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Last night at 3:00 in the morning the phone rang (never a good thing at that time of day). On the other end was my morning meteorologist Rebecca Kopelman. Many of you on this site know her as RK. In a panicked tearful voice she explained to me how she was stuck in the 8" of snow that clogged the road in front of her house. Before she asked I chimed in that I would be on the way to assist her as soon as I could get dressed.

The rescue party consisted of Carolyn (my wife), Nimbus Robert Swails (the weather dog) and me. With our boots and shovels we arrived on the scene. After a few minutes of strategic shoveling we got her Honda back in the driveway.

Above: Nimbus in rescue mode.

In a flash we had her and Nimbus in the backseat of my Ford Explorer from Dahl Ford. The 4 wheel drive was powered up and worked to perfection as we broke trail. We deposited Rebecca at the doorstep of KGAN shortly after 3:30am. A happy ending to a Florida girls Iowa nightmare.

Flash forward to Tuesday morning. After getting to bed after 4:00am, Carolyn and I are back up tag teaming the chore that is shoveling the driveway. We're inching our way towards the street where the plows have buried the end of the driveway with 2 feet of heavy crusted snow. For perspective, facing us is a 40 foot long, 5 foot wide rectangle of snow that's 24" deep. We look at each other determined, knowing full well this is going to be a half hour of hard labor.

At that daunting moment, a fine looking pick-up truck with a snow plow came round the bend. As it got closer it rolled to a stop and a smiling young man asked me if we could use a little help. Next thing I know he has the end of the driveway clean while his partner slicked out the sidewalks.

These fine young men saved us from a back breaking job and didn't ask for a thing. In fact, I never even got their names since they did their work and left so quickly. I did find out that the plow belonged to Mike Vaughn out of Solon, a pretty good hike from my place in Marion. I wanted him to know how much we appreciated his good deed. I also thought I would put up his business card in case any of you needs a first rate snow plower. He comes highly recommended by me! Mike if you're reading this thanks again for your kindness and generosity.

Now that I've had a chance to think about these two events I've again been reminded of the golden rule... do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I helped Rebecca and in less than 12 hours a stranger came to help me. For what it's worth, I don't think it's a stretch to imagine how much better the world would be if we all did more of this.

Well, all this talk of snow deserves a map with the actual totals. Here's some from the Iowa Mesonet.

Here's a regional perspective.

Following the passage of the storm very high winds raked my area with gusts as high as 48 mph in Cedar Rapids. Severe blowing and drifting snow was reported in much of the region from Cedar Rapids northwest. HWY 218 from near Waterloo through Vinton and on to HWY 30 was reported impassable for more than 12 hours due to whiteouts and drifts up to 4 feet. Here's a picture from a snow plow showing near visibility south of Vinton Tuesday afternoon.

This image shows the drifts which had of 218 down to one lane travel.

Wednesday much improved weather is anticipated as the sun returns and winds relax. It will be cold but overall a much better day than Tuesday.

For my area and much of the central Midwest the weather is likely to remain quiet until the weekend. Saturday night and Sunday the next chance of snow arrives with an over-running type set-up. Early indications are that several more inches of snow are possible. We are a few days away so revisions can be expected but here are the early forecasts for snow.


The EURO regional perspective.


I'm going to call it a day now as I'm far behind on sleep and energy. However, I still have enthusiasm for the overall pattern and will pick up the pace next post. Roll weather...TS

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