Monday, February 13, 2006

Ice Station Llama

The Llama Butchers blogged over the weekend on the big snowstorm that hit the east coast, and apparently they got quite a bit of snow. In the meantime, it was in the 50's here and sunny yesterday, so I took the opportunity to fire up the smoker and barbecue some ribs.

Before you get too jealous, East Coasters, just remember, we get our nastiest weather here in March, and February is usually our "flase spring". So this was a fluke. In fact, we're expecting a weather front later this week, with rain and winds, and the snow level is expected to drop to 3,000 feet. I'm only at 500, but I could drive to the 3,000 foot level in half an hour.

The thing is, down at sea level, we don't get it that cold usually here -- we sit right next to the world's largest thermostat (aka the Pacific Ocean), which prevents it from getting too cold in winter or too hot in summer. Now, my friends in SoCal or Texas will tell me that weather in the 30's is indeed cold, but my response to them is: Go visit Minnesota in February. 'Nuff said.

But we do get a whole lot of wet. And up in the Cacades, the weather gets colder, and all that wet turns to snow. So while even our mountains aren't as cold as the upper midwest, they're just as snowy or snowier. In fact, Crater Lake, Oregon averages 44 feet of snow per year. The road to the lake, as well as several other highways in the Cascades, get closed every winter, and some don't open till the snow clears in July.

I just hope the weather holds long enough to do a little grilling, too.

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