I admit it, I am a weather junkie. I suspect that if I were home all day I'd have the Weather Channel on all the time, just so I could glance over and not miss anything. My poor friends must endure a constant barrage of useless weather-related statistics that I throw at them all year round, and the last thing I do at night before turning in is call 452-6311, the free weather line that has kept us "addicts" up on the very latest for decades here in Erie.
But this winter has taken the proverbial cake, as it may have in your area, too. Here is a side-by-side (juxtaposition) of 2012 and its immediate predecessor, 2011:
Jan. 31 high temp: 58 vs. 17
Jan. 31 ice depth on our bay: 0" vs. 6-8"
(Our bay and Lake Erie itself are ice free.)
Season snow through Jan. 31: 36" vs. 60" avg.
Here is the front page of our newspaper with photos of January 31, 2012 vs. 2011 accompanying the article, "No Deep Freeze." The visual is amazing for us Lake Erie/lake effect snow dwellers!
More related weather trivia: gratefully the number of fender benders from icy highways is way down, as are falls on icy parking lots. I saw a snowy owl fly along the east side of the monastery last week and later read in the weather section of our paper that some owls are beginning to nest in our area. Our hermitage guests are having more of a muddy walk to and from their cabins rather than the usual slog through deep snow.
And, a final nod to the coming of February. I heard an announcer on a morning radio show welcome his listeners to the new month of "groundhogs, love and the Super Bowl." I smiled to myself as I thought of the month. We Benedictines would quickly add: the Feast of St. Scholastica (10th), the beginning of Lent (22nd), as well as here in Erie, hosting three large groups of visitors this month. Hope the weather remains nice!