Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Something to Consider

It's snowing right now outside my window at work. Real snow that actually sticks to the ground, in contrast to the flurries that has been all we've been getting here this winter. Not that it hasn't been cold enough, it's just been too darn dry most of the time that everytime it dips below freezing here in northern VA, it never does anything. Annoying, really.

The other night on the news, when the weatherman was talking about the precip that is currently coming down outside my window, he mentioned that we had been lucky so far in terms of winter weather. Which got me to thinking (I know. it's a dangerous habit). What, exactly, is "bad" or "lucky" or "good" weather and what makes it so?

Last year ('07 actually), in November, it rained for about four days straight -- a gentle, soaking rain that was absorbed (almost) completely into the ground. In addition, during those four days, the thermometer dropped about ten degrees, and we got about four inches of rain. And everyone complained about it. They complained that it was too cold and that it was too wet, and when was the sun going to come out again?

The reason that it was so baffling, though, was that the temperatures during those four days weren't all that cold. They were normal, average temps for November. What made them different was that it had been unusually warm throughout September and October. In addition, it had also been very dry. From June through September, we had approximately 3.5 inches of rain (Total. In Four Months.), ten inches below the average for that time of the year, and October wasn't any different. During that time, everyone grumbled that it was too dry. So why, when it finally rained and cooled down, were people complaining?

The same is true for right now. It's JANUARY, for crying out loud. That means that, in northern VA, it's SUPPOSED to be cold and snowy outside. If a person does not enjoy cold wintery weather, then that person can go and live in an area of the world that does not have cold snowy weather in the winter. Why in the world is snow (or rain or any form of precip, really) considered bad, simply for doing what it was made to do, which was fall to the ground? Don't we need precipitation as much as we do sunlight? And why, especially in the light of global warming, is cold weather considered horrible, particularly in January, when it's supposed to be cold?


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