that's going to get a lot of news coverage.  I am near the lake, and they're saying that the lakefront can expect an extra six or so inches of snow, bringing the prediction for this area up to roughly 24 inches of snow - 2 feet!  That's like, 40% of my height!

I'll go down to take baseline shots at 11:00 a.m. today (2/1/11) and update frequently.  They tell us that what we got last night - an inch or two - was just a dusting and that the 'real' storm will start at around 3:00 p.m. this afternoon.

Obviously if it gets dangerous to go out, I'll stop doing that, but as I'm only going to be popping out for a minute, I should be able to keep checking the progress of the snow until I go to bed and then I'll check it again tomorrow when I get up and pick it up from there.

So sure, all the major news outlets will be covering this, but if you want more personal, local, photography-minded coverage, keep it here.  It's about to get interesting out there. ;)

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