Friday, February 12, 2010

02/09/10 February Winter Storm

Wind farm and snowy landscape outside Bradford, IL
rural-Stark County, IL

On Monday, another winter storm struck west-central Illinois and portions of the Midwest yet again. That probably sounds like a broken record this year huh? Currently, we are now running above-normal in regards to snowfall this year after this latest winter storm...a level not many including myself foreseen this past fall. That goes to show you how really complicated the atmosphere can be to forecast and once you think you have it figured out...Mother Nature has other ideas...This most recent winter storm brought a fairly widespread swath of 4-8" inches across eastern Iowa and west-central Illinois. Just outside Kewanee, IL I recorded 6.2" inches as our storm total (two-day event). Once again areas to the southwest received higher snow totals generally west of the Illinois River. The snow began to fall as an upper level trough combined with a low pressure system as it tracked through the Ohio Valley. Due to the slow-progression of the system and somewhat limited moisture this winter storm left us with a manageable snowfall. It wasn't 2 feet of snow like Washington D.C. and the Mid-Atlantic had to deal with last weekend, but nevertheless this storm still caused the usual travel problems in this area. You can find (SWOP) snowfall totals for this event from central Illinois here. Anyhow, after a really long winter in this area I decided to venture out after the snow event for some photography-work. Usually, I'm not a big fan of traveling after these winter weather events since even for a skilled winter weather driver all it takes is one wrong patch of ice to send you in a ditch or worse. However, in this case the roads quickly cleared thanks to the February sun-angle which allowed me to visit two wind farms in Stark and Bureau County. After the short drive I preceded to take a few photos of the wind farms that created some interesting winter scenes. I've added some of my favorites from this winter storm below:

One of my favorite shots...melting snow/wet pavement
the blue sky above...good stuff
Creek and the wind farm in the (background)
Wednesday morning sunrise with
blowing and drifting snow occurring
An odd snowdrift, the powdery nature of this snow
plenty of blowing and drifting to go all-around
Rural-road starting to drift-shut again...
Yet another creek in the local-area...
Now that's a snow drift...tip: always use light or
specifically (the sun-angle) to your advantage

(ex. find a good photo-op and come back when you
have the proper lighting you are looking for)
Snow drifts (foreground) and Stark County wind farm (background)
Rt. 91 outside the small town of Bradford, IL
These storage sheds seem to attract icicles after winter events...
Snow drifts about a foot deep in some areas...
A creek reflecting the pale-blue sky above
Early morning sunrise and yet another snow drift
A pretty large wind farm
IDOT snow plow ready to hit the
roads with a full load of salt

Actually, had some low stratus Wednesday morning that developed
as I arrived at this wind farm...doh!
(I decided to come back yesterday to get the deep-blue skies
I was originally looking for)

Small red barn amidst the snowfall
A wind mill on this farm and some horses in the snow
Yesterday's sunset along the snowy horizon

That concludes this post...since we are trending above normal now on snowfall this season I guess it's time to get on the "I'm-tired-of-snow" bandwagon finally...