I have about given up on trying to predict the weather. Sometimes I look for weather signs, but I keep my thoughts to myself. The meteorologists on radio and TV have for several weeks been predicting near-normal temperatures and precipitation. When the predicted weather arrives on the land, it has been much warmer than normal. For a while last fall we heard that the warm currents in the ocean, called La Nina, caused problems, but I haven't heard her mentioned recently.
Weather here in our north country has given us November temperatures that felt like October. December weather felt like November. Will this above-normal trend continue? If so, it will hardly pay to go south for the winter.
I have an old journal in which I wrote some weather notes from time to time in years past. Let's take a look at my sketchy notes from past winters. Then each of us can make our own forecast of future weather conditions.
Some of my notes show the month and the date without any indication of the year in which the words were written. Dec. 21, the beginning of winter, but we aren't sure what year, somewhere in the 1960s: "Temperature dropped from 30 degrees yesterday to minus 2 this morning. Do grouse get cold feet? One was sitting in a poplar tree by the driveway this afternoon."
"Four inches of snow on the ground. This morning, Jan. 4, clear and bright, with strong wind. An errant oak leaf goes galloping across the smooth whiteness of the yard." "Windchill -75 degrees. Birds are fluffed out eating seeds and suet as if their life depended on it, which it probably does." "Morning shadows look blue on sparkling white of new snow." "Two ruffed grouse outlined against the sky as they stretch their necks to feed on buds in a tall poplar tree."
January, 1968, we went out in the evening. "An evening so beautiful it defies description. The western sky has streaks of light cloud that glow crimson and orange, with patches of aquamarine sky between. The western light slowly fades to lavender, then mauve, then gray, with a band of copper just above the horizon, with dark pine tops in silhouette." We went out again later that night. "The moonlight was bright enough to cast shadows, and diamond-like sparkles flashed from the smooth surface of the new snow."
January 1971. "Cold, snow, cold, snow ad infinitum. Every time the temperature goes above -20 degrees, more snow. Snow is two feet thick on house roof. Bought a new snow rake but couldn't reach the top of the roof. Fell off once."
January 10, 1975. "Heavy snow and high winds but everyone is home safely. Worst blizzards in recent years, but electric power and telephone are OK." "Got plowed out today, 1/14, about noon." Jan. 23: "Walked down driveway with Carla at 10 p.m. Snow squeaks underfoot, good to get back in by stove."
January 1979. "Morning temp -28 degrees, same as yesterday. Pine siskins have been visiting the feeder for a week or more. We also have grosbeaks, chickadees, woodpeckers, and nuthatches at the feeder."
There is no doubt that we do get a wide variety of weather here in our north country, but we never know when conditions from the past will be repeated. Last week I heard a weather sage on radio. He predicted that we would have a series of mild winters up through the next 15 years. I'll vote for that!
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.