The snow melted yesterday -- some of it

Posted by: Bill Webb in Untagged  on Print PDF

Yesterday, for the second day in a row, outside temperatures became almost balmy. Here in mid-Missouri in the Midwest, higher temperatures and sustained sunshine were godsends.

The weather where I live has not been so different from most winters we experience. We tend to get a few inches of snow from time to time, just like this year so far. And we tend to get some sustained days of low (translation: subfreezing) temperatures. This year, we have experienced some sub-zero days and nights as well. These had the effect of keeping some of our snowfalls around, too. We don’t always get snow and extremely low temps at the same time.

Today, most of the snow is gone. It had lingered long enough to become dirty snow. Mainly all that still exists is a remnant of what was pushed into piles off street and driveway surfaces as we continued our normal lives. Many of us enjoyed a few snow days from work as crews cleared roads, streets and neighborhoods – pretty much the normal winter fare.

The bigger winter storm story has been the national picture. More snow has fallen in the west around the Rocky Mountains, in the upper plains, the Great Lakes and in the east, particularly the northeast. The Southwest has experienced more snow and ice than usual, as has the South and Southeast. Many of these places aren’t accustomed to such winter outbreaks, and the weather became headline news for their residents.

For those of us who live in the heart of the Midwest, it could have been worst. (We’re assuming most of winter is behind us now that March is in sight.)

My fellow Midwesterners and I are like people from just about every section of the United States when it comes to weather. No matter what the season, weather interests us, even when it does not seem to produce treacherous conditions.

As we awake each day, we tend to tune in to morning newscasts via television, radio, the Internet or mobile devices. Morning newscasts tend to lead with the weather. On TV, the Weather Channel has to be a real moneymaker. If we are so inclined –- and many of us are –- we can get an up-to-the-hour weather assessment/prediction on our smartphones.

Whether we admit it or not, we Americans tend to be weather junkies.

Like our fellow Americans, we Midwesterners also complain about weather, noting when it is too cold, too messy, too hot, too humid, too dry, too windy or, on occasion, too boring. To be fair, we also take note when the weather outside appears to be near perfect for our individual tastes, although American tastes vary on the subject of atmospheric conditions.

We have a saying in the Midwest that we adapted from one of our own who used it to describe another part of America. Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, said, “If you don't like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.” (I suspect they say something like this across the country.)

Compared to weather here just a few days ago, today’s versions looks pretty good. I like what I see out my office window. But wait a minute, I just checked the weather app on my phone, and I am not looking forward to the showers and thunderstorms predicted for later today and tomorrow.

The weather is just like life in general –- always changing and too unpredictable!

Bill Webb is editor of Word&Way.

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