09 December 2016

The #WeatherGeek Weekly: Wintry Cold Rain

A good portion of the state of Georgia is experiencing a severe drought with several northern swaths of the state having reached extreme conditions. Sadly, due to such bone dry conditions, Wildfire Season started earlier this year --- it doesn't "officially" start until January --- and posed a greater danger to surrounding residential areas as the combination of drought and windy, blustery days meant any spark ups could travel far, fast. (Shout out to all the brave Fire & Rescue squad members who have battled the wildfires ravaging the South! We see you.)

The metro Atlanta area had gone through a period of 40 odd days with no measurable precipitation before severe weather invaded the state a few days ago (at least four tornadoes plowed through the area). We need rain, but it's difficult to appreciate it when it arrives with further danger in tow. Thankfully, the latest round of showers  that passed through did not reach severe storm level. Still these showers were coupled with some of the coldest air we've experienced so far this season which made things quite "nippy".

We're already below freezing this morning with a Wind Chill in the 'teens, and projected to go below freezing tomorrow morning and again Sunday morning, before "warming" next week. This is early cold for the South as (the official start of) Winter is still two weeks away. We haven't had morning temps this low since last February. In other words, what's more typical for the heart of Winter is occurring before Winter has actually arrived.

It's runny nose weather --- cold, windy and often wet. Time to break out the Duck Boots, knee socks and cable knit sweaters --- and mull some cider! (My tools of choice for surviving cold weather.)

NOTES: As someone who loves science, theoretical analysis and predictive models, I'm a natural born meteorologist. I have a digital weather station outdoors that beams data indoors. I check the various services radar outputs and make my own reports. I tend to be more accurate than the local news, pinpointing expectations to my own "block".

In spite of my love of all the accompanying weather tech gadgets, I consult local almanacs for historical data (predictive models at work). Poor Richard's was a childhood favorite. As a wee tot, I quite admired Ben Franklin. He was a man of science with a bright mind. My kind of fellow.

In my home town, people lived off of the land, by choice and by need. I was raised in a rural farming and equestrian area with storied traditions and a prominent history. (The local country club hosts one of the nation's oldest, still operating Old English themed fox hunts.) In "explaining" the South and Southerners to strangers, I often try to give a bit of historical perspective. But one must remember each Southern state has its own flavor.

I know Georgia. The state of Georgia was founded as a Royal Charter (Penal) Colony, thus, a lot of our history is strictly Old English (or more accurately Old United Kingdom, for we have strong Scots/Irish influences also). In many ways, the Old South in Georgia is equivalent to Old English Country Life. If you examine how closely Australia, another Royal Penal Colony, to this day mimics English society it may give you some idea about Georgia society historically. I have had British citizens remark that I seem British. Considering my background, it's not surprising.

This history lesson is by way of saying that you can expect me to discuss the weather as more than a mere conversation starter. I was taught to respect the weather at a young age. When you're a farmer (and I hope to grow/raise at least 90% of my family's food) weather controls your livelihood. We plan to live off of the land, as my ancestors before me did, so it helps to be a Boy Scout. Be Prepared.

1 comment:

  1. I never personally "rode to hounds", but went to school with a number of people who did. I grew up materially poor. Dirt poor, to borrow the vernacular. However, my home town and its surrounding area was so fervent in its traditions, that poor children like me would have needed to bury our heads in the sand to miss them. I may not have been participant, but I could probably have been a Master of Hounds at a fox hunt, if I cared to do so.

    I didn't grow up playing golf either, though I knew every player on the school golf team. The Masters is my home tournament and I know golf like I know Georgia. (You might say my home town is an Augusta suburb.) The entire area transformed into a golf mecca come every April. Thus, I was exposed to golf lore from birth, nearly.

    As I said, the South has strong traditions... Georgia was no exception, but rather a standard-bearer. Participant or not in those traditions, my education in relation to them was never lacking.

    You should know I never envied the materially wealthy. (As I mere child I could see that their having never experienced the need to earn a thing through their own merit meant that many of them often lacked good sense and were to be pitied, if anything.) Besides, I am simply not the jealous sort; not a part of my DNA, I guess.

    Ben Franklin's quote is a propos here: "Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is."

    There's my man Franklin, again. He was often a guiding light(ning bolt) during my childhood.