Thursday, November 08, 2007

Weather notes

One of the reasons I set up a blog is to serve as a sort of weather journal. I've always meant to get a Gardener's Journal, a sort of multi-year diary where each day's page has entries for multiple years, so if you're making an entry for November 8, 2007, it goes on the same page as November 8, 2005 and November 8, 2002. (I don't know if these are made any bigger than five years. - CORRECTION: Lee Valley has one that runs for ten years.) That way you can directly compare temperatures, rainfall, and what stage you're at in the gardening cycle from one year to the next.

A blog doesn't do this as effectively. But by including a "Weather" tag, I can distill out the entries where I've talked about the weather.

So. We already know that this is the time of year for beautiful clouds. I've always thought that April and October are the prime months for sunrises, sunsets, and atmospheric optical phenomena, thanks to the changing composition of the clouds. But maybe climate change is pushing this into November.

Ditto for the peak of color on the Autumn leaves. When last I had a daytime existence, this past Saturday, some of the trees were beautifully colored, some were past peak, and others had not yet begun to change. Usually by now most of the leaves would be past peak and off the trees.

We had our first frosts last week, on October 29 and October 30. I got to experience these at 5:00 in the morning as I went to start my car.

We also had our first snow yesterday! Technically. Sort-of. Up until the time change, those of us leaving work at 6:00 PM these last few weeks would be treated, briefly, to the last moments of the sunset. With the time change, boom, it's dark when we leave - the sun had set an hour or more before. I walked out of work at about 6:10 yesterday - I tend to be very thorough with my turnover, and also use the facilities one last time before I go once my night-shift counterpart has arrived, and breezing out after 99% of my shiftmates have left beats waiting in line with a hundred other people to get out through the turnstiles and get wanded on the way out - and I was fully prepared to rage against the darkness and the night, when suddenly I was greeted by snow! Light flurries, blowing horizontally, but still - snow! It only lasted a few minutes, which was good, but it was fun to see the first snow of the season.

On the weather this morning I heard a discussion of El Niño (they opened with a clip of Chris Farley explaining that this is Spanish for "The Niño") years vs. La Niña years. Apparently we're in a La Niña year - so we can expect cold weather early on, mild weather in mid-Winter, and cold weather again after February 15 or so. As opposed to last Winter's El Niño year, when we saw our first significant snowfall on February 14. This year, I suppose we can safely assume it will not happen so early. Maybe the next day.

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