Winter is fast approaching, and it is difficult to know what to expect. Will this be the year to buy an all-wheel drive vehicle, a pair of pac boots and a snow blower? Or, a year where there is no need to mothball that favorite sports car for a season due to deep snow conditions?
As of this writing, the National Weather Service predicts a 40% probability of below-average precipitation in Michigan, and a 40%-50% probability of above-average temperatures during December, January and February. It predicts above-average temperatures for the entire United States. But, that’s no surprise.
“However, this year it looks as though NOAA is at a loss as to how much precipitation will fall over most of the United States over the 2019-20 winter,” the weather service reports on its website.
Then, of course, there is the quite opposite prediction in the Old Farmer’s Almanac, that venerable source that has guided farmers since 1792 and which purports to be 80.5% accurate.
“GET READY FOR SHIVERS, SNOWFLAKES AND SLUSH! BIG CHILLS AND STRONG STORMS WILL BRING HEAVY RAIN AND SLEET, NOT TO MENTION PILES OF SNOW,” its website virtually shouts.
“For some parts of the country, frigid and frosty conditions will last well into spring, bringing little relief to the winter weary,” the website states. “This could feel like the never-ending winter, particularly in the Midwest and east to the Ohio Valley and Appalachians, where wintery weather will last well into March and even through the first days of spring,” almanac editor Janice Stillman is reported as saying. “This snowverload will include storms pummeling Washington state and points eastward across the northern-tier states into Michigan,” the website reports. The almanac is predicting seven large snowstorms this winter from coast to coast.
A snowverload, by the way, according to the online Urban Dictionary, is what you might guess: “When a person, usually Canadian, …. goes absolutely nuts due to the overwhelming amounts of snow …”
That brings me to this issue.
It is loaded with stories about great things to do in Michigan during winter, from snowshoeing and sleigh rides with gourmet dinners to skiing at night, outdoor ice-skating rinks and delightful lodges and resorts to consider for that well sought-after winter getaway. Back page Reflections columnist Jerry Dennis writes an evocative piece about visiting snowy owls in winter. Glenn Wolff, who illustrates Reflections, created a magical portrait of a snowy owl. It is not to be missed.
Then there are winter essays by two talented contributors who express very different sentiments about the cold season. Their essays are found in the State of Mine and Sporting Life departments. Each elaborates about Michigan winters and their personal coping strategies. Hint: One was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula; the other southern Louisiana. Their differing points of view are sure to strike a chord with readers. Let us know who you identify with. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
And be sure to keep warm. ≈
Howard Meyerson, Managing Editor, Michigan BLUE Magazine.
*Read more by Howard Meyerson – “Michigan Winters: A Different Kind of Paradise“