Here in Des Moines, we have just been through the most amazing freak storm I've ever seen in my 37 years. It lasted a solid 48 hours, and was amazing because we saw every variety of precipitation in one shot.
First it started out with a shower of hailstones the size of dried peas. Then it rained, because the temperature was over 40 degrees. When it was raining, at one point we had to turn off the heater because the humidity was so intense. This was a sign that there was a heck of a big storm front moving in, as usually the humidity breaks before the rain falls! Then it switched to sleet and then freezing rain. The freezing rain made a three-inch thick coating of ice all over everything, and then the snow began. The snow itself lasted a full twenty-four hours. All told, we had about two inches of rain, three inches of ice, and over a foot of snow.
Shoveling this was interesting. A layer of shin-deep pure snow on top of what can only be described as a Slurpee coating the ground, with water at the very bottom. Wet and slushy, the ice/snow mixture has brought down tree branches and power lines all over the state. We were lucky enough not to have lost power for more than a few minutes, but tens of thousands all over Iowa weren't so fortunate. As it is, I've seen lots of downed branches all over the neighborhood. Every tree and bush looks like it has bloomed pure white foliage. A particular towering pine tree across the street from us, which is easily as tall as a four-story building and has stood for 100 years, has lost six branches which crashed down under the weight of the ice. That was sad, because I've loved seeing it out my front window covered with snow during Christmas, but the tree itself may yet survive.
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