I always thought they were. Just recently, the newscaster on the treacherous snow scene (which would currently be anywhere in Portland or the surrounding area) puzzled and frowning at the mysterious white substance in his hand, said, "It's doing something out here now. It's not snow anymore. I don't know what it is."
I hope he's not the meteorologist.
It also made national news. Well. The hours (plural) it takes to get 20 miles right now made the news. The sleet / freezing rain mystery was curiously absent. I will try to forget the screeching sounds of "Willamette" Valley in the newscaster's mouth. Will (as in the name) - a (as in at)- met (as in mets - the team). Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
Portlanders are decidedly horrible at driving in the snow and I cannot even begin to want to apologize for thinking so. You follow too closely. You move too quickly. You start too forcefully. These are completely in your control, even when one takes into account the sudden onset of the snow and the inevitability of being caught without traction devices.
On the way back from the airport, which should have been a 20 minute drive, I was stuck on the freeway for an hour and a half. Never before has snow felt like the apocalypse. Emergency vehicles were forced to weave their way through stopped freeway traffic (impossible to move over to the right or the left shoulder). Buses and semis jackknifed (bus riders choosing to get off and travel on foot).
And. I was almost out of gas and my high mileage, hanging-in-there car started to overheat for idling so long. Nothing like being stopped in gridlock traffic, nowhere near a freeway exit watching the needle creep to the highest end of the red zone. Additionally, the fact that I had to go to the bathroom - desperately - was frosting on the fluffy white snow cake.
Not that long ago snow was something lovely, even if it, and the ice, did last for 3 months. I remember towns that plowed and sanded. I remember sledding and fearlessly leaving the house for whatever reason I wished.
Nope. Housebound now.