The Fargo campus responds to Redmond’s December 2008 storm conditions

The main Microsoft campus has been blanketed in snow the past few days. Microsoft Real Estate and Facilities has been sending out emergency alerts regarding the state of the campus, what services are available, what services are reduced, that sort of thing. Our friends over in the Fargo campus are generally unimpressed by all this hubbub and have written up their own adverse weather notification to make fun of us wusses in Redmond. (Reprinted below with some editing.)

Fargo Campus Open with No Interruptions

Due to normal cold weather and heavy snowfall the Microsoft Facilities in Fargo, including satellite areas (ABC, DEF, and GHI) will have NO SERVICES INTERUPTED due to Snow/Ice conditions in the local area.


Current conditions: Light snow and windy
Temperature: −8°F
Feels like −40°F
UV Index: 0 Low
Wind: From N at 40mph
gusting to 48 mph
Humidity: Low
Pressure: 29.81 in. ↑
Dew Point: −12°F
Visibility: 0.8 miles
Updated: Dec 14 10:25 am CT

Effective For: Thursday, December 18, 2008 through the end of April

Please exercise normal caution driving and walking on campus as you are more likely to be attacked by a bunny than slip and fall on the ice.

Campus Services

Reception: Building lobbies will be open. If your building reception is closed then they will be fired.

Shuttle: Campus shuttles will not be operating because there is no such thing as a campus shuttle in Fargo.

Mailing Services: Mailing Services will be operating under full service.

Food Service: There will full menu service available in all buildings.

Facilities Maintenance Response: A full maintenance staff is at work on campus today.

Building Services: All services such as heat, lighting and network connectivity will be operational.

Other Advisory Notes:

Security: Corporate Security advises its services will remain available to the campus. If you need assistance, stop by the office and wake them up.

Parking: Park as usual, the snow plow drivers will just plow around you. You're all capable of driving on snow/ice so plowing will be limited.

Connectivity: You shouldn't have any connectivity issues because you're expected to be at work. We only had 10" of snow and 40mph wind.

Microsoft Company Store: The Company store will not be open today because the Fargo Campus doesn't have a company store.

Area Roads: In light of the continuing snowfall and icy road conditions, most local roads are snow-covered and slippery and will remain that way until March. For information on current road conditions, please look out the window.

Weather Updates: For information on how the weather is impacting Microsoft services and accessibility, please visit regularly throughout the day or tune into your local news stations for updates when you are in the office as conditions on campus could quickly change but they probably won't since cold, snow, and ice is the normal conditions this time of year.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Microsoft Real Estate & Facilities

Comments (34)
  1. Wyatt says:

    I live about 200 miles south of Fargo, so it’s much warmer here (only -7 compared to -19 @ Fargo).  And yes, we generally think most people who complain about their winter weather are wusses.

  2. Tom says:

    I’m with the Fargo guys on this one.  I live in Florida, and we get some seriously heavy rains.  I laugh at what those Northerners call rain — it’s more like a drizzle!  Complain to me when you can’t see more than 20 yards.

  3. Hank says:

    We left work a bit early last week because there were snow flurries here in the Houston area.  Some areas got as much as 1/2 inch of ground cover….it was a blizzard.  Ha.

  4. ton says:

    Ha pretty funny stuff! This has got to be the first post I’ve seen with any kind of images in it. That’s strange to me since I’m more of a visual person. Images are definitely worth a thousand words.

  5. ERock says:

    Having had not ever been attacked by a bunny but indeed slipping and falling on ice I now feel like I’ve conquered the odds.

  6. MS says:

    Having lived in North Dakota a long time ago, I was used to -8F weather.  Now that I’m in the Bay Area, 40 degrees feels positively bone chilling.  I’ve become a wuss.

    Also, Fargo is home to the "Americas Shared Services" organization.  I’m guessing they don’t turn that into an acronym.

