Insane snowfall

We are expecting the storm of the year today in the Twin Cities. I’m looking at a weather map, and there is snow everywhere around Minneapolis and Saint Paul, including where I am. Events have been canceled. The whole nine yards (important planning related sports metaphor).

Yet when I look outside, I see not one flake of snow, and when I look at the news on TV I only see stories about a revolution happening in Mexico.

What is going on here, people???


  1. #1 Stephanie Z
    February 26, 2009

    It finally started here (downtown Minneapolis) a few minutes ago. It is already sticking, though.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    February 26, 2009

    I’m now on the St Paul campus and it is snowing ermines and wolves.

  3. #3 humorix
    February 26, 2009

    Have a look to the réfrigerateur, he has to have (!) it there

  4. #4 Stephanie Z
    February 26, 2009

    No squeaks, growls or baying and I can still see to the street, so it’s not quite that bad here, at least not yet.

  5. #5 Jim Fiore
    February 26, 2009

    Define “insane”.

    Redfield, NY, about 40 miles from my house, is on track to reach a season total of 400 inches of snow this year. Yes, that’s right, over 33 feet. That’s the sort of thing being elevated and downwind from one of the Great Lakes can do. Here, we’re at about 1/4 of that and our local record is much more modest at somewhat under 200 inches for a season.

  6. #6 dean
    February 26, 2009

    “…it is snowing ermines and wolves”

    That’s, er, disconcerting.

    Local colloquialism, or coined on the spot?

  7. #7 marilove
    February 26, 2009

    It is 75 here in Phoenix right now 🙂

  8. #8 CyberLizard
    February 26, 2009

    Supposed to be 82 on Saturday here in Orlando. I’ll think of y’all while running around in nothing but skivvies… wait, that didn’t sound right.

  9. #9 Anne Gilbert
    February 26, 2009

    It snowed here in Rain City Otherwise Known As Seattle early this morning. When I got up there was about 2 inches, at least on roofs. But the sun was shining, and I knew it was going to melt in a hurry, which it has. That means I can go out and buy a bunch of cans of cat food for the humgry cat. I hope it does the same where you are.

  10. #10 Greg Laden
    February 26, 2009

    The truth is we don’t get much snow in the twin cities, or for that matter, across most of Minnesota except in the Snow Tongue, a swath of land running southwest of Duluth.

    But today, I drove 25 minutes in one direction had a couple of meetings, and then drove 2 hours in the other direction to get back home. It’s really freakin’ snowing out there.

    Ermines and wolves … We always say that, don’t we?

  11. #11 Doyle
    February 26, 2009

    Just to go off on an irrelevant tangent, I believe “the whole nine yards” is a military metaphor rather than a sports metaphor.

  12. #12 Greg Laden
    February 26, 2009

    Doyle! Seriously?????? It is not a football metaphor? No way!

    Is it because the trenches were nine yards apart or something?

  13. #13 Stephanie Z
    February 26, 2009

    It’s a several different kinds of metaphor. The origin depends on who you ask. I’ve always heard it in relation to kilts. If I recall correctly, Ben’s formal kilt is nine yards of tartan.

  14. #14 Silver Fox
    February 26, 2009

    Yeah, I used to think it was football, too – but there are ten yards for a 1st down. Wikipedia – and what I’ve read elsewhere – “nine yards was the length of an aircraft machine-gun ammunition belt.”

  15. #15 Brad
    February 26, 2009

    I saw an explanation that it was nine yards of material to make a wedding dress ie. the whole nine yards was formal, complete and official or something like that.

    Also, a suggestion that the expression started with machine gun belts in WWII fighters being 27 feet long. Giving someone the actual or metaphorical whole nine yards was a Bad Thing from the receiver’s point of view.

  16. #16 Cal Harth
    February 26, 2009

    ” It’s really freakin’ snowing out there.

    Ermines and wolves … We always say that, don’t we?”

    We always say that in Minnesota when it snows and blows like it did today. Everyone knows that Ermine are winter weasels turned white. The wolves are the white ones from the artic. The wind gusts twist and turn the blowing snow to look just like the them both.

  17. #17 Doyle
    February 26, 2009

    I have seen a number of proposed origins for the phrase, but it seems to have first gained widespread use in the military

  18. #18 Monado
    February 26, 2009

    PZ Twittered that it was snowing in Morris, MN, this morning and that the Trophy Wife(TM) couldn’t get to work.

    We’re having crazy weather in Toronto: bitterly cold for a couple of days, then thawing. It was -6 C yesterday, it was 3 today, raining tonight, going up to 9 tomorrow and then crashing down to -13 overnight. (Does anyone need a translation? 21, 37, 48, 9 F.)

  19. #19 TonyC
    February 27, 2009

    I’m in Atlanta, and it’s been appallingly cold this winter! We’ve even had snow! (little itty bitty flakes that melt before they hit the ground, admittedly, but real snow nonetheless!)

    How far south do I need to go to stay warm all year! (as a lifelong atheist I need to acclimatize for my eternity in hell, you see 😀 )