Getting ready for next winter.

Do you think next winter might be another cold one?

farmersWeather Bell’s Joe Bastardi, in his Saturday Summary for March 15, 2014, says that’s what they are telling their commercial clients.  Along with the Farmer’s Almanac, Weather Bell did a much better job at predicting this bad winter of 13/14 than did the National Weather Service.

winter 2013-14

I don’t know what the winter will bring next year.  No one really does, of course.  I think there is a good probability of another cooler winter than what we’ve had most of the last many years, though.

In the picture at the top of the page, I’m clearing up some of the storm damage from the December ice storm.  The trees are actually quite a ways from the house, so there wasn’t a high priority in getting the debris cleaned up.  I’ll probably end up cutting down one large tree.  That will give us enough firewood for next winter, even if it’s as bad as this one.  We use the fireplace, which has an insert, to augment our heat pump on the coldest days – and we used it a lot more this year than we normally do.  The firewood in the image below is just from tree branches and one small tree a bit bigger than a sapling.

firewood from storm damage

Spring this year is far behind normal.  The early daffodils are blooming as are our few crocuses, but tree buds are not nearly as far along as I would expect.  The following video is from March 15th, 2012.

Right now, the wind is howling, temperatures are dropping, and we’re supposed to get snow/sleet this afternoon, with a chance for snow over night – but, then Tuesday’s high is supposed to be near 70.

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  • Hilary Mar 16, 2014

    Hi Mike – we've had excessive rain – luckily it hasn't impacted here .. but our infrastructure has taken a battering … and sink holes have appeared, the coast has changed etc etc … yet this time last year we were in a deep freeze …

    We're having an early Spring .. the plants never really switched off – roses in November and the daffs were early as too the buds … the horsechestnuts are blooming quite furiously I noted yesterday ..

    So interesting what nature can do to us .. and I love your gardening photos! Cheers Hilary
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    • Mike Mar 16, 2014

      Weather can be so frustratingly interesting. I would hate to be in the situation that people in some our northern states have been in this year. The ice on Lake Minona at Madison, Wisconsin is over 2 feet thick, more than has been seen there in a lot of years. The cold weather this year is going to cut into the growing season badly in some places.

  • Rummuser Mar 16, 2014

    I have decided to not predict about weather any more and take it one day at a time as it comes. Today is Holi, our spring festival and it is already warm and I have stowed away the comforters and will get the air-conditioners serviced this week to handle the heat till the monsoon breaks by mid June. What we save from not using the water heaters will be offset by the air-conditioners usage. Life!
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    • Mike Mar 16, 2014

      Karen and I try to anticipate adverse weather somewhat. It helps keep us more comfortable than we might be otherwise. We'll be adding an extra quilt to the bed tonight as temperatures are dropping to freezing and possibly a bit below.

  • Opal Mar 16, 2014

    The Farmer's Almanac had it correct for the previous winter, at least for our area. We had a huge wood pile, have a few pictures on my site somewhere, this winter whittled it down to about the size you have here. We've been able to stay ahead by cutting trees on the days it not so cold, chopping down to size and stacking. Cold work, and a great workout! We try to anticipate also, so if the provisions are needed it's there. That's the same reason we have the generator. Thankfully we've only had to use that twice in the three years since we purchased it for our home.

    By the way it's snowing here in Maryland, started last evening and I looked outside and it's still snowing. 🙂
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    • Mike Mar 17, 2014

      Fortunately the snow missed us this time for the most part — just enough to land on the wet windshields and freeze so that I had to scrape ice this morning before going to the gym. So far as the generator, we've used it four times this winter, twice that were several hours in length.

  • Alan G Mar 17, 2014

    Uh-oh… I watched the video before I read the date in your post. I thought spring had sprung for a moment there! In fact, I was wondering how come there was more spring up north than down south? 🙂

    Quite the tell-tale sign there with your stack of wood. Fortunately we didn't get a lot of the ice this year but as you and I know – there's always next year! 😕
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  • Mike Mar 17, 2014

    Yup, plenty of opportunity for bad ice in the south sometimes.

    And, then, of course, the spring storms may be winding up soon — unless it stays to cool for them to generate. 😉
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  • Cheerful Monk Mar 17, 2014

    Great post! I love the video, especially the daffodils. I hope you're right that here in NM next winter will be wetter. We could certainly use that!
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    • Mike Mar 18, 2014

      Hi Jean – Thanks. It would be nice to have a "normal" winter for wherever one is, whatever "normal" means. We'll try to be ready for whatever comes our way… but not to extremes like some people we know.

  • Grannymar Mar 18, 2014

    We had a long dark wet winter. Two Springlike days are followed with rain and noisy wind outside. 10°C at the moment, so I’ll not complain too much. At Least, the days are stretching and only twelve more days to the clocks springing forward. 😀
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    • michaelpgoad Mar 18, 2014

      Our clocks have already sprung forward — our bureaucrats got the brilliant idea that if Daylight Savings were such a great idea, more would be better. I\’d just as soon that we switched to it all year round and stop switching back and forth.

      Our temperature today is going to be close to 20°C. Nice day to be working outside doing some storm damage clearing.

  • Grannymar Mar 18, 2014

    I could do with a little of the 20°C to warm my bones and yes, I wished we lived with the one time all year.
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