Monday, February 11, 2013

And then rain

No images this post, which is too bad because there was some really impressive snow fall. The kind that's big and fluffy enough to show up without a flash and dark background.  By the time I was out of class and could have taken pictures it had shifted to rain.  That's not good.

Snow when it's cold as Hell can be annoying, but it's not much of a problem.  Beyond shoveling.  (Note that after the blizzard I had to shovel pretty much to midnight to do the bare minimum.)  The worst is wet snow because its heavy and sticky.  Dry snow, the kind of snow you get when it's really damned cold, you can just shake off.

Rain is evil.  Not in the summer when it's warm, that's fine and sometimes divine, but when it's cold as Hell well then...  Rain is hypothermia.  Rain is ice.  Rain is so much weight being placed on tree branches that they snap.  Rain is power outages.  Rain can take light fluffy snow that's already fallen and make it into heavy back-breaking shoe-grabbing progress-slowing ick.  Rain = not good when it's cold.

And so, today, it rains.

Forget about the global average temperature for a while and let me tell you about southern Maine.  Coastal southern Maine.  The greater Portland area if you want to get specific.  (For those unfamiliar with the terminology, the greater Portland area is an area greater than Portland, not the greater part of Portland.)

We used to have seasons here.  If you've been reading every post this will be familiar.  Toward the end of the year it got cold.  Then there might or might not be a minor January thaw, then (whether or not there was a thaw) it got damn cold.  Until it got warm and that was spring.  There was a similarly recognizable summer.  And after that a recognizable fall.

The weather has always been unstable, but the seasons not so much.  There were freak days when it might snow in summer or be hot in winter, but the reason they were freak days was that they deviated from the well established pattern of the seasons making sense.  Plus, they tended to come few and years between.

We just had, according to the news, the biggest blizzard in my lifetime.  My lifetime and then some.  Two days later it's warm enough for rain.  There are no seasons here any more.  If there's a two day blizzard you can expect that it'll be cold for two days.  Otherwise not so much a two day blizzard.  But beyond something like that, the present is no predictor of the future.  Cold today doesn't mean "Probably about as cold tomorrow;" warm today doesn't mean, "Probably about as warm tomorrow."  "Feels like [pick a season]," doesn't tell you anything about what time of year it actually is.

It didn't used to be that way.

But it has been my entire adult life, more so every year.

Right here, right now, the climate has changed.  One can and probably should fear what will happen as it continues to do so, but for those who deny that climate change is a thing.  It's in my lifetime, and I'm not that old.

I need science to tell me that this isn't an isolated incident; I need science to tell me that this extends beyond my portion of southern coastal Maine.  I don't need science to tell me that the climate here has fucking well changed.  I need only pay attention to the way things are now and remember how they were then.  I can also compare notes with people who were adults then, to make sure that I'm not just making my childhood out to be idyllic.  (First off it wasn't, much of it downright sucked.  Second, no I'm not.  People who were adults at the time remember when we had seasons.  Plus you can still see the shift taking place more or less every year, always in the same direction.)

Right here, where I have lived for longer than I can remember, where my family has lived for generations, the climate has changed and is continuing to do so.  God only knows what this is doing to crops that need to keep cold the winter through lest they try to bloom early only and die with the next frost.

Blizzard over.  Now there's rain.  I'm damn glad I'll be getting a ride home today.

Blizzard over.  Now there's rain.  I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to work that way.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, I always forget about that overhead power infrastructure. I know, I know, long distances and spread-out houses, but it still seems strange to me.