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KATIE ZERR: Even the hardiest South Dakotans are tiring of winter

I received another weather alert this morning, showing a massive snow storm that will engulf the northern states this weekend.
Normally, I would brush off a 6 to 8-inch March snow storm accompanied by 40 to 50 mph winds as what we expect during this month in South Dakota.
But not in 2019.
February was brutal. Extremely cold and snowy. No melting days and snow piles towering over the landscape have made last month memorable.
As someone who lives in a very old house, any creak, thump or unusual sounds in the night will wake me up from a sound sleep.
Many years of frozen pipes, wet ceiling tiles falling during the night or an old furnace coughing and spitting, has made me an apprehensive sleeper during the winter months.
Although I have made some repairs and updates during the past 10 years, one never knows what will happen with the aging home. One gets a little anxious during the cold winter months.
This is the time of year when I usually relax a little as the days warm and winter begins to wane.
Not in 2019.
A storm that blew in from the northeast bringing several inches of light, low-moisture snow, found a spot to deposit that snow in the attic. The warmth of the sun has begun to melt that snow, which is coming through my living room ceiling and onto the hardwood floors.
I can’t remember the last time this happened, but it has happened before, under highly unusual circumstance.
That was the description for most of February.
Now a March snowstorm with heavy accumulation possible and high winds is looming on the horizon. It is sending me into a funk that has become familiar in the last 28 days (although February felt like the longest, not the shortest month of the year.)
For the first time in my life, I have envied the people who move south during the winter. I am one of those crazy people who enjoys the four seasons. I even like the winter months. It really helps that we live in a beautiful part of the country with great winter scenery. From days when hoar frost covers the trees and prairie grasses, to the West River hills and buttes decorated with the Mother Nature’s paint brush, this part of South Dakota is incredibly beautiful.
Not in February 2019.
Even one that enjoys the beauty of winter and takes the cold as part of South Dakota life can look at the forecast and cuss more than a little.
First of all, where are we going to put all of this new snow? There is so much snow piled up in my front yard, driveway and along the sides of my home, I have no clue where this next round is going to go.
And I have it easy compared to some South Dakotans. I can’t imagine what is like for our cattle ranchers who are in the middle of calving. There will be more feed spreading, cow moving and all-nighters pulled in the coming days for those who make a living raising cattle.
The farmers are watching the weather and wondering what will happen when spring finally hits. With all of this snow and frozen ground underneath, how long will it be before they are able to get into the fields?
Melting snow may sit on the frozen ground, causing even more problems for our Ag producers in a year when they don’t need another setback. This is one problem stacked upon another for some of our hardest working neighbors.
Moving snow has been a daily occurrence this past month and now there is more on the horizon. One or two inches is not a problem for most of us, but there is up to a possible eight inches in the forecast for the north and central parts of the state this weekend.
It sounds so much more than a March snow storm. The Minneapolis talk radio station that I listen to while driving or working after hours at the office, calls these weather events “snownomies.” They are (tongue-in-cheek) naming these winter storms and engage in exaggerated fearmongering as part of the gig.
I, playing along with them, scoffed at them, called them weak, and even suggested they pack their bags and head to Arizona.
Today, I feel like packing mine and going along with them.
After all the Cubs are in spring training in Arizona right now. With the way the weather is going, that might be the only baseball I see until July!
– Katie Zerr –