Not too long ago I was on the topic of sandstorms or Haboobs with a few blog posts but also in conversation. Given the area that I live in these are more common than that of a blizzard. Mainly because I have never seen one here. The closest I got to see a blizzard was when I was visiting the nearby mountain ranges for work several years back. It was a different and eerily experience.
What Defines a Blizzard?
The weather phenomenon can be described as a snowstorm with high winds and low visibility. Of course where I live a regular snowstorm may seem like a blizzard to me because of the lack of snow my area receives every year.
What Many People Think Of?
Most people who are not accustomed to blizzards think automatically to The Donner Party, or movies like The Shining when they think blizzard. This is perhaps due to the eeriness that the weather creates.
I think of movies like the ones noted but I also think about movies like 30 Days of Night. The solitude that the snowstorm brings with it can help your mind stay focused on the eerie nature of everything around because most of the time there is little going on to distract you.
When I was in the storm in the nearby mountains it was strange for me to begin with. Not only were we unprepared for such a situation the power in the town was knocked out by the storm that night. That unfortunately prevented the heaters form working inside the hotel rooms where we were staying.
After we left the nearby pub, from having some food and drinks, the cold did not seem to bother us. The winds had finally seemed to die down at about the same time the power went out. Everyone seemed to go to their homes and we visitors had only the chilly hotel room to go back to.
As the night progressed some of the members of my work party decided to sleep it out in the diesel trucks were they could run the engine through the night and keep the heater on. I decided to stick it out in the hotel room with a large mound of blankets on top of me. But before we hunkered down for the night there was the exploring to do on the desolate town.
The streets were empty except for the occasional snow-plow clearing the roads. They did it to a bare minimum to allow emergency vehicles the ability to travel if need be. I believe the mountains received about two feet of snow that evening in the course of about three hours.
It was firm enough to walk on yet the crunching sound was the loudest thing that was heard while we walked around in the dark city not speaking much on our way back to the hotel. It’s weird how the absolute silence like that and the muffling ability of the snow can make someone realize how loud electricity is. How people can feel utterly alone at times when not hearing that familiar hum of electric.
The story itself kind of depicts my thoughts on the situation. The aloneness that a blizzard can bring to you is enough in itself to make the phenomenon creepy or eerie. It can also be the circumstances of wondering what damage has been done except for the obvious. Did everyone find shelter in time, what about the animals? Did their instincts give them fair enough warning? Is there something else out here right now? Hunting me, searching for the weak, the lost, or wounded in this silence that makes it so easy to hear its prey searching around.
And what about when the blizzard itself this, before the dead silence. What about the lack of vision of the cold stinging bite of frozen wind hitting your face like wet sand paper as you try desperately to see not only twenty feet in front of you but where you are in fact heading in the long run.
Thanks for Reading,
Joshua Crane Dowidat