Thursday, February 7, 2013

Walkers Keep a Weather Eye on the Skies

Keeping close tabs on the weather goes with being a daily walker. That is why I have The Weather Channel up near the top of my blog list. On the tube, it used to offer weather updates 24/7; alas, that policy has been supplanted by frequent documentaries about ice pilots in the Arctic and storm chasers in the Midwest, and only occasional live reporting. But at least the Weather Channel's online reports are always there.

My dear Mother was a hardy soul, and I guess she was well-informed when she decided we could go deliver my afternoon paper route safely when the eye of Hurricane Hazel passed through Richmond in 1954. That was the experience that taught me first-hand that there is a clear, relatively calm area inside a hurricane called an eye. That surely has to have been one of my most memorable walks, and it was a useful weather lesson.

Today was nothing like that, though a storm was heading in. On our second walk of the day, Sadie and I were out a mile from home when it started to sprinkle. The more we walked, the more the rain steadily picked up, and I tried to run before realizing once again that my knee won't allow me to do that. We did manage to make it home before the skies really opened up.

We could receive  2 or 3 inches of rain tonight, and we need every bit of that and more. It's been terribly dry around here. The creek that parallels our woodsy trail and that has sometimes yielded sounds of large creatures jumping in with a splash upon our approach is now completely dried up. However, one man's blessing is another's curse with the weather. This storm system heading up the coast is forecast to join with another one to produce blizzard conditions and a nor'easter in New England this weekend. The pattern is eerily like Sandy last year and Irene before that -- we get a brush-by here on the Carolina coast and the northeast gets slammed.

There will be no walking in an eye of the storm for those good folks. I hope they bundle up, stay inside, and ride it out. It is hard to do much outdoor walking in 24 inches of snow. Maybe after the winds have died down and the plows have done their work, the walkers can come out. Snowshoes would be helpful.

© Robert G. Holland 2013

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