Next comes fireball season

Can’t tell you what a relief it was to wake up to a dusting of snow on the ground this morning in Potsdam. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been through every winter since 1957 in the North Country and I have never seen the like of this. Admit it; it’s been creeping you out, too, like around day four of the Ice Storm of 1998, when we all began to wonder if some terrible tipping point had arrived, that somebody had broken the weather.

Fireball season. Photo: Karen Maraj, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Fireball season. Photo: Karen Maraj, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Next might come fireball season, volcanoes erupting in the Adirondacks, Northern Lights visible by day as a second moon rises pale and purple in the west. Yikes!

In the usual North Country weather tale an old fart on the next stool at the diner will say, “You think this is winter? I remember the blizzard of ’77 when 96 inches fell in 36 hours. I helped deliver groceries on snowmobile. You had to go upstairs to see out the windows.” And then everybody else at the counter would try to top it.

I have to say, I’d prefer that to this. Extremes of the season are one thing, skipping a season altogether is another. History still remembers 1816 as the “year without a summer” after the eruption of Tambora put so much dust into the atmosphere as to give the world a foretaste of nuclear winter.

They say the winter of 1931-32 was like this one, but that was before my time, or the time of anyone I know who lived here then. And since the Weather Channel’s local historical weather data only goes back to 1945, you can’t prove it by me. So let’s call this a once-in-a-lifetime weather event. Once is plenty.

Do you have a once-in-a-lifetime weird weather tale? Spill it in a comment below. You know you want to.


1 Comment on “Next comes fireball season”

  1. Ken Hall says:

    “So let’s call this a once-in-a-lifetime weather event. Once is plenty.”

    How goes the adage “watch what you wish for; you may get it”; unfortunately, I don’t think that you are likely to be given this implicit wish for this Winter to be a once in a lifetime event. NOAA and NASA are projecting 2016 to snatch the hottest year ever recorded for the Earth away from 2015. That is not to say that the Winter of 206/17 will be milder than this past one but look at Jan16 with what maybe a full week total of near 30 year average temps (which include 10 or more years of record hot weather) and the rest warmer than average. After the 4 days or so of near 30 year average temps this upcoming Thursday through Sunday looks like it is going to be right back to above average again in Feb16.

    Regardless of ones “beliefs” the pretty solid conclusion is far too damn many humans are plundering spaceship Earth and converting way too much of the hydrocarbon fuels that Mother Earth sequestered away over 50-100 million years into principally water and carbon-dioxide which is/has been overpowering the Earth’s natural ebb and flow of glacial and inter-glacial climatic periods over tens of thousands of years. The folks who maintain we are in an ice age are correct and we have been for about 2.6 million years which has been characterized by a glacial inter-glacial ebb and flow over about 100 thousand years for the past million years and was likely sliding from a temperature peak back toward a temperature minimum until we rudely interrupted the process by driving the CO2 level far higher than the Earth’s natural processes did prior to our arrival on the scene with hydrocarbon combustion machinery.

    If we were to hold the average temperature rise to the 2 degrees C, envisioned by those too consumed by greed to take any serious measures to do so, we would have brought the average temperature of the Earth to a level not seen for about 5 million years. My opinion is that it is time to bend over and kiss it goodbye; as Dr. James Hansen said about the vaunted Paris symposiums: “It’s a fraud really, a fake.” “It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ Humanity will be exceedingly lucky to hold the average Earth temperature rise to 5-8 degrees above what had been a norm for the past 10,000 years minus the 200 we have buggered.

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