The owl tree covered densely with Pogonip!

The owl tree covered densely with Pogonip!

Pogonip.  This was in our Susanville news today.

Susanville’s resident meteorological expert, Dr. Owen Bateson, talks about the prolonged cold spell. For the past several weeks, our area has felt the effects of below-freezing temperatures; broken pipes, car problems, treacherous roads and sidewalks that are glazed over with ice.The extremely cold temperatures in some areas dropped thermometers to almost 20 degrees below zero

“The December snow has lasted longer than my records show over the past 30-years and still shows no signs of even thinking about melting,” says Bateson, “It has been so cold that we have experienced a weather phenomenon called diamond dust.”

Diamond dust is made up of tiny frozen ice crystals that precipitate directly out of a clear but very cold blue sky that normally occurs in the Arctic or Antarctica

“This type of fog begins as super-cooled droplets of liquid water that begins to form when the dew point and the temperature are within 4 degrees Fahrenheit of each other,” explains Bateson, “These droplets then start to precipitate out of the fog as small ice crystals which can look very much like regular snow.”

“It builds up on everything like a hoarfrost, resulting in white flocked trees and bushes and practically everything else that is left outside. It covers the roads with a thin layer of very slick ice creating very hazardous driving conditions and can even build up so much on power lines to cause them to sag and break under the added weight.”

“Hopefully,” says Doctor Bateson, “we will get a cold front coming through which will actually raise our temperatures and maybe even start raining or snowing again.”


This is the weirdest stuff.  It seems to snow out of a blue sky.  Yes, we saw the sky yesterday.  Today too.  But this below freezing for the last month has gotten a bit unbearable.  Yesterday, my frost free water spicket in the barn aisle froze.  This morning, I had the thought flit through my head that “maybe it unfroze since yesterday”  Oh yes.  Not quite.  It was -2 this morning.  It is 6 above now.  Not thinking that is going to be the case.  Now I am hauling water from the house to the chicken coop and the barn.  Thankfully the water near the horse is in front of mom’s place and thus far (knock on wood please don’t jinx this) it is still working.  So far.  I am ready for it to warm up enough to thaw at least!

Yesterday I took the camera out and took perhaps 60 photographs.  Lots of fun, it had warmed up to 18, so I could go without gloves for a bit.  I am not happy with the computer moniter display I am using, it makes things dark.  The sky was brilliant blue, and the ice crystals bright white in this next photo.  Perhaps it will come across better for you.

The top of the tree the owls usually sit in

The top of the tree the owls usually sit in

The branches of the owl tree.

The branches of the owl tree.


Good thing it is pretty....

Good thing it is pretty….

So, away from the electronic box again, time to get some work on the house done.  Stay warm all!