Last week the Chinook blew in strong and hard from the western seas. A Chinook might be a fish from where you hail from but in out here in Montana it is a foehn wind that blows in from the Pacific North West & is named for the Chinook People that lived near the ocean and on the Columbia River. When one of them Chinooks starts to blowing it don’t mean diddly squat that it is the middle of winter. In no time at all if will feel like spring. A strong Chinook can bring us out of double didgit below zero temps to 40 F and eat up a foot or two of snow overnight. Chinook winds on January 15, 1972 set a record here in Montana , Loma, Mt I believe it was..... within 24hrs it raised the temperature from -56F to 49 F above.
Now these winds can last anywhere’s from just a few hours to a couple of days and occasionally a week or two. Now those of you who have not the warm , invigorating Chinook winds of this country, cannot well comprehend what a blessing they are. The icy clutch of winter is lessened The earth throw’s off its blanket of snow. And we are able to venture forth to inhale the balmy spring like air. And Human and animals alike rejoice!
But unfortunately it also gets slicker than whale snot around here. As the winds eat up the snow and its moisture evaporates in the dry air of the wind it leaves the sheer blanket of icy below the snow for us to slip and slide on. No walkway, sidewalk, roads, lanes or pastures are immune. It gets right down treacherous. No one is brave enough to walk out their doors without some sort of traction device on their boots. Trying to walk up or downhill though on sheer ice even with cleats or tracks is quite an interesting proposition and becomes a spectator sport. because those of us wise enough not to even attempt such a feat , stand by or sit in our trucks as some poor soul makes an attempt to conquer the up or down hill ice.
But sooner or later we all get our chance to participate in the ice walk. May it be just from the vehicle to the door of a business, or in your own yard or feeding critters.
And speaking of critters. It is sure enough a challenge for them too. Ever watched a dog trying to chase a rabbit or a cat on a sheet of ice? No one is going anywhere fast.
Well with that picture in your mind I sign off.