Friday, February 27, 2009

From Sunshine to Hail in One Day!

I think I'm going to stop getting excited and writing posts about warmish sunny days from now on, since it seems that every time I do, we get slammed with a nasty bout of weather the next day! Actually, it's not as if the big cool down was not expected ... in fact light rain was forecast for today and we knew the warm weather would not last, but honestly! Hail in February? I've been trying to remember if we've experienced that since we've lived here, and I can't come up with a single instance where we have gotten hail this early in the year. As storm systems go, this was quite a colorful one on radar ... stretching from South Dakota across Minnesota and down into Iowa in lovely (threatening) shades ranging from blue, magenta, red, yellow and green ... for storm afficionados, there was a little bit of everything in this system! All morning it was dreary and gray, but early this afternoon the skies turned extremely dark and downright spooky (e.g. it was a dark and stormy afternoon) and right about the time I had to dial into a weekly conference call for work, the sky really opened up and let loose with all sorts of nastiness ... first loud thunder and lightning, then torrential rain and hail, all pouring down at the same time for the next 45 minutes or so. Out the window of my "office" I could tell it was hailing, but little did I suspect what was really going on down there until my call ended ... it seemed like there was a lull in the rain, so I decided to take Hanna out in between storms ... we got as far as the back door, I opened it, she looked out at the pouring rain and came right back in. She was having none of that weather! So I went to the front of the house to get a better look and from the porch steps, this is what I saw.... (click to enlarge all photos)
Regular readers will probably recall that our particular intersection is prone to flooding during heavy rains in spring and summer, but this has to be a first for February as well ... we're used to heavy snows, but flooding? Nope. But of course, as always every year, there are those fools who think they can just charge right through our flooded intersection with no problems, something they usually find out (too late) is exactly the wrong thing to do! By the time I went out, the car in the first photo had flooded out and had been abandoned, right there in the middle of the intersection ... it was removed later but still!

Over the years people have said that I "don't suffer fools gladly (or in any other fashion)" so I felt little to no sympathy for this person who thought s/he could drive right through a good three feet or more of standing water at the bottom of a hill where it flows rapidly from both the east and west sides of the road! Back in the day when we first lived here, we used to go out to help push out drivers from the intersection, but this happens so frequently in summer that we just shake our heads now and wish them luck for being so foolish.... Everyone who lives in the neighborhood knows this flooding happens during heavy rains and avoids the intersection, as do those who actually use their good judgment when driving in the area. I know that sounds really harsh, but honestly, some people just seem to refuse the watery world of evidence in front of them and think they're invincible ... so to the hubris filled go the spoils of the car's engine, interior and who knows what else.

The preceding two shots show how far the water made it up over the curb and to the base of the steps leading up to our house ... there was really no place for it to go, since the ground is still mostly frozen (and wet from melted snow) and the storm drains are so often overwhelmed that I had a view of what usually happens in June or July during heavy rains. The big difference, as you can see, is that instead of rain, this particular lake contains not snow, but hail! Yep, what Fernymoss said looked like "pond scum" when he saw these photos is the rest of the hail that had covered the street before the flooding started. And when he got home this evening, there were still quite a few piles of hail all around the place hours later, and for all I know, they're probably still there since the temperature quickly plunged down into the 20s at sunset (as if there was any real sun today).
Here's an example of how quickly the hail piled up ... this is the primrose bed next to the front steps, and as you can see, they're valiantly trying to revive themselves after being buried until just the past few days ... they're looking pretty bedraggled, but that's actually normal, and as soon as the weather moderates, they'll likely spring right back into action. At least it's the first sign of green we've seen in this particular bed! I just hope they don't get too enthusiastic too soon though because here's the most recent forecast for tomorrow:


FARfetched said...

Holy moly! I think we're getting that system today… they're predicting 2-3 inches with up to 4 in spots for today/tomorrow. They're showing snow for tomorrow night but with a low of 39, I don't know how that's going to happen… even if we see any, it would melt on contact (with anything).

Roses and Lilacs said...

You're lucky to be up on that hill.

We had heavy rains too. As you said, the frozen ground wouldn't allow water to drain so it filled up every dip and hollow. My yard was a swamp with standing water everywhere, luckily not too deep.
This morning it's all frozen. Has your intersection turned into a skating rink?

Shady Gardener said...

Ohmyword! That's a lot of water. I'm going to assume the drain was frozen? We had a similar situation in town, here. I wasn't going to even think of driving through it!!

Did it take long to go down, or do you have a frozen lake out front today? ;-)

Gail said...

It looked like it did last year for a minute there didn't it! Let's hope not! Has the water drained yet? Hannah is a smart girl...but you knew that...

We have had a similar weather system...and this morning it was 62 degrees and it's on its way down to the twenties in the next few nights.

Winter keeps blowing in from the west and north!


olivia said...


And yes, the stories you would tell of that intersection ... oy.

Hope you're staying warm and dry there!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey FAR,
That would be amazing if you got that system ... sure it's not another? But sounds like it blew through Marnie's neck of IL too, from what she says below.

It sounds like you're pretty safe from the snow if the forecast is correct, but I doubt it ever lasts long in Planet Georgia (except for that blizzard you mentioned recently).

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Marnie,
I thought that system was headed you and MMD's way ... hope it wsan't too damaging there. At least we didn't end up with a frozen lake ... the street usually does drain once the rain has passed, and they had city trucks in here last night vacuuming the drain and cleaning the street.

Right now it's just covered with more snow ... *sigh*

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Shady,
Good to hear you stayed out of the waters! I don't think the drain was frozen, it's just easily overwhelmed during heavy rains, and it did drain eventually yesterday so all is well here now.

Hanna wasn't crazy about the cold today though!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Gail,
Yep, I did have a few flashbacks of flooding, but the weird thing was seeing all that hail!

Sounds like everyone is having weird weather, and sorry about sending that cold down your way! Hopefully it won't last that long for you... stay warm!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey Olivia,
Yep, it's intersection time again, just a bit early! And yeah, you know I do have the stories, eh? :-)

We're fine, warm and dry. We even have an extra furry love staying here (Lacey) while Fernymoss' folks are on a trip. And Hanna is a super snuggler, so no worries there! She seems a bit miffed about Lacey staying here, but she's gonna have to get over herself! LOL

BTW ... we watched W&G Curse of the Were Rabbit again tonight ... I so love that movie! Always keeps me smiling and so many new jokes to discover each time!

boran2 said...

Oh my! Those are amazing photos. I hope that you didn't suffer any damage. Stay dry, IVG!

Sylvana said...

I hate hail!

That is a lot of water. Can they not put better drainage in that street if this is a continual happening?
I guess it is better that the street flood than all the yards!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi B2,
We were fine, no damage to us or the house ... even when it floods like this, it never gets much further than the edge of the steps and driveway. So far at least! Hope it stays that way... but after last year, who knows?

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Sylvana,
Nice to see you drop by! Yep, that's our intersection ... the city did come by and use the big vac on the drain (they do that several times a year) and cleaned up all the mud and muck pretty quickly after it receded. We suspect other neighbors complained, because these two drains do have a "history."

Yep, I hate hail too! And these were big ones!

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

What strange weather! What a sight.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

That was quite a storm! Was definitely a February "first" for us!

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