Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Ramble with Storm: Unknown precipitation, a rabbit & waiting on the storm

| No Comments | No TrackBacks


stormtight.jpg Mulling things on my morning ramble,

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

So I was trying to figure out what to wear this morning for the ramble and was checking weather stations to the west and southwest to see just how close the leading shield of winter precipitation really was.

And found this gem reported at Pontiac Municipal Airport: ``Unknown precipitation.''

That made my morning, a little ambiguity left in our scientific age.

But not a lot. Apparently everyone believes the weathermen and their forecast that a heavy storm will arrive within hours.

I know for the first time in my life our two school districts sent a broadcast blast of phone calls and emails that school was cancelled today, before the weather started.

You gotta have faith. Or really believe in the weather forecasting models.

Storm went on point in the dark--the incoming storm had me so wound up that I awoke at 4 a.m. and the meathead and I set out well before 6, earliest in weeks--at a neighbor's yard. It took me a few seconds, but I finally found the rabbit.

First cottontail we have jumped in a couple weeks.

Doves cooed all around town, up and down the streets. Mourning doves are the story of the past few weeks. They are here.

Snow pellets spotted the ground and the windshields of cars.

I least I think it was snow pellets.

Naturally, that made me wonder the official difference between snow, snow pellets or ice pellets and sleet.

Of course I looked it up in the National Weather Service's glossary of weather terms.

The definition for snow pellets:

Precipitation, usually of brief duration, consisting of crisp, white, opaque ice particles, round or conical in shape and about 2 to 5 mm in diameter. Same as graupel or small hail.


The definition for ice pellets:

(abbrev. IP) Same as Sleet; defined as pellets of ice composed of frozen or mostly frozen raindrops or refrozen partially melted snowflakes. These pellets of ice usually bounce after hitting the ground or other hard surfaces. A Winter Storm Warning is issued for sleet or a combination of sleet and snow based on total accumulation which is locally defined by area.


I am going with snow pellets.

The Canada geese had opened much of the skim ice that formed over the north end of the south old clay pit.

The ice fishermen are gambling and left their ice shanty on the ice cap on the south end of the south pit.

Storm and I walked out on the ice there. I didn't like the feel or sound of it and returned to shore before we walked out all the way to the shanty.

I don't think half a foot of wet snow will do anything good for the ice.

As we walked the old rail bed, now a trail, a pair of geese flew in and splashed down in the open water by the island.

Back in town, it was strangely quiet with no buses rolling down Station Street.

Storm chased a gray squirrel up a neighbor's red maple. In doing so, he spooked several doves that fluttered out of that and other maples.

I am wound up, waiting on the storm. I want the kind of snow that will have us trapped in our house tonight.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/55075

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on March 5, 2013 7:18 AM.

Chicago outdoors: Shed of the Week was the previous entry in this blog.

Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes and rivers around Chicago fishing is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.