Arctic Blizzards

Bliz•zard (‘blizərd) noun

noun: blizzard; plural noun: blizzards

  1. a severe snowstorm with high winds and low visibility.


As I type this at my kitchen table, looking out the three windows that open to my ocean view, I am listening to the fierce winds that rattle the 1950’s metal trailer house that I call my own. The wind takes small pauses and then starts up with a ferociousness that makes me thankful for a sturdy home, even if I question its sturdiness at moments like these.


On a clear day, I can see for miles and miles. The horizon seems never-ending. Almost as if I could really see Russia from my house. (JUST KIDDING. I CAN’T.) On blustery blizzard days, the gray clouds, flying snow, and white backdrop become each other and I can’t see past the line of pressure ridges…if I can see them at all.


Some nights, I listen to the wind howl as I finish a book in bed. Some weekends, I will have planned to go to school and do some work (aka use the internet) and I take it as a sign to stay home. Either way, I’m happy when it happens on Sunday because then I have options and I also know that there are no planes that were supposed to come that day anyway.


The strong winds here are a common occurrence. I suppose it is just a part of the climate and living on the coast. It makes me nervous to think what the waves look like with these winds when the ocean is not frozen at all. Although I enjoy the view, my house would be the first in the village to go under if the village flooded again.


These “blizzards” don’t always feel like blizzards from Minnesota. I say this because, although the wind is moving at up to 40 mph, the snow falls in finer, lighter, flakes. Sometimes there is very little snowfall, but the winds just blow around what is on the ground. When I think of blizzards back home, they always include heavy snowfall, strong winds, and thick wet snow that makes driving dangerous. Here, it would be impossible to land a plane and your face would freeze as you stepped off your porch, but I’ve seen some people drive by on sno-gos and the birds are seeming to enjoy themselves.

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No cancellations, late starts, or early outs…

This past week there was a pretty big blizzard, it lasted on and off for most of the week (see video). I had just finished shoveling off my porch when it started up. We got about a foot of snow (or at least the drifts on my porch were about that high). Planes weren’t coming in most of the week and our UPS/Amazon planes that normally come Monday, Wednesday, Friday didn’t make it at all…my shovel should be on the next plane in!