Wednesday, January 2, 2008

And now, your local forecast...

So weather it is. Rebecca's theme for January, that is. It's rather funny I think, since Kev and I just had a weather conversation yesterday (which often causes one of us to say "hey, we're like old people who sit around and talk about weather"). However, we're both weather geeks so discussing the weather is fun for us. I know, it sounds very boring but it's one of the things we do.

Living in western Washington for 30+ years, you don't get a lot of opportunity to sit around and discuss the extreme weather. Those conversations usually look like this:

Person one: well, looks like rain.
Person two: yep, sure does.

That's basically it. Sure it snows once in a while, the wind blows stronger than it should, the summer time can bring the occaisional heat wave, but it's more common than anything to see some percentage point of rain in the forecast, with rather mild temps. Rain is good though, it's what keeps the PacNW green and pretty, and we like it that way.

brrOntario Canada however, is a completely different talk show. So much so, that I actually have a "Canadian Winter" category here at my blog, and a winter folder at my flickr photo page. Canadian winters are in control of the situation, whether it's getting to church that Sunday (we miss a lot of church in the winter), getting to work (Kev reserves at least a week of vacation days every year, for snowed-in days) or how much firewood you use/stock up for the coming winter. In other words, you expect extremes and you do your best to plan for them and prepare for winter well in advance. Winter weather is serious around these parts, and it plays a huge role in day to day life (such as starting a fire in the morning even before that first cup of coffee). In my Weather Folder in my IE favorites, I have several links. One is for radar, one is for the weather warning page for my county and another is for the county north of us (we're 5 minutes from the county line so we often get a mix of both county's weather - or just one, or the other), there is also the Farmer's Almanac link, and two different 14 day forecast sites.

It's those last two links that made Kev and I laugh yesterday. On one of those pages, it tells us that in the next two weeks we're going to see a lot of 'extremely cold' and snow, and on the other 14 day forecast it says we're going to see temps continue to climb and by the middle of next week should see what is commonly known as the January Thaw, with temps right around 50f, with plenty of sun. In other words, the two forecasts couldn't be more opposite. The site that says temps are going up next week is the one that's been far more accurate, so we're going to go with that one and assume it's correct.

I'm really looking forward to that as well. This is the time of year most of the snow melts (yay!) for a week or so and you can get outside and get things done out there that you didn't get a chance to get to, before the snow & frigid temps and icy winds arrived. Like find your snow shovel that got buried in the 3 foot drift 3 weeks ago. I hate when that happens. It's also the time of year that I drive down to the little bridge one dirt road down, and take winter pictures without my coat on. It's a nice break before the ice storms and deep cold of late January and February show up. That's when you hunker down for the next 6 weeks or so and start looking through those sale fliers for Canadian Tire and WalMart and wonder why they torture you with ads for barbeque grills and swingsets and spring-like fashions, when you have a small mountain of snow outside your back door and you haven't seen the wood on the deck in weeks.

Yay, Canadian winter. At least we found a great sledding hill to make it a little more enjoyable this year.