So for those of you getting ready for Snowpocalypse, as the mid-Atlantic faces, gasp – a whole foot of snow, I have to tell you something. I’m jealous. I mean really, really jealous. I want your snow.
A general pattern of winter storms in my area (upstate NY) is that they come down from Canada and across the Great Lakes. We are at the very eastern edge of the snow belt in New York, and we don’t usually get the giant lake-effect snows that Buffalo and other areas get, but we can generally expect to spend the winter with a solid several feet on the ground. But not this year.
Somehow, all the snow has been coming up from the south and across the Northeast. With the exception of one wimpy 6 inch snowfall in December, we’ve had almost nothing – an inch here, two inches there, but basically, jack. This is bad for a couple of reasons. First of all, I like snow. I live in a cold climate and I like to cross country ski, I like to sled and I like to be out in the snow. We haven’t built a single snowman this year, and my kids have only been sledding a couple of dozen times. What’s the point of winter without snow?
Second, we’ve had extremely cold temperatures and drying winds – snow is a wonderful insulator, holding ground temps and low growing plants at right around freezing, even when outside temperatures drop to -10 or -20 or occasionally -30F around here. No snow means my garden perennials bear the entire burden of the cold, and I will probably lose some of the tenderer plants.
Finally, my landscape is a hell of a lot prettier with snow on it. I love the way the fields and forests look here, but around March, when things melt off, we have a period of mud, grey and beige before it finally greens up. A couple of weeks of this is a bit disheartening but probably inevitable. Two or three months of bare grey ground sucks. We’ve got enough snow at the moment to cover things up after the big, wet meltoff a couple of weeks ago, but hey.
So today, while you folks in the mid-Atlantic are drinking your bottled water and eating your stored food and looking fearfully at the accumulation indexes, I’m jealous as heck. It would be the perfect day for a blizzard here – the boys are all sick to various degrees and Eric is home with a lingering sinus infection. We have nowhere to go and wouldn’t pester people with our diseases if we did. As long as I get to be shut up in the house with my sick family, I want my snow, cocoa by the fire and the Currier and Ives view.
So you as the entire East-Center of the country shuts down, you can consider a move out of wintery Virginia or Maryland to sunny, snowless upstate New York, the new Florida (just give AGW a little time). And console yourself with the fact that you’ve made me jealous.