Icepocalypse 3.0

Last night around 8:30 PM, with no precipitation in sight or on weather radar, the Austin school district canceled classes for today. That’s right, this year we have lost THREE days because of the weather, plus had two delayed starts.

But the crazy thing about this one? School officials didn’t even wait for freezing rain to fall. Or even form in the atmosphere. Or think about forming in the atmosphere. Even though the weather forecasters gave it just a 20% chance, calling it “very light accumulation not even detected by the computer model,” that was enough for widespread cancellation. Because as soon as AISD canceled, every other district fell  like dominoes. My Facebook news feed was full of people making a “WTF?” face–it seemed too early to make that call.

This morning I woke up to… nothing. No ice, no rain. Yeah, it was 25*, but my street was clear and the television traffic reports showed no problems anywhere in the metro area. The weather guy said, “There really isn’t a lot happening out there, except some ice on windshields in Blanco County.” Which is about an hour southwest of here. So I built a fire in the fireplace and settled down with a second cup of coffee.

After a while, I got to thinking. I am supposed to run six miles tomorrow morning, but we have plans this evening that might make waking up at 6:15 tomorrow morning a bit of a challenge. Fridays are normally rest days, but what if I ran my six miles today, then slept in and took a rest day tomorrow? I let the idea swirl around in my head for a while, and then decided to brave the cold and get it done today.

When I left the house, it was 26* and dry. I had on two layers plus gloves, a scarf, and a hat. That first step out the door made my eyes water and my cheeks freeze, but nothing was falling from the sky to make it worse.

It’s funny to run through a community that’s supposedly closed down due to bad weather. Lots of cars were out and about (I mean, really, there wasn’t ANY ice!) but as I passed a couple of schools, the emptiness of the parking lots reminded me that we were supposed to be paralyzed by ice and trapped in our homes.

This school usually has an enrollment of 2500 students. Today, zero.

I encountered a few intrepid folks walking dogs, but for the most part there weren’t many people on foot out there. A police car had a truck pulled over, an ambulance sat outside an apartment complex, and at one point I heard sirens a few blocks away. But overall, it was quiet.

On the way back I noticed a light, fine mist starting to fall. It was almost undetectable–I’m certain it wasn’t enough for drivers to notice on their windshields, let alone cause trouble on the roadways. Gah. We will have yet another school makeup day tacked on to the end of the year–for nothing. Yeah, it’s cold, but even though cold is somewhat alien to us, we don’t close schools because of it.


Calling it a Wintry Mix was reaching a bit, I think.

I ended up running 6.5 miles, and I’m glad I got that done today so I can sleep in tomorrow. I never really warmed up, but it didn’t feel miserably cold either. I certainly appreciated the warm fireplace and hot shower when I got home, though!

Now, if this weather could get its act together, that’d be great. I live in the south for a reason—this weather is not it.

Did you get out and run today? What were the conditions like?


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