Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Droning on about the Weather

Everywhere I have gone the last couple of days, I hear people talking about the snow to come. The foot-plus everyone got almost two weeks ago is a factor.A few shady lawns still have patches despite temps in the 40s.

Today, Dallas and Fort Worth are getting an inch or two. People are excited about this because if it hits 2 inches, it will set a record for snowiest winter. And it is snowing. Further south, the snow is heavier.

But I am slightly north, and not a snowflake has fallen. I'm minorly disappointed, partly pleased. Lows in the 20s overnight with no moisture means no icy roads, Good. It rained Sunday, and the landscape is already dotted with puddles that have grown into semi-permanent ponds. It is an interesting problem. I wonder what the aftereffects will be, besides less local produce and many more mosquitoes.

Two years ago, we had a drought so severe outside, watering was almost forbidden. Texas continues to have hundreds of people moving in daily. Add that to less water, and public officials all but banned outside watering. The ban on watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. remains in effect. Public outrage last summer when some miscreant blatantly watered midday was similar to public outrage if a smoker lights up in a smoke-free restaurant.

The H1N1 flu scare last fall seems to have dwindled, but it is pleasant now always finding soap dispensers in public bathrooms well-filled. Using hand sanitizer regularly seems to be a new cultural custom. In a mall last week, I saw a store with spa products displaying a basket of cleanser-moisturizer samples for public use. My friend pounced on it and was greatly pleased.

Humans are adaptible. We are proud of ourselves for that. Nowadays, we tend to be shocked when nature is bigger than we are. And it is. But we maneuver. We adapt. We change some of our behaviors.

Having lived in this area for decades, I hadn't realized how long it had been since a cold winter in North Texas. I talked to a man yesterday who moved here in 1994 and said he never remembers sustained cold weather here. Hmm. That means December in 1983 was the one when temperatures rose above 32 degrees only a few days. Like today, that also was an El Nino year. Not much moisture, though.

In the winter of 1977-78, I remember commuting to work when it snowed-or sleeted-every Wednesday for five weeks. On the sixth, it snowed 9 inches on Friday. Curltural reaction? The next fall, we had much warmer clothing in the stores than are usually available down here. I think the cities bought a lot more sand for the trucks, too. Probably didn't use it up for several years.

Areas where snow is usually plentiful are having near drought this winter. Other places are having record amounts. Aberration or pattern change? We'll have to wait and see.And we'll have to wait more than a year or two.

(sigh) there's so much more. Weather really is important. Resurces--and people--really are finite.

I suspect average citizens in third world countries understand this quite well without the science involved. The average citizen here is still an innocent.


Jeannie B. said...

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charlotte g said...

Thank you Jeannie. You made me smile. You nailed me really well. Wow.