Monday, March 23, 2015


Roundtop at sunrise
Dare I hope that this winter is finally over?  Five more inches of snow fell on the first day of spring, but the next day the temperature soared into the 40’s.  The snow that looked as though it was here to stay at noontime was virtually gone by evening.

I learned this weekend that the only place on our entire globe that had below-average temperatures this winter was the east coast of the United States. That amounts to roughly 4% of the earth’s surface and has sobered my thoughts and dampened my glee at this winter’s end.  Will I ever see another winter that is truly a winter?

After this winter I am hopeful that some of the annoying insects that managed to make it through warmer winters will be much reduced for this upcoming year. That would be a nice result if fewer ticks and mosquitos survived.  It wouldn’t hurt my feelings either if fewer stinkbugs are around, though I have no idea if harsh winters bother them in the slightest.

Still, I can’t help but feel worried that winter weather in my neck of the woods might become a thing of the past. It’s unlikely the east coast will again be in that small portion of the globe that sees colder than typical weather in 2016. I live at a ski resort, now one of the most southerly ones in the east.  There used to be others more southerly than here, but most have closed due to poor winters, and I worry that this one is vulnerable, too. Was this the last best year for winter skiing here in southern PA?  I certainly hope not, but I can’t help but wonder.


Grizz………… said...


It snowed here yesterday, leaving the ground white. Temperature right now—heading to noon—is 30˚F. Tomorrow it's supposed to reach 61˚, and then drop back to the low-30˚s for the rest of the week, with more snow and nighttime lows around 20˚. Fairly typical spring weather for Ohio…though I'd have been okay if the weather gods had elected to maintain last week's upper-60˚s and one day even of low-70˚s. This switching around makes me a little crazy.

Re. next year, my money is on the East and Upper Midwest staying more on this track than becoming substantially warmer. Of course back in the '80s we went through a period with scarcely a snowflake to be seen for several winters in a row. So weather patterns certainly do fluctuate.

Carolyn H said...

Grizz: I am to get the 60-ish weather on Thursday. Currently 31 here. I had snowflakes this morning, but nothing new on the ground. The Appalachian Mtns. act like speed bumps and pretty much slow everything down that is trying to come in from the west. I had big blizzards in '93 and '95 followed by winters that were a lot warmer. I think this past winter is the worst since then.

Scott said...

Carolyn: Now you've jinxed it--we're sure to get more snow now that you've openly hoped that we've seen the end of winter! We got 4 inches here further east last Friday.

On the last really warm day last week (before the storm), my employees reported that they had picked a half-dozen black-legged ticks off themselves. So, I don't think that the miserable winter is going to have had any positive effect on pest populations.

Thanks for sharing about the limited extent of the global cold. I had no idea we were so "blessed."

Carolyn H said...

Scott: Yikes! Ticks already?! I wouldn't have thought they'd be out and about when the days usually aren't much above 40!

Sharkbytes said...

Two bitter winters here in MI. Like back to back '77 and '78. I wonder if there is some mini-cycle going on.