It is amazing how advanced our weather-predicting technology has become. As a child of the ’60s, I remember weathermen standing in front of a large plexi-glass map of the United States, drawing arrows to demonstrate the cold fronts swirling across Minnesota from the Canadian plains. I remember the meteorologists tacking up big snowflakes or raindrops on the map to show what was coming.
Now we have Doppler weather radar and we don’t even have to wait for the nightly news to see it. We have miniature weather stations on our smartphones, ready to call up a video loop of advancing storms any time we want.
We’ve come a long way, but the science still isn’t perfect. For example, one of our latest storms—when our local schools let kids out at 1:30 in the afternoon— dumped about 8 – 10 inches on the North Shore when the weathermen had predicted only 3 – 5 inches.
So, as I write this Unorganized Territory, I wonder what is going to hit us as the meteorologists with their fancy computer weather models are predicting 8 – 10 inches of snow tomorrow. Does that mean we will get 16 – 20 inches? That is a lot of snow.
I don’t know where we will put it. The topic of conversation around the office in recent days has been of the difficulty of shoveling our walkways. It’s getting harder and harder to pitch a shovelful of snow onto the snow bank. Our snow banks are now shoulder high.
The folks plowing our driveways are having the same problem. I went riding with my husband Chuck while he attempted to clear our driveway and a few others that he keeps open through the winter. The snow banks are so big that when he rams them with a new plow load of snow, they just tumble back down. It’s an adventure plowing this winter!
Chuck avidly watches the weather forecast, mentally preparing for what is on the way. I don’t pay too much attention. I have to be out and about no matter the weather and my philosophy is that I’ll look out the window in the morning and figure out what I need to wear that day. I’ll worry about driving conditions when I start driving.
But a few days ago, as I was driving home from the office, I noticed the most beautiful sunset over the Grand Marais harbor. The lake was almost completely frozen and both the lighthouse and the light on the west breakwall were coated in white. All that white against a pastel pink sky with faint streaks of blue and purple was stunning. It almost didn’t look real. It looked like a snow sculpture of our harbor. I pulled over to just stare at it for a moment.
The old poem, “Red sky at night, sailors delight; Red sky in morning, sailors take warning,” came to mind. Forget the weatherman, I thought; it is going to be nice tomorrow.
And it was! It snowed like crazy through the night and we woke up to another dumping of snow—more shoveling, snow-blowing and plowing—but it was also bright and sunny and way above zero degrees. It was beautiful. I’m not a sailor, but I was delighted.
I’m hoping to see a lovely pink sky at night again soon!
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Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.