Sunday, December 21, 2003

Let's Talk About the Weather
In Michigan we talk about the weather a lot. Even on days the weather is perfect, we remark on it because perfect weather doesn't happen that often. This time of year we don't need to be concerned with perfect weather. It isn't going to happen.

We live about an hour east of Lake Michigan and we get "lake-effect snow". If you're curious, do a Goggle search and you'll soon learn more than you ever wanted to know about the science of how this happens. What it means to me is that Lake Michigan causes air currents to act in such a way as to drop more snow on my house than other places. Twenty miles east of here, where I work, they get less snow than we do. Forty miles east of here where my daughter lives they have even less snow, although I'm sure she thinks they still have plenty.

Everyone who lives in the area is aware of lake-effect snow. It's not uncommon for people at work to quiz me about how much snow I have at my house. And we usually do have more than they do.

One of the many things I've learned commuting in Michigan is that it doesn't pay to sweat the weather forecasts because they are not accurate. The worst snowstorms come unpredicted. The predicted snowstorms don't happened.

It snowed all day at my house on Friday - about six inches. When I left work on Friday there was a "lake-effect advisory" for fourteen additional inches of snow at the VanBuren/Kalamazoo County line. I live a few miles west of that line and hoped the forecast was inaccurate as usual. I wasn't disappointed. Before I got home it stopped snowing and there were very few snowflakes after that. Not 14 inches. Not even another inch.

Best I can figure, the local weatherman had a holiday get-together he didn't want to attend so he made up that forecast so he could stay home.

In Michigan, we say that if you don't like the weather just wait 24 hours. Today was a beautiful day. 42 degrees F. That's almost balmy for Michigan in December. The snow is melting and it's supposed to rain tomorrow. Wonder what will really happen. I'll wear my boots and dress warm - just in case.

Are you expecting a white Christmas where you live?