Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
So many theories on why this winter was so cold in most of Europe and the US. Here's the latest guesstiment and one which seems fair.
The extreme cold weather observed across Europe and the east coast of the US in recent winters is due to to natural, long-term variations in sea surface temperatures, according to a new study published in Environmental Research Letters.
The researchers from University of California Irvine show that the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) phenomenon — a natural pattern of variation in North Atlantic sea surface temperatures that switches between a positive and negative phase every 60-70 years — can affect an atmospheric circulation pattern, known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), that influences the temperature and precipitation over the Northern Hemisphere in winter.
Here it is March 25 and St Louis has had a dusting, a light dusting, of snow overnight and most likely a bit of a surface freeze. While watching the morning local news we learn that this bit of weather has caused accidents everywhere. The video of backups is unreal, even more than when we had bigger winter storms.
This story in the Riverfront Times is so true, at least for this past weekend with its mild temperatures and sun.
"After a winter full of polar vortices, frost quakes and far too many snow days, St. Louisans are itching to feel the sun on their skin -- and to get those salt stains off their cars.
Patios, playgrounds and public spaces were packed Sunday, despite the temperature staying slightly-cool at around 55 degrees."
It was stunning to see lines of cars looking like airport security lines as they snaked forward and back, down and around waiting for their turn in the wash bay. But, even more evident was the surge of people outside yesterday, walking, biking, walking and strolling. On this campus it was an endless parade of people we've never seen before coming through singly, in groups, with dogs, all enjoying being outside without freezing.
We couldn't always see kids, but we could hear their voices as they played outside. And, Fox2 News had a report last night on the large numbers of people who headed into garden centers. Which is really rushing things-the soil is icy cold with a muddy top layer. Way too early to be planting anything even pansies. But, for those with zoysia lawns, it is a good time to aerate and power rake.
Here's Kirt, part of our constantly vigilant crew of men and women who keep the seminary campus clear of ice and snow. Took this picture this morning in hopes that it marks the final time buckets and trucks of salt have to be laid this winter.
If true, this is a photo worth keeping. What a winter we've had.
So even though it was 10 degrees in Chicago yesterday organizers of the annual Polar Plunge to benefit the Special Olympics decided to go ahead with the dip into Lake Michigan. Besides, they had the added publicity value of Jimmy Fallon and Mayor Emanuel agreeing to do this.
However, this event is planned for early March for a reason, I suspect. Most years the outside temperature will be more moderate than this year's arctic air. Watching this sitting in our living room we both had the same reaction: That frigid air and water and sudden fall into the lake could easily have caused a heart attack. Not sure yesterday was the best idea but "cooler" heads prevailed.
This winter got me to wondering how grocery store employees can get to work when the rest of us are hunkered down at home not able to drive in the ice/snow.
Also, we'll forgive the newspaper delivery people if they can't get us the paper today.
And, whenever St Louis is in the midst of a weather event that takes lots of updating by local weather people, I'll see scores of google searchers coming to my blog looking to find out how old Cindy Preszler is. One of my posts on this question comes up third on Google. This interest in her age fascinates me.
Wondering if the salt put down on sidewalks yesterday will help with this storm. The first batch of freezing rain and sleet may get melty but frigid air is moving in so won't that just refreeze everything?
Two weeks ago I put my boots away, hoping I wouldn't have to see them again til next year.
St Louis is looking at an evening of sleet and maybe freezing rain. So what's the difference between the two?
Sleet is tiny balls of ice which looks and feels like crunchy snow when it piles up. Freezing rain is rain which turns to ice when it hits the ground or trees or roofs or cars or sidewalks if the surface is cold enough.
If I had to choose I'd pick sleet over freezing rain. Maybe. But either way, if we get 5-10 inches of snow on top of that, it will be a hard job to clear it away.