Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2008 Winds Down (or goes down the drain)

With the last storm, 2008 officially became the wettest year on record in New Hampshire. Three of the top five years occurred in the last four years. The record was formerly held by 2005, with 2006 in third place. Records go back to 1870 in Concord. The next two places are held by 1888 and 1897.

Last summer seemed like it never happened. Cloudy skies and chaotic storms dominated every week after the drought and fire danger of May ended as abruptly as it had followed the extraordinarily snowy winter. The air was warm and damp. Closets and drawers in the house grew rank with mildew.

Ugly weather discourages many people from playing outside. The early surge we got in the dry start tapered off to a steady flow of repairs and a light rhythm of sales.

As this winter gets underway it seems to take up where last winter left off. We've had early snow, but temperatures that have started to seesaw above and below freezing. Sure it's zero right now, but tomorrow we're looking at almost 40, with rain moving in. For the next week the forecast calls for mixed precipitation including snow at temperatures above freezing. There's a lot of water in snow like that. Sign of the times? Can we look forward to another non-summer after we crawl out of the snowbanks again?

One can never be sure, of course. We could slide just a few degrees farther to the warm side and get only rain for the rest of the winter. I don't wish it, certainly, but I've seen it before.

A snowless winter does not mean an early spring. It just means the local economy is further depressed because the businesses that depend on snow didn't get it. In this economy, how well are those businesses going to do anyway?

Nordic skiing is "the cheap skiing." That's a benefit if people feel they can afford to go skiing at all, but no help if people have no budget for recreation. Bicycling has transportation benefits, but only if people can and will take advantage of them.

Wet weather will discourage everyone somewhat, and some people completely, in any season. It's one factor we can't control on a day to day basis.

1 comment:

Ron George said...

Plenty of rain here in nyc....took a flight yesterday in crap. Makes u wonder how jet engines can injest all that water and still not flame out!

Merrry Christmas!