Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The Mild Winter

Daffodils are out on Long Island, crocuses and snowdrops are blooming, and the ponds are resolutely un-frozen. In the discount aisle today at the local supermarket: snow shovels, ice melt, kids' hats and gloves. (I should probably be snapping up these items ahead of next winter, but I guess retailers know this isn't the way consumer minds work).

Whereas this time last year we were still surrounded by several feet of snow, this year we've escaped thus far with just a few days of really cold weather (and that's cold by NY standards, so minus 9 celsius or so), one snowstorm, and a few sleety days. The New York Times weather page, desperate for some interesting news to report, has taken to new descriptions such as 'nuisance snow' for any sign of precipitation.

Local people say it's the mildest winter they can recall. There are various predictions; it'll mean a boring, unspectacular spring; a cool summer; the mosquitoes will be worse than ever this summer; oh no, they'll be better because they won't have had the chance to breed under all that melted snow. (Mention global warming and people look uncomfortable; most Americans in this area aren't climate change deniers, but they probably know they're not doing very much about it all.)

In many ways we haven't minded at all. The Doctor embarked on a full-on exercise regime in January, running or cycling every morning before breakfast, and I've carried on running since November, slowly upping my distances and stamina (I'm now up to an eight mile run around the peninsula). The lack of snow and ice has meant we can do this unimpeded, and the cool, sunny temperatures are perfect for outdoor exercise.

But the lack of snow has been a little sad for the boys. Their sleds sit in the garage, unused except for one snowy Saturday; we haven't been able to sled on the big hills at the golf course, like last year. They've had a few more ice skating lessons at the local indoor rink, but when we went skating last weekend at an outdoor rink in a park, the ice was slushy, wet and pretty unpleasant to skate on. Still, they've been able to carry on riding their bikes, and playing football in the garden; last year, that was out of the question until mid-March. (I'm just glad I didn't buy them new snowboots this year, letting them squeeze into last year's despite being half a size too small).

Unless something drastic happens in the next month, real Long Island winter will never really have happened. We'll be in the UK for most of April; when we come back, summertime will be just around the corner. So come on winter, what are you hiding? Are we going to be get a last minute blast that will kill off all the budding blossom? Or is this it; The Mild Winter?

10 comments:

Conuly said...

I'll concur with your real life neighbors, I don't think we've ever had a winter like this.

In fact, we had some real doozies back in the 90s, with very high drifts, but in the past 10 years most of the winters have been fairly mild.

Iota said...

Same with us. One day of snow that was gone within 24 hours. Usually it's on the ground for weeks. Yesterday brought storms to the Midwest, but they missed us.

Mind you, my daughter's birthday is March 27th, and one year we had to cancel her party because of a blizzard, so I guess it's not the end of the story yet.

Suburban Princess said...

I cant ever remember a winter like this. It has been nice to not have to shovel snow and getting out and about has been a breeze. I am ready for spring if we aren't going to have a proper winter...tho no doubt we will be snowed in by May.

Nota Bene said...

Don't panic...there will be snow in England in April. Or a heatwave...

About Last Weekend said...

Nuisance snow? I love how the Americans have great names for every eventuality. That will be nice to be in England for April, though it was freezing there last week - you might get your snow yet!

Circles in the Sand said...

Wow, it must have been colder in the UK recently! Sounds like you're doing really well with the running - well done! 1st march and the temp here has suddenly shot up - it's so hot and we're all thinking 'nooooo, please don't let this be the start of the dreaded summer!'

MsCaroline said...

I'm sorry for the boys, but I envy you your daffodils! I, for one, am more than ready for spring, so I hope if there's a last-minute blizzard, it happens on Long Island, and not in Seoul! And even if you're gone in April, I remember one year when we lived in Kentucky(well south of you), we had snow in May. There may yet be hope!

PantsWithNames said...

Think central Europe got your winter.

We're also looking at snow drops and daffs. Hooray!

nappy valley girl said...

Conuly - everyone round here seems to agree last year was pretty bad, and they always cite the snow in 1996 as bad too.

Iota - I bet it'll snow when we're due to fly back to the UK at the end of March....

Suburban Princess - where are you roughly? Yes, I don't miss that snow shovelling - last year I was doing my back in on a regular basis.

NB - I know, what shall I pack? It could go either way...

ALW - since we've been away England has had its best weather in April. Hoping that goes for this year too.

Circles - yes, the UK has been very cold I hear. It still gets cold here, but it's nearly always sunny so you don't notice it as much.

MsCaroline - snow in May - well, hasn't happened to us yet, but I suppose it could....last year in May we were sweltering.

PantswithNames - yes, and also Alaska, which had some kind of record snow I think.

Conuly said...

Seen this?

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/05/its-been-a-nonwinter-but-its-not-over-yet