January 18, 2005

Early in the morning on the 18th, the sky was a beautiful red as the storm clouds started to move in.  So as I made my way to downtown Portsmouth to work that morning, I stopped by the seawall to shoot the rising sun.  Those photos are below.

In the late morning to early afternoon, a dry powdery snow started falling in Suffolk as I was headed back to the Portsmouth campus of Tidewater Community College.  The forecast called for snow to develop in the morning hours and we could see about 1-2 inches.  However, the air was very dry that day and temps only reached the mid to upper 20's for highs, it tool awhile for the snow to start falling.  Once it did though it really picked up quickly.  It didn't take long for things to start to turn white through the area.  The wind was blowing and driving this powder across the roads so it had a hard time sticking to the roads at first.  But the falling snow picked up in intensity and began to cause problems.  By late evening at rush hour, traffic grinned to a halt.  What takes about 30 minutes on a normal time of day and dry conditions takes about an hour during rush hour each day.  On January 18, 2005, people were stuck in traffic for nearly 4 hours or longer.  It was one of the worst traffic grinds across Hampton Roads I had ever seen.  Due to this mess on the roads, I only shot a few photos early in the day as the snow started falling.  Below are a few of those photos.

These photos were taken in the early morning hours of January 18, 2005 from downtown Portsmouth looking east to Norfolk as the sun rose with winter storm clouds making their way in overhead.

Here is a sign of just how cold it really was this winter.  I have not seen ice like this along the James River from wind blown water in quiet a few years.  Usually it may look like this in the early morning but as the sun rises it usually melts.  Not so this year, this ice would last for days on end with highs only in the mid to upper 20's.  Taken at the Portsmouth Campus of T.C.C.

With the snow now falling harder, the roads were starting to become white.  It would take some time before the grass and trees would turn white due to the powdery snow.  Driving range at T.C.C.

This photo did not turn out like I had hoped.  This was a little inlet just outside T.C.C.  This are was frozen over and the snow stuck quickly to the ice.  Converted to black and white due to dull colors caused by the falling snow.

Here is the time it all started.  Around 3pm the roads were becoming very slick.  And as usual, people loose their heads when it snows.  It just seems that people think because they are driving SUVs that the laws of physics don't apply to them.  This guy slid off the road as I approached.

And apparently this person was watching the guy in the SUV and SPEEDING for the conditions, spun around into on coming traffic.  Notice this vehicle is facing the way I am traveling on the divided highway.   They should be facing west on that side, NOT EAST!!


All Images Copyright Jesse V. Bass III and

Copyright 2005 All Rights Reserved