Hooray for a warmer winter

Published 9:46 am Thursday, February 2, 2012

We apparently just left “Juneuary” and have now officially entered “Febuly.”

It’s been warmer this winter in case you haven’t noticed. Those who have taken note include my gas bill and therefore my banking account.

One place winter has made its presence known is in my home state of New York.

Oswego, where I went to college, recently received a modest seven inches of the white stuff. The lake effect snow machine that whirls around Lake Ontario geared up in just the in nick of time to save the city’s Winter Festival. City officials there were actually talking about trucking in snow for the event before Mother Nature intervened. It’s a fact hard to believe considering the city is typically buried by snow this time of year.

Yep, Old Man Winter certainly hit the “snooze” button this year.

Though weather forecasters in the Northeast have taken to the television air waves saying the probability of the region getting anymore snow fall is low, my mom swears it will happen.  It’s that feeling of living under the gun in the “snow belt”.

Weather experts say it’s “La Nina” and her friend  Arctic Oscillation (a natural fluctuation of atmospheric pressure between the Arctic, North Pacific and North Atlantic oceans) that are the culprits. The little sister of “El Nino” pushes the jet stream farther North resulting in less of that dry and freezing Canadian air dipping further South.

Of course if you’re a fan of a warmer winter (or warmer weather in general) you all know is all that means one thing—awesomeness! Warmer days in the winter have that nostalgic effect. It makes you want to sit around poolside wearing shades and an umbrella drink in your hand.

The gas companies on the other hand are probably loathing this winter along with those who run seasonal snow plow businesses and those who earn money shoveling out their neighbors.

And what does this all mean for Punxsutawney Phil, who made his prognostication today. Warmer winters could put him out of a job and his leisurely lifestyle of being waited on hand and foot at the Punxsutawney Zoo. With warmer winters the little guy just may have to hoof it on the street with a “will work for food” sign made out of cardboard.

Did we really need that forecast Phil? You too could have hit the snooze button because, fingers crossed, spring is on its way.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: amanda.vanderbroek@r-cnews.com or call (252) 332-7209.