Winter Made a Surprise Return

All those gorgeous tulips got covered in snow

The weather here has been consistently nice and warm for the past month or more.  That’s typical for here, and snow in April (even a dusting) is extremely rare in Moldova.  On Thursday, however, we got hit with a really big snowstorm with high winds and cold temperatures.  According to the news, this is the most snow Moldova has ever gotten so late in spring.  It also caused a lot of damage.

Day 2 of the snowstorm
With my host dad for reference

In Chisinau and the south of Moldova (where I live), we got about 2 feet of snow, and it came down fast.  Power was out for the majority of Moldova for a couple of days and some locations are still without power.  Heavy winds caused a lot of trees and branches to fall, and there were over 3 dozen car accidents in the capital alone.

Our cherry tree covered in snow

The worst of the damage, though, will most likely be to crops.  Moldovans start planting around March 8th, so a lot of things have been in the ground for over a month.  In addition, fruit trees were in full bloom.  There’s still a decent amount of snow on the ground, so it’s impossible to know how much damage there is.  My host parents think the onions might be okay, but they (and everyone else) likely lost their potatoes and beans.  A lot of people who have greenhouses lost everything because the strong winds destroyed the greenhouses and they couldn’t get everything inside quick enough.  My host brother’s wife’s family think they lost about half of the plants in their greenhouse (which means about half of their yearly income).  Moldovan officials have said there may be a shortage of fruits and vegetables this summer, leading to possible rationing.

Our gate
My solo game of Bananagrams

My village lost power for over two days.  My section of the village regained power around 8pm on Saturday, though some sections are still out.  Thankfully, most houses in my village are older and therefore have sobas, or wood stoves, for heat.  In areas with more modern homes with radiators, some people have been without heat for several days.  We also didn’t lose water, but other villages did.  It was a long two days without power.  I’ve been on break the past week, and definitely got pretty bored without books to read (living abroad, I don’t have physical books and my Kindle’s battery was dead), people to play board games with (my host parents were busy preparing things for the holiday that is today and shoveling, etc.), or really anything else to do.  On Saturday evening, I played a game of Bananagrams with myself to help pass the time.

It looks like this week will be back in the 60s or 70s, so the snow should melt quickly (it’s going to be so muddy!), and then we’ll see how much damage there is.  For now, we are very thankful we have power again!

Snow and Ice and Rain, Oh My!

I don’t know what the weather’s like in your neck of the woods, but it is especially icky here.  The temperature is hovering right around freezing, it has been raining all day, and the ground is solid ice.  My college didn’t cancel classes, so I’ve had to already brave the horrid sidewalks and have to again in a bit for my afternoon class.  I stepped in a puddle that was 3-4 inches deep (there was no other option-things are flooding!) on my way to my morning class.  The water was so, so cold!  It felt like my toes got to hang out in an ice bath for way too long.  Not fun.  Then after my class, I went to the campus post office to send some letters and check my mail, and the little incline up to the post office was entirely ice!  Very scary.  I’ve survived thus far, though, and my feet finally have feeling back in them after an hour in my warmest, dry-est pair of socks.  I don’t have rain boots, so hiking boots it is for the walk to my second class!  Hopefully, they’ll keep me nice and dry!

I have to admit, though, I didn’t feel so bad about the weather once I called my mom.  My hometown got into the -20s/-30s over the weekend and lost power for over 12 hours.  Most people have electric furnaces, so this has wrecked havoc across town.  Even a couple of days after heat has been restored, people are discovering burst pipes in places that seemed fine yesterday.  My grandparent’s house (they’re in Florida for the winter) has leaks, our church has leaks, the middle/high school has burst pipes, our other properties are still thawing out but most likely have leaks.  Add to that a number of fires, and you’ve got a very miserable February break.  My mom told me the firefighters haven’t sleep in over 2 days, and are running out of food and drink supplies.

I saw someone post on Facebook that at least it’s not snow.  I disagree.  I’d much prefer snow to this icky weather.  At least snow is easier to remove from the sidewalk than inches of water!  And it’s definitely more beautiful.  It has certainly been a weird winter.  It’s been way warmer than usual and we’ve only gotten a dusting of snow here and there.  And now this yucky ice/rain mixture.  It’s only February, but I’m thinking spring can come now (and I generally like winter!).

Update: I didn’t get this posted earlier, so I’m going to add the update that it’s now snowing big fat snowflakes and it seems a lot better out there.

How’s the weather where you live?  Any fun weather-related stories?