Sunday, October 25, 2009

A cold winter awaits

Autumn is a wonderful time of year, but it often disappears in the blink of an eye. For those of us who don't like heat and humidity, summer seems to drag out forever.

Then, when cooler air gets here, it appears to be nothing more than a brief transition into winter. This has been especially true this autumn because of all the rain we have had.

Don't get me wrong; I appreciate the rain. After the drought that punished us in 2007, I don't think any of us will ever take rain for granted again.

Still, all the recent rain has dampened the beauty that accompanies autumn.

For those wanting dry weather, some help may be on the way. Officials at the federal Climate Prediction Center recently issued its forecast for the upcoming winter, and it predicts the Southeast will experience a cooler but drier winter than normal.

Get ready to hear a lot about El Nino again because that is the reason the experts are giving to support their prediction. The El Nino phenomenon is fascinating on one level, but it is a topic that often gets beaten into the ground by weather people.

However, it is tough to blame them. After all, autumn is usually a wedge season when it comes to violent weather. Even though tornadoes can occur in every month, we don't hear much about them in October. They typically fade away in autumn when compared to summer.

Plus, the coldest weather of the year does not usually occur until January. Because of this weather lull, the meteorologists really do not have a lot to talk about this time of year. So, they probably thank God when El Nino appears.

As for this year's winter prediction, I hope they are wrong about the temperature. While I loved winter when I was a boy, I have lost my appreciation of it as I have grown older.

January is one of the year's gloomiest months. Whether it is the short daylight, the cold temperature, or the general restlessness after the holidays, it is a month that is dull. This is the only thing that it has in common with July.

January and July are opposites when it comes to weather, but these are easily the two most tedious months. Both have 31 days and are stagnant. Both are nothing more than gateways to more pleasant times.

I know it would be easy to lump February into that category as well, but it only has 28 days most years. Though that is only three days less than January, the month seems to go by a lot quicker. Plus, once February is gone, we know spring is just around the corner.

The only bright spot in the Climate Prediction Center's forecast is that they expect it to be drier than normal. For snow lovers, their prediction could wind up being a great source of frustration.

After all, if it is supposed to be cooler than normal, we could be on the receiving end of some healthy snowfalls if we continue to get the same amount of moisture we have recently.

However, for those folks, this won't happen if the Center is correct. Frankly, I am hoping they are.

As I've gotten older, snow has become more of a nuisance. I was like most kids who loved the snow and was ecstatic when it shut the schools down.

While it maintains some of its allure, it gets old a lot quicker. I like watching it fall, but not much else. There is a sweetness to watching it melt.

I know...Bah Humbug.

1 comment:

Joltin' Django said...

"There is a sweetness to watching [snow] melt."

If it were up to me, there'd be snow on the ground every other day throughout the year. And I'd proudly stomp through it wearing shorts ...

I'm not a scientist or meteorologist -- Al Gore ain't neither -- but I have a feeling that folks in Middle Tennessee are going to have to endure one hell of a winter this, well, winter. (The moisture patterns of the past six weeks give credence to my assertion.)