Well, the big blizzard that’s swept the northern and eastern US hit Chicago with a vengeance. Both airports are closed tighter than Scrooge’s wallet, the snowfall (still going on) is predicted to drop up to twenty inches, Lake Shore Drive is closed, and, for the first time since I’ve been at the U of C (that’s 25 years!), they’ve closed the University and canceled classes. Only “essential personnel” are asked to be here, but of course I struggled in. Neither snow, nor sleet, nor gloom of night can keep Dr. Coyne from the swift arrival at his appointed job.
Here are some photographs (click to enlarge):
This is the view out my lab window at about 3 p.m. yesterday; the snow was just starting to fall. Across the street is the Regenstein library: the main undergraduate library here. My car is the second in line (I had driven in the day before, hoping to drive to the south side for ribs one day this week).
And now (about 7:30 a.m. Chicago time):
I knew something was amiss when I walked out of my building this morning. This is the entranceway, which is INDOORS, connected to the outside only by the open grate at the upper right. All that snow had blown in overnight. The winds were so strong—and still are— that they drove the snow into my face, making it feel as if it were being pricked with needles. It hurt!
I tried to walk to work (normally an 11-minute journey) in the streets, which had been plowed, but when I got near work I had to fight my way through snowdrifts that were several feet tall. The “normal” snow was up to my knees:
And the cars were getting buried, helped along by the wall of snow thrown up by plows:
After struggling through the drifts, I finally made it to work, exhausted. Here I am at the building door. My jeans were covered with snow up to mid-thigh, so I now have a space heater trained on my legs to dry the pants.
This is the inside of the building door. That snow has been blown in under the crack, which is tiny:
Outside our building is a lovely little landscaped pool known as Botany Pond. I published a picture of it on October 31; here it is this morning:
And here is my car. Looks like I’m not going to be getting those ribs any time soon!
UPDATE: Readers have sent in two more photos. Pinch-blogger Greg Mayer sends this photo of a snowdrift against his door in Racine, Wisconsin:
and reader daveau sends this cool photo of “snow lightning,” taken yesterday on the north side of Chicago by a friend’s sister’s friend: