When I talk to people about how the weather changes so rapidly here (usually for the worse), people here often say, “Welcome to Indiana.”

I thought that there were times when the weather changed quickly in Vancouver. I remember one summer day a couple of years ago when it began as a beautiful day and then quickly became a lightning filled night (see article in the Vancouver Sun, or check out the lightning in slow motion, and A Day in Vancouver KatKam). Indiana’s weather change is a little bit more unpredictable and a bit more drastic.

One summer day in Indiana, B.B. and I were out on the lake on a beautiful sunny day. It seemed like it happened suddenly and within seconds; the sky turned grey and then black almost as if day had turned to night (it was the middle of the afternoon). I remember the sensation of my hair lifting off my head as the clouds swooped across the sky (on a smaller scale, it’s kind of like feeling a puff of air brush against your skin when someone suddenly slams a heavy door). The rain fell hard and fast and I couldn’t see very much in front of me. I got scared. We were in the middle of a lake in a little rubber boat. B.B. was not surprised and he was laughing a little because I was scared (I was paddling like I was paddling for my life). He assured me that this storm was “nothing.” We made it to shore, but we were completely drenched, and I was shivering from the cold and a little from fear.

Tonight, Indiana is in for another drastic change in weather. This time, it’s an ice storm. People have been talking about it all day. B.B. even called me at work to say that I should crank up the heat when I get home, put the car in the garage, get some food to keep us going for a couple of days, etc. He said that we may even make a trip to his parent’s house if our power goes out (they have natural gas to heat the house). Meanwhile at work, people are setting up contingency plans in case the weather is bad tomorrow (I’m leaning towards calling in and saying that I’m not coming to work).

I have no experience being in an ice storm. (In 1998, I was in Ontario and the temperature was around -40 with the windchill. I was extremely cold. I left Ontario the day before the infamous Great Ice Storm of ’98 hit. I didn’t leave because it was cold, it was a pre-planned trip and it was just luck that I got on a flight from Pearson Airport the day before the storm. I actually flew to Nova Scotia, which was also cold and they were bracing for the storm there, but it never arrived. However, I remember that there were quite a few blizzard days that winter in NS). I stopped off at the store to pick up a few things, mostly non-perishable food, a first aid kit (we should have gotten this a long time ago), batteries, candles and some extra blankets. Lots of people were shopping for things to help tide them over in case the power goes out.

As I was driving home this afternoon, the temperature was cold (around freezing), then it began to hail and it started to rain. By the time I got home (at around 6.pm. on Monday), it looked like someone had thrown a coconut slushie onto the car (and the wiper blades could barely push the ice away).

B.B. still isn’t home. He went to get a generator but it’s in another town a couple of hours away (apparently the generators are selling like hotcakes here in Indy). The roads are getting  icy and I’m a bit worried. It’s slick out there. I nearly slipped on the sidewalk which has a thin layer of ice. Right now, I can hear frozen drops of rain lightly hitting the sliding glass window. The wind has picked up a bit.

The brunt of the storm is scheduled to arrive sometime after midnight. People expect the power to go out in some places (apparently an accumulation of a quarter of an inch of ice can add 500 pounds to  power line. Add gusts of wind which can also cause tree branches or power lines to go down–see picture above). Some parts of Indiana are expected to get 12 inches of snowfall overnight. Currently, it’s a mix of rain, sleet and snow. Apparently there is also some thundersnow. The winter storm warning is in effect from now until Wednesday. It’s supposedly the biggest ice storm in 20 years. Hopefully, the storm is not going to be as bad as people expect. Yeah, I probably won’t go to work tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted.