How are you holding up during the joyously stressful month of December? Tree. Gifts. Cookies. Relatives. Credit cards. Aspirin.
If it's any consolation foul weather won't add to your merry agitation between now and Christmas.
Yesterday I wore a light spring coat to the office ("mid 30s - hooray!") which may be an omen for Saturday's precipitation event. Another big surge of southern moisture will push a shield of mixed precipitation into the state. Models print out nearly a half inch of liquid, but BUFKIT (a 3-D temperature analysis of the future atmosphere draped over Minnesota) shows enough warm air for rain changing to wet snow; maybe a few sloppy inches by Saturday afternoon. Some of that rain may freeze on cold surfaces early Saturday; watch for glaze ice on bridges and side streets early in the day.
Rain 6 days before the Winter Solstice? Why not.
In spite of uncertainties spinning around the Mayan calendar, we will have Christmas this year - another burst of light snow arrives next Thursday, followed by a cold spell into Christmas week.
Last winter was brown; under 1" on the ground. This year I expect a healthy 3-5" of (crusty) snow for Santa's arrival.
* image above courtesy of Loveland Ski Resort (and Santa, of course)
* NASA has a live stream of the Geminid Meteor Shower here.
Dear Paul - I have had your Nov. 29th column on my desk and am sorry it has taken me this long to send you a note of sympathy on your Amazing Grace's passing. Please know Ted and I are so sorry. We never have our moms long enough, dear Paul. Our prayers are with you during this Christmas season for a peace that passes understanding. The lessons Grace taught you DO come through in well writen columns. Paul Douglas is the first thing discussed over coffee in our home on Smithtown Bay. I'm not sure if you know the Philip Levine poem "Snow", but I love the last lines that call snow frozen tears from heaven. Maybe the beautiful snow that fell on Sunday was a reminder from your Mom - "There, there, Paul. All is well with me." (I'll copy the poem below.)
Blessings, dear Paul Douglas, to you and your family.
by Philip Levine
Today the snow is drifting
on Belle Isle, and the ducks
are searching for some opening
to the filthy waters of their river.
On Grand River Avenue, which is not
in Venice but in Detroit, Michigan,
the traffic has slowed to a standstill
and yet a sober man has hit a parked car
and swears to the police he was
not guilty. The bright squads of children
on ther way to school howl
at the foolishness of the world
they will try not to inherit.
Seen from inside a window,
even a filthy one like those
at Automotive Supply Company, the snow
which has been falling for hours
is more beautiful than even the spring
grass which once unfurled here
before the invention of steel and fire,
for spring grass is what the earth sang
in answer to the new sun, to
melting snow, and the dark rain
of spring nights. But snow is nothing.
It has no melody or form, it
is as though the tears of all
the lost souls rose to heaven
and were finally heard and blessed
with substance and the power of flight
and given their choice chose then
to return to earth, to lay their
great pale cheek against the burning
cheek of earth and say, There, there, child.
" You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into..." - Anonymous
* Photo above (from Lutsen resort in Minnesota) courtesy of WeatherNation TV meteorologist Todd Nelson.
- Do a revenue-neutral tax swap that reduces taxes on income and shifts the tax onto carbon dioxide, thereby attaching to fossil fuels an approximation of the cost of their negative externalities. [Note: Make sure to keep this revenue-neutral. You may have to add revenue elsewhere in a grand bargain, but the goal of this tax swap is the correction of a market distortion, not the raising of revenue.]
- Eliminate all subsidies for all fuels, thereby correcting yet another market distortion called government failure."