Sunday, February 08, 2009

A Long Winter

Ooo! Look! The first sign of spring in Michigan: the deer are starting to move around:

Several people e-mailed me this funny picture and I couldn't resist including it here.

This winter has been unusually cold and snowy, like "winter when I was growing up" everyone keeps saying. I found the reason why in meteorologist Mark Torregrossa's column in Tuesday's Flint Journal (Feb. 3):

We know it's been snowy this winter, and it was certainly very snowy last year. The two combined have made for a record. For the calendar year of 2008, a record was set for the most snow in one year. MBS [Midland Bay City Saginaw] Airport near Freeland had 102.5 inches of snow. To do what I attribute this large amount of the white stuff? I believe we are in what I call a cyclical stormy pattern caused by the temperature pattern of the Pacific Ocean. I'm talking about the north half of the Pacific. This pattern is thought to last over 20 years by researchers. That doesn't mean every year is going to be snowy, but we may have above-normal snow for another 10 years or so.

That makes sense! It was very snowy when I was growing up but it hasn't been for the last 20 years, until now. I don't mind, after all this what winter is SUPPOSED to be like.

Yesterday the February thaw hit. It was 45 and everyone was out enjoying the weather WITHOUT coats. Today it's still warm (in the mid-30s) and the most of the snow has melted. I took advantage of the weather and finally took down my outside Christmas lights. I know spring isn't really here (colder temps and more snow are predicted for the end of the week) but winter gets really hard after a taste of spring.

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