Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Taste of the North

Well kiddies, we're fixin' to get our first little taste of sustained cold weather (aka winter) this week. As you might imagine given my Canadian heritage and given that I work outside in whatever mother nature throws at us, I've spent some time studying winter.

Winters in southern Middle Tennessee show much wider fluctuation in temperature than one might at first anticipate. Given our relatively low latitude, it's no surprise that we get some very warm winter days, but it can also get surprisingly cold, albeit for short periods of time. Because we retain the right to real warmth all winter long, our severe weather season never really shuts down; we can get severe thunderstorms every month of the year.

Day to day, we seem to spend precious little time at or near "average" conditions here in the winter. We *should* average around 50 degrees in the daytime and a little below freezing at night. More often than not, we seem to arrive at our averages by combining long stretches of weather in the 60's and 70's with periods spent in the 30's and low 40's (which is what we're headed for this week).

It snows here a few times every winter, although the amount of time we spend with any snow cover at all on the ground is measured in hours. Days completely below freezing are relatively rare but they do happen a handful of times each winter. Below zero cold is truly rare....I haven't seen it in my six years here....but it can happen. Same thing with truly heavy snow.

For those of us who work outside all day every day, I think the worst winter weather in Dixie is the sort of day-long sluicing rain and wind combined with a temperature at or below 40 degrees that we seem to get with some regularity in Dec, Jan and Feb. From a comfort perspective, I would personally take 10 degrees and sunny over 38 degrees and pouring rain any day of the week.

I spent the morning putting tank heaters in all our water troughs and making Melissa feel better about herself by blanketing every horse on this farm. I'm off to Home Depot to buy a couple of heavy duty extension cords, a new hose, as well as a bag of grit so I will be fully and totally prepared for winter ! :)

I'm looking forward to lots of long winter evenings spent dozing in my favourite chair, right next to the space heater !


Kate said...

I'm with you on the cold rain - I also hate really high wind, which we get quite a bit of here.

SmartAlex said...

A taste of the north? You haven't even had a whiff of it. We're in the middle of a lovely lake effect snow event. Want some? I went out to my car at lunch (wasn't planning on going anywhere in this crap) and the sidewalk was almost over my tall rubber boots.

Jason said...

Smart Alex;

Blech ! That sounds nasty !

Although it may seem otherwise, I haven't forgotten how much additional work a foot or two of wind driven snow added to cold, dark days that were already overloaded with tasks that weren't going to wait for the weather to break.

Hope you stay warm and safe !


Not much of a fan of high wind either !