Monday, February 05, 2007

A Little Cold

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.


LauraO said...

You're thoughts on how things must have been like before weather reports is so true. I know those folks could predict weather to a certain extent from signs in Nature, but I doubt those signs told them how long a particular weather pattern would last. It may have been a simpler time then, but we sure have it easier by comparison now, don't we?

ChicagoLady said...

You have an unusual perspective on things. Most people take for granted the modern luxuries we now enjoy, and don't bother themselves with thinking about what it was like 100 or 200 years ago.

I have 2 frozen pipes so far, but as they say...this too shall pass.

Carolyn H said...


My experience is that I can predict the weather that's on the way pretty well, but I can't predict with much certainty when that weather is going to move out. And I'm not really able to tell at all when a temperature extreme is going to moderate. Yes, we really do have it a lot easier now.

Carolyn H.

Carolyn H said...


I hopes your pipes are unfrozen now. Boy, is that a hassle to deal with.

Carolyn H.