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The Weather Outside Is Frightful

December 27th, 2010 - 9:07 am

Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.
-Lazarus Long (1912 – )

It was a white Christmas in Atlanta for the first time since 1882. Columbia, SC had its first one since record keeping began over a century ago. Snow has blasted through the entire northeast, leaving a foot here, two feet there, stranding travelers, caving in roofs — the whole blizzard works, in other words.

On the other side of the country, California is under a deluge of near-Biblical proportions. In Fresno, I think they’re building arks. Just in case.

Meanwhile, here in the Rocky Mountains, I can’t remember a winter this warm and dry. La Niña, apparently, has something to do with that. Unless, of course, it doesn’t. Don’t hate me because my heating bill will scarcely be half of last year’s –this winter weather follows on the heels of the coldest summer I’ve ever experienced up here, which followed the coldest winter we’ve had in ages. My fingers didn’t thaw out until June.

So can we please stop pretending we know much at all about the climate? We can barely figure out the weather.

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