In a post this past fall I wrote:
“The brown band on my caterpillar was relatively wide, so I’m going out on a limb right now and predicting a relatively mild winter for New England. Yup, you heard it right here, folks. Mild winter!”
The caterpiller was the woolly bear caterpiller and I noticed quite a few of them with broad brown bands on their furry little bodies. According to folk lore, this wide brown band supposedly indicated the coming of a mild winter. And so I made my prediction.
But I must have misinterpreted what the woolly bear was trying to tell me, if, in fact he was trying to tell me anything, as this certainly has not been a mild winter.
We’ve had many mornings this season where the temperature hovered around zero and didn’t rise out of the single digits all day. At first we had relatively little snow, but that too has changed.On February 13th we had about a foot of snow, then a couple of days later we had another foot of snow and then yesterday we had a good 6 inches or so.
There are some piles of snow down by the driveway that are a good five feet tall and it’s not easy to fling snow that high.
And it hasn’t been just New England that’s had an extremely harsh winter. This weather has affected the entire East Coast and Midwest. Some areas have experienced days when the temperature was colder there than it was at the North Pole. Snow and ice have wreaked havoc down South. They even had to close the bridge to Hilton Head Island to treat it for ice! Can you imagine? Weird….
And Alaska and the West Coast have had unusually warm weather which has caused avalanches in Alaska and extreme drought in California.
And what’s with this “Polar Vortex”? A “Polar Vortex” is a great swirling pool of extremely cold Arctic area similar to an Arctic cyclone. And it has managed to slip south this year for whatever reason. As my sister, Anne, said “…it’s the first time in my life that I heard the term Polar Vortex, and you know how old I am…”
Personally, if I never hear the term “Polar Vortex” again, it will be just fine with me.