Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas, weather or not

This being Minnesota, I think the correct comment on today's local weather is "that's different," especially when looked at from the slightly broader perspective that includes the past few days:

Christmas snow cover 2013
Christmas snow cover 2013
Photo by J. Harrington

  • Today is December 16 so we're in meteorological Winter

  • Today is December 16 so we're in astronomical Autumn

  • If it's Winter, the chipmunk captured yesterday in the Hav-a-Hart trap should have been hibernating

  • If it's Autumn, that could explain the thunder snow / rain storm that came through awhile ago

  • If this is Winter, the local ponds should be ice covered. They aren't.

  • If this is Winter, there should probably be several inches of snow on the ground. There isn't.

  • If this is the "new normal" for local weather, it's going to play hob with phenology

  • If you think this is just a short-term aberration, read Sandra Steingraber's The Discontent of Our Winter from several years ago

Christmas snow cover 2014
Christmas snow cover 2014
Photo by J. Harrington

If we get another Polar Vortex like last year's, I'm going to learn to hibernate myself, but I have to admit, this only looks a lot like Christmas if you live right on either coast. I hope it doesn't become Minnesota's "new normal" for the Twin Cities at Christmas season.

The Snow Is Deep on the Ground

By Kenneth Patchen 

The snow is deep on the ground.   
Always the light falls
Softly down on the hair of my belovèd.

This is a good world.
The war has failed.
God shall not forget us.
Who made the snow waits where love is.

Only a few go mad.
The sky moves in its whiteness
Like the withered hand of an old king.   
God shall not forget us.
Who made the sky knows of our love.

The snow is beautiful on the ground.   
And always the lights of heaven glow   
Softly down on the hair of my belovèd.

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Please be kind to each other while you can.