Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Weather Report

Last year, on December 13, I published an account of the winter so far (very snowy) and the graphic of Lake Michigan's surface temps on that date. I checked the NOAA site today, wondering about our warm weather and how the lake temps compared to last year's. Even though it is nearly two weeks later in the year, the lake temps are so similar that I thought I was looking at last year's picture. The average surface temperature for this year is a tad lower, but last year had pockets of colder water, as one would expect when the air temps were much colder than this year.

OK, so that's the scientific observations. What we have here is no snow. Green grass. Temperatures in the 40's. I still have arugula to harvest in the garden.

At this latitude (we are right smack on the 45th parallel) summers are supposed to be cool. Maybe one or two days when the thermometer tops 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Nobody here bothers with air conditioning. On those few hot days, if they come, we just hold out until we can go jump in the lake.

Last summer it was beastly hot. The temperature was over 90 for days on end, and it was flirting with 100, breaking records. Lake Michigan was, usually breathtakingly cold, even in August, was warm. Like bath water. Even when I swam out far, I could never find a cold spot.

If the weather gets cold, the lake is still warm enough to generate a ton of lake effect snow. If it doesn't get cold, I will be really worried that global warming is happening faster than predicted.

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