  7. The apologist says:

    To be fair, the Seattle area has just gotten more snow than it has pretty much ever seen before.  King county, encompasing much more than the Seattle Metro area (4+ million inhabitants) only has 20 snow plows.  There is a sand shortage as well.  Plus, no offense to fargo, but I’ve been there and there aren’t any hills.  I live on a 18% grade hill in downtown Seattle and losing traction on it right now means sliding at terrifying speed 10 blocks into the bay.

  8. Mike says:

    I’ve always found these things to be more annoying than funny.  Gee, a region that averages 20 degrees (F) in the winter and 40 inches of snow is better prepared for snow than a region that averages 40 degrees and less than 10 inches.  What a shocker.  If I recall correctly (it’s been a while), Fargo is also mostly flat wheras the entire greater Seattle area is one hill after an another.

  9. Starting to think Fargo would be a better place to live than here in Toronto, Ontario. We didn’t always panic when a bit of the ol’ white started falling, but these days all it takes is an inch or two and our elected officials start praying for military intervention.

    Nice to know some places on this continent, outside of the high north, still avoid falling to pieces whenever it snows.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Earlier this year I moved from the northeast to WA.  I have to say the over-reaction to the snow and ice has had me in a bit of a culture shock…  But so has the under-reaction, i.e. nobody is plowing or salting the roads.

    Oh well.  At least there isn’t any traffic, and I get the best parking spots.

  11. Jordan says:

    As a member of this great Fargo campus, I can say we definitely do poke fun, but we do hope everyone over in Redmond stays safe.

    We also enjoy the faster internal connection when you guys are gone!

  12. CDarklock says:

    "I’m guessing they don’t turn that into an acronym."

    Particularly not if they prepend the location information: F, ND…

    Yeah, I’m immature. But I know how to drive on snow, so I’ve been on the Redmond campus since 7:30.

  13. Spell says:

    That reminds me of my favorite science joke:

    "Researchers in Fairbanks Alaska announced last week that they have discovered a superconductor which will operate at room temperature."

  14. I’m sure many of you have seen the news about the winter storms that have been hitting the Pacific Northwest

  15. steveshe says:

    Still think global warming exists? I didn’t think so :)

  16. NUXI says:

    I used to live in a place that got 200 inches a year, so I get a good laugh when 7" shuts down the city I live in now. Which we got last Friday of course, so I’ve been enjoying the local weather for the past few days.

    I also really get annoyed when they don’t plow the roads. I can still easily drive on them, its just annoying because they *should* be able to plow them. We have snowplows here, they just don’t like to actually pay the drivers to run them or something.

  17. Bob says:

    Where I live, 2 inches of snow closes down the city.

    This isn’t because 2" of snow is a sign of the apocolypse, but because it happens once every few years, and therefore people don’t know how to deal with it.

    Of course, people who get 6 feet of snow for half the year are clearly morally superior to the rest of us who aren’t still living in igloos, so that’s ok. At least we can heat our houses without melting them.   ;)

    And yes, snow in Seattle (aka "The City Where It Never Rains") is clearly proof that global warming is a conspiracy arranged by the lizard people and the pope, aimed at taking your guns from you. Good luck in your bunker.

  18. Fu says:

    Sure, Seattle has hills, but it’s no Western PA where I grew up driving rear wheel drive cars in the snow to work after school (up hill, both way, of course!). Seattle people just need to learn that 4WD and AWD really means four wheel slide and all wheel slide and not tailgate and not drive like morons. Ah, but I am a dreamer…

  19. I Hate Linux says:

    The Seattle area has had some issues with snow over the last few days and due to a less than favorable

  20. Zopuh says:

    It wasn’t YouTube mentioned in the Weather Updates section in the original notification. Copyright infringement, Raymond? :-)

    [I did say that the contents were edited. You can play the game of “find all the differences” to keep yourself occupied until the snow melts. -Raymond]
  21. Brian says:

    I thought it was pretty funny but Bob’s reply was funnier.  What you all in Fargo don’t realize is the facility notices were only sent cause we were all out of our offices play pick-up hockey on Lake Bill.  By the way, campus is closed again tomorrow, puck drops at 9 AM.  

