It probably drives meteorologists crazy when people take the weather personally as if, for example, had they stuck to their New Year’s resolutions for more than three days, 18 inches of snow wouldn’t have fallen the following Monday.
This year, the Farmers’ Almanac has gotten around these individual variations by predicting that most Americans — except those who live in the more salubrious parts of the Southwest — are going to take it in the neck, weather-wise.
“The Days of Shivery” are back, it headlined, using phrases like “Cold, Wet and White” for the mid-Atlantic; “Biting Cold and Snowy” for the Midwest, “Piercing Cold” for the Northern Plains and some combination of “wet,” “chilly” and “frosty” for other regions.
If the almanac is right, the one place you don’t want to be if you value comfort is the Super Bowl. It’s scheduled for Feb. 2 at New Jersey’s Meadowlands, the first time for an outdoor Super Bowl in the north.
Clearly, the almanac is not in collusion with New Jersey’s tourism officials because it has “red flagged” the first two weeks in February for “copious wind, rain and snow.” If you’re lucky enough to get tickets and affluent enough to afford them, tough. We’ll be thinking about you from the comfort of our recliners.
AccuWeather has released its winter forecast: Southeast and Gulf Coast will be warmer than average but may pay for the higher temperatures with an increased risk of severe storms and chance of tornadoes. The north-central U.S. and Rockies will be cold with lots of snow.
AccuWeather’s mid-Atlantic forecast calls for a warmer-than-average December and January. The outlook for February, traditionally a treacherous month in the region, does not call for the usual season-ending blizzard that closes schools and makes commuting a nightmare.
We lay people believe that whether February is mild and well-behaved depends on whether Congress can reach agreement on extending the budget and the debt ceiling. Providing incentive is the prospect of lawmakers being trapped in Washington with thousands of laid-off federal workers by a big winter storm. It’s up to you, Congress.
The meteorologists hate it when we do that.
Dale McFeatters writes for the Scripps Howard News Service.