Winter is here! Maybe not officially just yet. We have another nine days or so before we hit the solstice, but according to the weather, we are here.
It had been a really odd fall here in Wisconsin this year. Temperatures were way above normal and it was drier than usual. That followed an abnormal summer with very warm temperatures and extremely wet weather. Those summer conditions led to a horrible mosquito season.
The forecast models had predicted a snowier winter for us this year. Seeing as how we went until December 4th with any snowfall, I had my doubts. Well, the past two weekends have made up for that a little bit. We were hit with nearly four inches last Sunday and a total of six and a half inches this past weekend. Current forecasts have another wave of snow coming in on Friday and Saturday.
So, after two December weekends, our snow total is a bit over ten inches for the season. Last year for the entire season, we had around 32 inches. So, after two weekends we are already at a third of the total snowfall for all of last year. My understanding is that last year was a bit light in the snow department. Normal averages are around 50 inches for the year. Still, based on what December has brought so far, we are on pace for a snowy winter.
I have to admit that I am perfectly fine with that. I love the snow. I’m not a skier or other winter sports enthusiast, so it isn’t about the powder and what I can do in it. I find it peaceful and pristine. A clean blanket of snow hides the plainness of the dormant season and acts as a blank canvas for critters to leave their mark.
The feel of it crunching underfoot on a cold, brisk morning helps to remind me that I’m still alive and kicking. The temps are supposed to take a nose dive later this week. We’ve been in the 20’s for the most part, but sub-zero temps are on the horizon. Again, that’s unusual for this time of year. Typical highs are right around freezing, and the lows in the high teens/low 20’s. It will be interesting to see what the winter as a whole brings. Are these first couple of weeks of December a fluke or indicative of what’s to come? Time will tell.