The Farmers’ Almanac said it was going to be like this. But after last winter no one really believed it. And with all the harping we hear about global warming, most people felt we’d never have a really cold winter again.
(I know, global warming has to do with climate change, not temperature, but it’s hard to make a compelling argument that the climate is warming up when the temperature in Florida is 25 degrees!)
The Almanac was right when it predicted the South would have a cold winter, which was topped off by last week’s super freeze that marched across the South like Sherman’s Army a century and a half ago. It left about as much destruction, too, at least on our streets and highways.
And who was the brainchild in Atlanta who closed schools and businesses simultaneously so folks could beat the blizzard home? The result had just the opposite effect. The ensuing gridlock literally left many people stranded in the cold where they either slept in their vehicles or abandoned them for warmer surroundings. The mayor of that city is the scapegoat for the fiasco but in reality it was a culmination of decisions by the school system, local and state governments and the private sector to get their people home ahead of the storm. The same gridlock was occurring in Birmingham and other ill-equipped cities all across the Deep South.
Down here in this part of the country it was frigid with high temperatures hovering around 30 all day Wednesday. And even though the snow never materialized, we got some freezing rain and sleet that turned the roofs of houses white and caused icicles to form on anything that dripped.
The older I get the more cold-natured I am and this kind of weather hurts my bones. I had my ‘storm drawers’ on – that’s long-underwear to city folks – all day Wednesday and Thursday and they made things somewhat bearable when I had to venture outside.
But then on Saturday the temperature was in the 70s and the sun was shining bright again (this is North Florida, you know; cold one day, hot the next). It felt like an early spring day. It’s now been a week of mild weather and most people have forgotten about the Big Chill. Momentarily, anyway, until utility bills hit the mailbox next month.
The Farmers’ Almanac has always been a useful guide for planting crops, gardens, flowers and such. It has good information about all kinds of things like food, astrology and homemade remedies. As far as its weather predictions ... most readers assume it’s only conjecture since forecasts are so far in advance. I have never given them much credence. Until now.
For your information, the Almanac predicts a hot, wet summer for North Florida. But then, that’s more like it!