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18 February 2008 @ 10:30 am
Whither Weather?  
As a newly-returned Midwesterner, the number of people who seem to be drooling over the prospect of global warming amazes me.

Granted, this is our first winter back and we are not jaded yet. On the other hand, it has been very mild in most of Indiana (only one major snowstorm, one ice situation, and one extremely cold week). It is February and we are getting regular bouts of well-above-freezing temperatures (note: it is not unusual to have up to 60° F temperatures in the winter here. It is a bit odd to have so many bouts of them.)

Folks are whinging about the cold and snow as if we were buried under 3 feet of it and we hadn't seen the sun in months. The weather reports uniformly grump when the temperature looks like it will drop below 40° F. All of this and spring is really more than a month away (the last frost is usually not until well after the beginning of April).

All of this annoys me greatly because I love winter. Yes, it has its discomforts and drawbacks, but I find every one of them easier to deal with than those of summer. I can move snow out of the way (can't do that with water). I can burn something to produce heat or at least wrap up well (can't produce cold without modern technology and can only take off so many clothes before frightening children and small animals). I can put a bowl of water on the hot air vent or a kettle on the fire to produce humidity (getting rid of it in summer is as hard as producing coolth). Winter sunshine seems less aggressive and more friendly than summer's blazing heat.

Perhaps it is because I'm not a gardener or farmer, nor have I ever wanted to be. While I find I enjoy the outdoors much more since God invented Claritin, I still prefer cooler temperatures and diffuse light to hot days with bright sunshine. That means my preferred activities are not curtailed by the cold and the snow - in fact, warmth leads to a surfeit of UN-preferred activities involving yard work and big metal tools.

I've often postulated that I have some sort of "reverse-seasonal-affective-disorder", where the longer and sunnier days drive me into my hibernation hidey-hole, to return when the nip of autumn air tells me it's nearly winter again.

The other day I was going through old song fragments, as I sometimes do to see if anything has percolated long enough to be finishable. I stumbled across a bit of lyric that I wrote in Georgia lamenting that by the time I was beginning to enjoy cooler weather the temperature was already starting to climb back to the inevitable high 90's and it was time to start mowing the lawn again. The great joy of my life here in Indiana is that I might actually be ready for spring when it comes, instead of wishing desperately for just one more cold snap before the long summer starts.

Someday I may join the ranks of those for whom winter can't end soon enough. I hope it doesn't happen for many, many years. For now, freezing temperatures with a light dusting of snow while I sit snug in my office with a cup of tea and sunshine streaming through the window are just fine with me.
 
 
Current Mood: chipperchillin'
 
 
 
Maia Cmaiac on February 18th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
I concede the advantages of managing one's home environment in the winter vs. summer. Except that it's usually more dire if the furnace goes out in the winter than if the air conditioner goes out.

I tolerate winter pretty well these days. But I'll never learn to love it, I think. I'm all about the sunshine and warmth, but then I have a higher tolerance for heat than for cold.
Betsey: firefly lights gravity workjerusha on February 18th, 2008 04:22 pm (UTC)
I also prefer winter to summer. On the other hand, those who complain that they haven't seen the sun in months may be on to something: the weather reports in Chicagoland informed us that, as of last week, we'd had 11 minutes of direct (non-overcast) sunlight in February. (Things have improved since then.)

But the ones that think Global Warming will save us from Winter? Ha. Global Warming will insert more energy into the chaotic system that is our weather. Likely result? Everything will get more extreme: the summers will be hotter, the winters colder, the dry seasons drier, the wet seasons wetter. Oh, goody.
Decadent Davedecadentdave on February 18th, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC)
If global warming does ever eliminate your winter then feel free to come visit us. G.W. will likely just reduce our winters from 8 months to 6. :)
Hugs.
kizoku42kizoku42 on February 18th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
I like having real winter when we have winter myself, though my favorite is fall. I've also wondered about the people doing the forecasting. My best guess is that they're trying to avoid lawsuits. If they keep telling people that 3" is a snowstorm then no one can say they weren't warned.

I also heard a lady on the Weather Channel telling people about heavy snow in Tennessee, visibility was down to 1/4 mile. Yeah right. OK, maybe in Georgia that would be heavy, maybe in Tennessee, but in Michigan those are flurries.
Keriskeristor on February 18th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
My mother's comment about temperature was that you could always put more on, but there's a physical limit to what you can take off, when you're down to skin you have to stop (and various legal and aesthetic considerations mean that some of us have to stop sooner). Not that we've had a proper winter in England for a decade or more...
archiver_timarchiver_tim on February 18th, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
If you want lots of sunshine, without to much heat, try going to the tip of Michigan's Kewennaw Pennisula for summer solistice. Eagle Harbor will have two more hours of daylight than Detroit and about three more hours of daylight than Atlanta.

-Ryan
Michael Pereckas: flutebeige_alert on February 18th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)
Ah, now we've been having a proper winter here in Milwaukee. My weather, let me show it to you. Good for skiing, and nice and pretty. Plus it's always fun to show these photos and talk about the -20°C days to people who live in places with wimpy winters and amaze them. (I don't think the Winnipeg people will be impressed, though.)
carolfcarolf on February 18th, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC)
You have taken the words right out of my mouth (almost word for word...)

I want all 4 seasons. I find I'm ready for each one by the time they arrive, given an evenly spaced weather pattern (which I've not seen for the last 20 years or so.) Yes, I suffer from SAD, and Fall is my favorite season, but even before hot flashes, I had trouble cooling off in summer. (I used to wear casual, winter clothes to work, then change into summer clothes once there, simply because the heat was too much!)

I suffer summer. I tolerate spring (at least during mud season.) I adore fall. I feel ... nestive in winter. (Can I make up my own words?)
Debbie Gtollers on February 19th, 2008 01:23 am (UTC)
I only mind winter when I have to drive in icy conditions. And I vastly prefer winter in Indiana over summer in Mississippi. There are reasons I moved north, and the endless days of 90-degree temps and 95% humidity were a huge factor.