Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Winter That Wasn't...

It’s kind of amazing looking at the nation tonight to see only one state (Maine) having below freezing temperatures.  Oh sure, some parts of the mountainous west are below freezing, but I’m just looking at mainly non-mountain stations.   In addition, the lack of snow cover is remarkable.  So what’s going on?    Quite simply, the lack of a persistent East Coast trough has kept most of the Arctic chill well north allowing for short lived cold spells followed by longer lasting mild periods.  Only the West has seen a difficult Winter with way above normal snowfalls & plenty of rain at lower elevations.  With the troughs mainly over the West Coast, storm after storm keeps slamming into California wiping out a 5 year drought in 3 months.   With a full 6-8 weeks left in their rainy season, they remain on track for the wettest on record.   Does that mean we’re done with the cold?   I don’t think so.  In fact, I expect March to start out colder that January or February.  With the higher sun angle & longer days, we are almost  past the historical hard freeze period.   We still could get a late freeze so be careful about planting any tropical flowers or bushes just yet, unless you have means of protecting them from frost or a light freeze.   With my grapefruit tree blooming already, I picked the last 49 grapefruit (3 left way on top) making for over 300+ this year!  Even eating one a day for 3 months leaves 200+ so I’m been juicing them.  I find that grapefruit juice with either orange or cranberry juice plus vodka makes for a wonderful late afternoon medication!   Retirement allows for many more opportunities to experiment on self-medication, plus there are no doctor’s fees!


Saw where one company has already issued their 2017 Hurricane outlook.  Give me a break.  These outlooks have very little practical value but that doesn’t stop the hype.  They are calling for a very active season (16+ named storms) with 6 U.S. land falling hurricanes.  Dr. Gray’s team won’t issue their outlook until April with NOAA’s in May.  The big thing now seems to be coming out with the first.   Until they can tell us where & when, these outlooks are pretty useless.  Stay tuned!

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