My home city of Seattle was in the US news with snow this week. Yes, we are not used to – and cannot handle – a lot of snow. But calling it ‘Snowmageddon’ sounds like overblown media hype. I cannot say for sure since I was not there, of course! But even the statement ‘A record setting day at Sea-Tac! The snow total for today at the airport is 6.8″, far exceeding the old record of 2.9″ back in 1954′ is misleading. Wikipedia notes that in the largest snowstorm on record from Jan 5–9 in 1880, snow was drifting to 6 feet in places at the end of the snow event. It’s just that there was no Sea-Tac airport back then. Then there are the events that just unfolded in Nome, Alaska (red A on map) with one of the harshest winters in decades. Snow had piled up 10 feet or higher against buildings after a massive storm in November followed by temperatures dipping to -30 F (-34 C). This storm prevented them from getting their pre-winter barge fuel delivery. So the U.S. Coast Guard’s only operating Arctic icebreaker, the Cutter Healy, escorted a Russian fuel tanker called Renda through the ice-covered waters in the first-ever attempt to supply fuel to an Alaska settlement through sea ice. The fuel was delivered last week.
The weather here is mild and very nice .. the picture is from my commute in to work on Wednesday, of the Shenzhen Bright Oil pipeline supplying marine oil to a ship under broken clouds with the sun breaking through.