|A wintry scene on Burlington, Vermont's Church Street|
Marketplace last December. There's no telling what
this winter will be like, despite the assurances
of all the almanacs and weather forecasters.
The onset of fall means everybody wants to know what this winter is going to be like.
Every year all the almanacs, the National Weather Service, all the private weather firms -- AccuIntelliWeatherChannel or whatever -- will give their grand forecast on where it will be cold, snowy, mild etc.
The forecasts are always wrong, of course. Nobody, no matter how good, can nail the weather pattern three or four months in advance. Don't let them ever tell you differently.
Oh sure, they might predict aspects of the weather pattern correctly, and be partly right about the winter, but they won't get it super correct.
So stop asking if this winter is going to be cold or not.
OK, I'll give you my forecast for the winter anyway, but only the parts that I know I'm going to be right about. I don't know whether it's going to be snowier than normal in Vermont or not, or if this winter will be frigid or balmy.
Here's what I can tell you for sure:
- It will snow somewhere in Vermont in each of these months: November, December, January, February and March
- Many more times than once, somebody will drive too fast and too recklessly, and be paying too much attention to texting, while driving on slushy, icy or snowy roads. This person will cause an accident and a bunch of people will be late for work as a result.
- Somebody will complain that it is too cold, too warm, too snowy, not snowy enough, too dark, too cloudy, too icy, too icky. The chances are very high the person doing the complaining will be me.
- If we do get a big dump of snow, a good portion of the Vermont population will come down with a dangeous, highly contagious illness called White Powder Syndrome. Those with WPS completely lose their concentration and can't work. They only cure is a day on the snow skiing, riding, snowshoeing or snowmobiling.
- At least a few women and probably some men, will risk frostbite and other injuries because they will wear inadequate clothes outside, because looking fashionable is obviously more important than keeping warm.
- State highway crews will simultaneously use too much salt and not enough salt on the roads during a snowfall, at least in the eyes of many motorists.
- On a slow news day, some members of the news media will breathlessly report on how incredibly cold it is. The cold in question will not be extreme as reported, but be about normal for a Vermont winter.
- By late February, some Vermonters will be so sick of the gray and chill of winter that they will be drooling over seed catalogs, gardening magazines and the spring issue of Vermont Life with all the gusto of a pervert with his or her porn stash.