It was -1° at the cabin this morning, with a brutal 15-20 mph wind. The forecast promises it won’t warm up very much for at least the next week. I don’t mind the temperature, though I could do without the wind.
Readers of this blog must know by now that weather’s affect on the forest around me often creeps into my writing. So it should come as no surprise that I am often thinking about weather. So it was this morning as listened to the forecast. I know from that forecast that this spate of cold weather will persist for a week or so, but the coldest days are likely to be today and tomorrow. And then I thought about how recent that kind of information is. It’s only been 100 years or so that my area has had official forecasts and less time than that since computers and radar gave forecasters much information to create accurate forecasts from.
So on this cold and windy morning, I got to thinking about what it must have been like, say 150 or so years ago, when people had no idea how long a cold spell would last. It must have been a great source of anxiety for them—would the wood last, would feed for the stock last, how long could they keep the water open? Here and now, I worry about the water pipes freezing too, but at least I have some idea how long I’m going to have keep the faucets dripping and when the weather will moderate. It wasn’t all that long ago that this information didn’t exist, and that’s a little hard, now, even to imagine.