Winter 2015-2016

The one thing I hate about the metric system is that one gets to below zero WAY too easily.

snowI know winter 2015-2016 is not over yet, but I’m intrigued by it so far. It was 71F/22C on Albany on Christmas eve, a record. We didn’t even have any measurable snow until a few days later.

Remember that monster storm that slammed the East Coast in the latter part of January? It crippled Washington, DC, Virginia, and eastern Pennsylvania. Even New York City got a couple of feet.

Do you know how much we got from that storm in Albany, 150 miles north of Manhattan? Zero. Nada. In fact, my sister in Charlotte, NC got worse weather than we had, as did my buds in Kentucky and Tennessee.

I note this because most folks in the United States have no sense of geography. Several times, even my downstate colleagues in New York City and Long Island asked, “Are you finished digging out?” Digging out from what?

As of February 20, we had less than a foot of snow (less than a third of a meter) for the whole season, a quarter of what we receive normally, and nowhere near the nearly 70 inches (1.75m) we had LAST year at this time. I haven’t shoveled the walk yet, although I’ve taken a broom to the sidewalk a few times.

And the temperature has been moderate. Not that it didn’t get cold. On Valentine’s Day morning, it was -13F (-25C), another record, though it cracked 50F (10C) two days later.

The pipes to the kitchen froze, which meant I got to wash all the dishes by hand, hauling hot water from the nearby bathroom, where the pipes, further from the external wall, did NOT freeze. I LOVED washing the dishes that way, though I must have tried a dozen times to rinse them with water from the unwilling tap.

I think this stuff is fascinating to me because, as we age, it’s much harder to distinguish one year from another. Last year WAS a brutal winter, with the average temperature for February 12F (-11C), when it should have been 19F (-7C), with several days below zero Fahrenheit. (The one thing I hate about the metric system is that one gets to below zero WAY too easily.)

I’m noting this now when it’s scheduled to be above 50F (10F), but that “just enough cold air may seep in at a key time to allow snow to fall during all or part of one or two storms from the Ohio Valley to portions of the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts during the Tuesday to Thursday time frame.” In other words, it ain’t over yet, even though the groundhog failed to see his shadow and we expect an early spring.