Thursday, July 28, 2011

Winter is Back

Posted to OGR 12/05/2010

Yesterday evening I was watching a story on the national news about a large cold air mass descending down into the eastern half of the United States after an unusually warm November. Today, as I sat down to write this column, I was struck by the fact that my column from a year ago this week was also talking about exactly the same thing. Yes, It’s that time of the year again.

Last Thursday morning I had my monthly breakfast with the “SLOB” group. The “Sons and Legends of Broadcasting” are a loosely knit bunch of guys and gals who have, or have had careers in broadcasting. Two of the guys are long time weathermen on local television stations. One is a meteorologist by training and the other has been doing the weather here for over 50 years. At the end of breakfast, we were standing in a small group outside the restaurant gazing up to the rich blue skies watching a thin, patchy layer of cirrus clouds woven together by a couple of contrails from jets passing overhead. Our conversations were filled with scientific facts and figures from the meteorologist and exclamations of joy and awe about the beauty of nature all around us from the non-meteorologist. As the conversation continued, I realized that even though they both approached weather from different perspectives, they each appreciated each other’s point of view and that they encouraged observations and comments from the non weathermen in the group. It was one of those magical bonding moments.

This summer was one of the hottest in history in our area and this winter is forecast to be cooler and dryer than normal. The meteorologist in our group told us that, since 1995, only 3 years has the total rainfall in my area matched or exceeded the average rainfall, and that the rains that we had were harder, shorter and more localized than normal. So far this year we are 10.8” below normal in total precipitation for the year. Elsewhere in the country, he said, farmers in the Upper Midwest are having troubles getting their crops planted and harvested because of rain saturated grounds. The Bermuda High, which normally steers storm into the Southeast US coastline, was much farther east than normal. So the hurricanes for the most part this year turned north while still far out at sea. While I’m not complaining, what’s up with that?

Copyright 2010 Rick Wrigley

No comments:

Post a Comment