Arb Sightings 12/17/10

Posted on December 17th, 2010 by

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Well, I think it’s safe to say that we’re overflowing in both lemons and lemonade here in southern Minnesota. This past weekend’s expected snowstorm was indeed the monster blizzard that had been predicted, dropping up to two feet of snow in some Twin Cities locations. Here in St. Peter we saw 13 inches fall between Friday night and early Sunday, but not before we received about an inch of slick ice first. The National Weather Service urged drivers to stay off the roads throughout the southern half of the state on Saturday, even closing major state and interstate highways, calling any vehicular travel “extremely dangerous” due to the heavy, blowing snowfall and near-zero visibility.  The big surprise for many in the Twin Cities came early Sunday, when the roof of the Metrodome collapsed due to heavy snow covering the inflated material (it seems that not even Mother Nature is a Vikings fan this year). This storm has been called the most intense storm since the Halloween Blizzard of 1991, and will certainly go down as one of the largest snowstorms ever (in terms of snowfall) in the history of southern Minnesota.

I wish I could say that’s it for snow this month. Unfortunately, that’s all it would be–a wish. On Wednesday evening this week another snowstorm hit southern Minnesota and continued through yesterday afternoon, adding 8 more inches to our ever-increasing amount of snow here in St. Peter. The next ten days’ forecast predicts a reprieve this weekend with just a small chance of flurries tonight and tomorrow, and then sunny weather on Sunday. On Monday and Tuesday however we have another good chance at a snowstorm, tapering off to smaller chances of snow for the remainder of the week and into next weekend. The good part about this weather system is that the bitter sub-zero cold seems to have departed, and thus temperatures should be tolerable as highs remain in the teens and 20’s.

Looking west from the Interpretive Center, 12/17/10.

Here are some other highlights from this week in the Arb:

– Raccoon observed just north of Interpretive Center parking lot early morning 12/17 (Raccoons are rarely sighted in the Arb)

– Crabapple trees around Interpretive Center and across campus still holding majority of fruits 12/17

– Up to 11 Black-capped Chickadees visiting feeders behind Interpretive Center 12/15

– Fresh White-tailed Deer, Eastern Cottontail, and Gray Squirrel tracks in snow east of Interpretive Center 12/13


**Due to the college’s winter break, the next scheduled update of “Arb Sightings” is Friday, January 7, 2011.


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