The weather is getting fierce again. Blizzards and whiteouts (a whiteout occurs when the wind blows snow and drastically reduces visibility) with temperatures dropping down to -15 or more farenheit with windchills (windspeed increasing the impact of the cold on skin) dropping down to -40 and more. Highways have been closed and National Guard armories opened to accomodate the stranded travelers.

One of the interesting things in all of this is that despite LaCrosse being several hours south of the Twin Cities the weather in winter is often more difficult. Cold winds blowing down from Canada meet warm air coming the southwest US in Iowa and southern Minnesota / Wisconsin. The result is snow and while there wasn't a bit of it here just an hour south of us roads were closed because people couldn't see. Add the hills, valleys, and generally rural topography around LaCrosse and things can grind to a standstill quite quickly.

Of course there's very little to be done. Everyone just needs to be careful and wait for things to blow over. This is the least charming part of winter. There's nothing of the Currier and Ives gentle winter scenes in all of this. It's just flat out cold and brutal. I wonder on days like this how the first people to live in this area ever survived things like this and the settlers who followed as well.

What else can be said? It's just a good day to be somewhere else.

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