White Snow, Blue Skies

It isn’t often in St. Louis that we get the kind of weather that’s characterized the last few weeks. Up until February hit, it had been a mild winter so far, with just one significant snowfall at the tail end of January. It seemed there was a chance that we might just ease into an early spring.

And then it hit. Single digit temperatures, arctic winds, and snow on snow on snow. These things have been known to make an appearance once or twice a winter in St. Louis, but rarely for long. This time though, the persistence of the cold gave us a sight we rarely get to see here: snow that stuck around through sunny days. Too often, our snowfalls, no matter how glorious, turn to grey slush or melt away completely within a day or two. It’s just not cold enough for it to stick around, especially if the sun comes out. But days of subzero temperatures brought the gift sunlit snow glittering beneath blue skies.

That wasn’t the only unusual sight, either. This cold was deep enough freeze just about everything. Pipes burst, giant icicles hung from the bottoms of overpasses, Forest Park’s Grand Basin froze over so solid that park visitors walked across it with confidence. It was a cold so brutal that when the high temperature for the day crossed 20 degrees, it suddenly felt like springtime. Even the birds were out and singing like it was an April afternoon. And the birds weren’t far off: with rain and warmer temperatures in the forecast now, the time for a thaw has come. Today’s snow will be tomorrow’s trickling slush, seeping down into the soil to give life to the seeds that are waiting there.

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