The Twin Cities have been experiencing the always overwhelming joy of freezing rain, rain, and/or frizzle (as one weatherman donned freezing drizzle the other day) on and off since, oh, Thursday or so. As someone has to... you know... go outside this is about as annoying as possible. Snow is a hassle, that is true, and on occasion it makes roads slippery and dangerous and that sucks. In Minnesota that does, however, require a goodly amount of snow. We are not an area that goes into crisis mode over an inch of snow. Most people I know turn their noses up at "winter weather advisories" that only predict three inches of snow.
Any amount of rain in January, though, is something to get all stressed out about. Basically it ensures that every surface - be it road, sidewalk, parking lot, or snow - will be an ice rink for the rest of the winter. In short it sucks.
One interesting this I did learn this week about freezing rain is that it sounds really cool. I guess I've never really been outside while it's been freezing rain... freezing raining? freeze raining? Hmmm. A few mornings ago we were experiencing some freezing rain while I was on my way to the bus stop. It was like being in the middle of a hail storm only the hail was about sand sized. We had already had a little bit of rain that had frozen over night and every drop/crystal made these tiny "ting" noises as they laded. It was a seriously surreal experience walking around in this rain that was... hard but sounded like a distant wind chime. So weird. Did you ever make "rain sticks" as a kid? When I made them we pounded nails into the sides of a cardboard tube and then filled it part-way with little rocks and when turned it, it sounded like rain? Mine never sounded like rain because it never sounded particularly wet, that it was almost metallic. That's kind of what this sounded like.
Another interesting thing about the rain/freezing rain is that it sort of crystallizes the top layer of snow. Suddenly the smooth surfaces of snow drifts have a lot more texture, which really makes it way more interesting.