We had our first cold front of the Fall season last week. I am happy when the daytime temperature is in the mid-90s or above, and the overnight low does not go below 80 degrees. I love humidity along with flat land – the highest thing in sight is a curb! That is why I love the weather in Houston, Texas, in July and August.
However, as I start massaging the forecasts for this winter, keeping in mind that our past winter had over 40 hours of below-freezing temperatures with two nights almost reaching single digits (in Houston!).
Winter of 2021-21
https://www.pennlive.com/weather/2021/08/season-of-shivers-awaits-in-winter-2021-22-according-to-old-farmers-almanac.html#:~:text=31%2C%202021%2C%20is%20calling%20for,according%20to%20the%20winter%20forecast.&text=%E2%80%9CIn%20some%20places%2C%20the%20super,also%20bring%20lots%20of%20snow. The Farmer’s Almanac will celebrate its 230th publication in 2022. It claims to be correct around 80% of the time.
That is far better than the local weather guessers I have observed over the decades. I remember one case in the ’70s in the Bay Area of California. It was a cold winter day, and the weatherman had been wrong, severely wrong several days in a row.
He had a wheel-of-fortune setup with different weather forecasts. One of the forecasts was for snow. He spun the wheel, and the ‘official’ forecast was for snow for San Jose, CA. The weatherman claimed that this snow forecast was not a real forecast because it was impossible or nearly impossible to snow that night. But, ironically, it snowed that night.
Regardless, my ‘go-to’ weather forecaster is weatherbell.com. They have a free weekly update on Saturdays. When there are tropical storms or hurricanes around, then my ‘go-to’ source is tropicaltidbits.com. Lots of models and forecasts to make even retired weather guessers happy.
The winter of 2021-22 is stated as ‘could be one of the longest and coldest that we have seen in years.’
Flight to Japan
In the mid-’90s, I worked in New York City (actually Governors Island) with the military. I was requested to attend a meeting in Japan (actually on the USS Blueridge – out of Yokosuka, Japan). I worked on the development of Expeditionary Naval Coastal Warfare – taking domestic port security and harbor defense operations and making them deployable within 72-96 hours to anywhere in the world.
My standard routine was to leave the BOQ and walk (or catch the local bus) to the ferry station on Governors Island. After that, I would take the ferry to Manhattan and take a cab to the World Trade Center – sometimes, I would take a subway. I would then catch the local airport commuter to Newark to catch my flight to Japan.
A major winter storm was approaching and devasting the cities as it passed on its way to the East Coast. My original destination was Detroit and then on to Tokyo. Detroit was socked in with no guess as to when it would be opened again.
The airline put me in a taxi and sent me to LaGuardia. I checked in, boarded my plane, and waited and waited. Unfortunately, the storm hit us earlier than our planned takeoff time. They had de-iced the wings, and we were ready to taxi for takeoff when the plane turned around and headed back towards the terminal. We did not get a gate but waited in a safe area.
They served us a meal, we watched a movie, and after about four hours, they de-iced the plane, and we moved. However, that was fake because we taxied into the terminal, and they told us the flight was canceled.
It took me a couple of hours to get my bags. Then, I went outside, and it was snowing harder than I have ever seen in my life (I have not seen that much snow, but enough was coming down that the locals called it a ‘white-out.’
A taxi pulled up, and I walked out and asked if he could take me to a subway stop – the nearest one. He did. As we drove, I noticed that I could not see the traffic lights in the intersections. There was not much traffic, but it was a thrill to drive slowly through intersections with the snow obliterating everything that could be seen.
I made it to the subway, got the next one, and headed back to the World Trade Center. The ferries were shut down, as was most everything else in New York City. I got a hotel room and watched for the next two days as the storm dumped more snow and gradually drifted away.
At this time, I had made lots of phone calls and let people know that I could not make the USS Blueridge event. I guessed that flight operations would open within 24 hours and made a reservation to return to New Orleans (my original starting location – I was at Governors Island for a conference before heading to Japan).
Interestingly enough, my flight was the second flight to take off from Newark after the storm. I made it home without difficulty and chalked that winter experience up as my number ONE winter memory. However, it was so eventful that I could not even list numbers 2, 3, or 4 on my winter memory list.
Another Winter Opinion
https://opensnow.com/news/post/noaa-s-2021-2022-winter-forecast. NOAA forecasts weather events. They are upfront about the long-term (three months max), and their forecast is more for La Niña and El Niño than for what the weather will be like in the United States.
A Third Winter Forecast
https://www.onthesnow.com/news/winter-snow-forecast-2021-2022/. I found this link that is just a couple or so days old. It is pretty detailed about the current linkage of water temperatures around the equator and the development of a La Niña that could dump lots of snow and cold weather along the northern portion of the lower 48.
My best guess months from 2022 is that the winter of 2022 will be similar to that of 2021. I am hoping that the arctic blasts bypass Houston, Texas, and we can have a winter without any freezing temperatures (it happens more than one would think). Regardless, it will be cold, wet, and uncomfortable on many days.
The answer to a trivia question about snow (within 24 hours) and Houston, Texas – 22 inches of snow fell in Houston in 24 hours back in 1895.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com