  22. Worf says:

    Not to mention that those who migrate to the West Coast often are immigrants from milder climes. (I’m in Vancouver, BC).

    Seeing those big puffy parkas come out in September almost always identifies an immigrant (when the weather is around 60 to 70s). Also, given how many drivers actually get lessons in driving in the snow, it’s a very dangerous condition. Then you get the idiots in the 2-wheel drive pickups slipping and sliding around doing 35 whilst everyone else in their 4x4s are doing 20 and in control…

    It’s a potential safety issue.

  23. Mike Dworkin says:

    Bah, you can always put on more clothes when it gets a little cold.

    Try taking off YOUR SKIN when it gets to over 115F for a month or so during the summer.

  24. Paul says:

    I find it difficult to comprehend living in a place that cold.  The coldest it got here this year (6 months ago – southern hemisphere) was 40F. It’s definately on my list to go and visit a place like that, but to live there… f$%# that!

  25. aaroneb says:

    Having grown up in Northeastern North Dakota (where Fargo is considered WARM), I always have people who ask me what -40F feels like.  Here’s the best way to illustrate it.

    When you put your hand in a refrigerator, it is commonly between 35F and 40F.  Most freezers today freeze food around 0F.  That difference is 40F.  The best understanding is to extrapolate that difference COLDER than the fridge.  In other words, food put outside will freeze faster than food put in the freezer.  I live in Minneapolis now, and still take advantage of the cold during the winter as a large freezer!

  26. Andrew says:

    Here is a Seattle Times article explaining why the roads stay snow packed:

    From the article:

    "If we were using salt, you’d see patches of bare road because salt is very effective," Wiggins [Chief of Staff for Seattle DOT] said. "We decided not to utilize salt because it’s not a healthy addition to Puget Sound."

  27. James says:

    Too funny!

    When it hits -50 (and below), you can take a hot cup of coffee and thow it up in the air only to watch the sublimation of it going directly into a gas, skipping the whole ‘frozen ice’ solid state.

    Steven Pratschner knows what I am talking about…

    I have seen people in Fargo do this to show visitors: “how cold is it really”…

    Fargo, I am told, is the only place on this earth that there is 150 degrees difference between Summer and Winter.

    Seeing pictures of the new Fargo Campus, it looks like they are making quite a positive change for being Microsoft’s second largest campus in the country. Visiting there, there are some amazing people that work there, and most (80%) have an uncanny ability to withstand the serious cold (block heaters, car starters, vehicle holsters, etc…

    And Yes, there are quite a few developers/testers in fargo…Contrary to the belief…

    It looks like a NDSU professor, who studied in Antarctica, had a good laugh about the temperatures there, compared to Fargo:

  28. gabyk says:

    ROFL, I guess we deserved that; we’ll take our licks.  I’m in the office on Redmond campus today, 12/24.  I guess I’m also highly skeptical of fearmongering and have a casual acquaintance with the laws of physics, so the drive is really not that big a deal.  Meh.

  29. Carla says:

    MS Redmond person here, checking in to say:

    THANK YOU so much for the laugh :-)

    (really needed it)

  30. Keeter says:

    "When it hits -50 (and below), you can take a hot cup of coffee and thow it up in the air only to watch the sublimation of it going directly into a gas, skipping the whole ‘frozen ice’ solid state."


    I’ve heard that’s the best thing to do with Fargo’s coffee.

  31. Re: says:

    LoL! I agree…There are other uses for the Fargo, machine, coffee…pulls paint right off the walls (cleans your paint brushes)… Could be a bio-fuel…

    Makes a good rabbit deterrent…(Fargo’s massive jack-rabbits are scary! Bigger than Dogs!)

    It is more fun to just toss it into the air and see where it lands, or doesn’t land. :)

    Could cause global warming, or in Fargo’s case, cooling…

  32. LionsPhil says:

    Hah. Love the "X is closed, because we don’t have an X in Fargo".

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