February Snow

Here in central Missouri, February dawned with a thin coat of wet snow on the lawns and trees.  By mid morning, a light drizzle was falling, sculpting the white glaze; since the temperature hovered in the low 30s (F) and a gray overcast blocked the sun, melting of the snow has been limited.

As the days lengthen and the sun climbs higher in the southern sky, February snow tends to be wet and heavy.  Lying atop the frozen soil and dormant plants, its moisture leaves puddles across the barren fields or drains into stream valleys, producing floods if the snowfall is deep.  In fact, snowstorms in late winter or early spring are often the heaviest of the year, the product of a restless jet stream that fuels the clash of cold and warm, humid air masses.

Today's sloppy accumulation, stretching beneath the faint glow of filtered sunlight, is hardly picturesque; neither is it thick enough to limit activity, invite exploration or imperil travel.  But it is a sign that winter lingers and spring looms; patience is in order.