The jury is out on the practice of raising the windshield wipers during snowy/icy conditions: it's intended to prevent the blades from freezing to the glass, but some say that it's not worth the trouble. Raised like antennae, they could well be sensors activated by atmospheric conditions, or insect legs, a gesture of beseeching the firmament for respite or simply resigning to a snowy fate.
It's been a rough winter by any measure, what with the salt shortages and architecture fails, but I only recently learned that the entire country of Slovenia was essentially covered in ice for several days. The freak storm struck two weeks ago and lasted three days, blanketing the some 8,000 square miles (20,000 km2) with 10cm of ice, causing upwards of €66 milliion in damage, including widespread power outages and ravaging half of the alpine nation's forests.
Nor has the Eastern Hemisphere escaped the clutches of this brutal winter, as China, Korea and Japan have been record-breaking precipitation of late. All of which goes to show that climate change is a major issue that increasingly informs and guides design practice. If sustainability has been a long time coming, this winter has also been an occasion for designers to speculate about increasingly far-fetched solutions...