Photographs from an Indiana snowstorm

A foot of snow fell. Then the temperatures plunged well below zero. That was enough to shut Indiana down.

Just before the cold arrived, but not before the snow stopped, I went out to clear my driveway. The dense, heavy snow weighed everything down. Tree branches touched the ground, the same ones that clear my head when I mow in the summer.

Snowy day

Serious snows are rare in Indianapolis. But they were common in my hometown of South Bend in the late 1970s and 1980s when I was young but old enough to lift a shovel. I’m plenty familiar with removing this much snow, but since moving this far south I seldom have to do it. Thank goodness. My middle-aged body hurts for a good long while after this much exertion.

Snowy day

I frequently don’t bother shoveling my driveway because Indianapolis winter snows are usually pretty light and are often followed by a melt. If God’s going to take away what he gives, I’m going to let him! And that’s going to happen this time, too – it will be in the 40s this weekend. But the snow was too deep to drive through, so I removed it. Well, all except for around my second car. Thanks to the coming melt, it will hit the road again soon enough. Until then, I’ll drive the car I keep in the garage.

Snowy day

I was running out of daylight anyway. I needed to hurry and get the main part of the driveway done.

Snowy day

The snow didn’t stop falling until well after dark. Morning greeted us at 17 degrees below zero. The mayor declared an emergency and travel was forbidden. So it went across most of the state – this weather effectively closed Indiana. I worked all day from my home office.

I did take a break during the afternoon when the temperature rose all the way to -11, the high for the day. I went out and cleared four more inches of snow off the driveway. Fortunately, it was light powder and cleared quickly, because even wearing many layers and my heaviest winter coat -11 is mighty, mighty cold. My nostrils kept freezing shut! After I came in, it took an hour for my feet to warm back up.

By the end of the workday I was starting to feel a little isolated, so I turned on the local news for company while I ate my dinner. I also fired up my Roku to watch Tagesschau, the evening newscast from Germany’s ARD television network. I spoke German almost fluently a quarter century ago, but have hardly used the language since. Watching Tagesschau is a feeble attempt at keeping what’s left of my German abilities sharp. I understand about half of every newscast.

Image from

I was delighted that Indiana’s weather plight was recognized even in Germany. It helped me feel better, especially since I needed to work from home one more day thanks to continued deep cold and ice-covered streets.

Also check out the ice storm we had a few years ago. Indiana winters, whee.


13 responses to “Photographs from an Indiana snowstorm”

  1. Carole Avatar

    What is Kaltewelle? Mentioned in Germany…wow!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      A Kältewelle is literally a “cold wave,” or a period of deep cold. Funny how we say “heat wave” but not “cold wave.”

  2. hmunro Avatar

    Beautiful photos, Jim — aber ich sympathisiere. Wir haben hier auch diese Kältewelle, und es ist schwerig! Es hat drei Tage vergangen, seit ich meine Zehen fühlen kann. Frühling can’t get here fast enough!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Denglish, my favorite language! Good luck with your toes.

      1. hmunro Avatar

        Denglish is my favorite language too, Jim! It’s the last refuge of a woman who is a bit bored with English — but who will never master German. Grin/groan.

  3. Christopher Smith Avatar
    Christopher Smith

    Nice photos Jim the first one is just like a Christmas card scene. When we get your weather come across the Atlantic all we get here in Cornwall is rain, rain and more rain and lots of gales.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Christopher! I’m just glad this didn’t happen 2 weeks ago or it would have really messed up Christmas.

  4. pesoto74 Avatar

    It was about the same here south of Champaign. The blowing was impressive. At one point the winds were from 42 to 48 mph. At least the snow here was light and fairly easy to shovel.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Not sure how we got so “lucky” with the snow.

  5. LFFL Avatar

    I loathe the snow and cold weather. Waiting for warmer days.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I hear you, man.

  6. Bernie Kasper Avatar

    Great images Jim, you guys got hammered way more then we did, but we still got the bitter cold though !!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Bernie! The city didn’t come plow my neighborhood until Friday, so I was stranded at home for days. My little car just couldn’t clear the foot plus of snow in the street. Thank goodness I had enough food!

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