How Tough Will Winter Be?

It’s that time of year. My email box overflows with people wanting to know what kind of winter this will be? Are they planning on leaving if my answer is too severe?

Lots of people make long range predictions – The Weather Service and Farmer’s Almanac to name two. I guess their forecast has value, but not to most ‘regular’ people.

We don’t live by the season. We live moment-to-moment. Trust me on this.

It could be unseasonably wonderful for two weeks, but if an Arctic blast comes, you’ll be feeling it and forgetting about that good weather in the rear view mirror.

So, as a rule I keep away from long term predictions. I’m thinking, maybe I’d be better concentrating on the next week, not the next two months.

Today, I got an email from someone asking about acorns. There doesn’t seem to be too many this year. Is that a sign?

Hey, if squirrels could accurately predict the weather, I’d be on the squirrel plan! I only stick with science because it works the best.

I wrote back saying acorns weren’t a predictor but actually a product of what has already happened. And then I realized, I don’t really know that. It sounds right – logical – but I really don’t know. So I scouted around.

We’re very lucky here in New Haven to have Yale University&#185. I checked their online directory and found the Director of the Forestry School. I was sure he’d know if acorns could predict the weather.

Yes you are completely right. the acorn crop is a reflection of past

weather. For the red oaks they take two years to develop – a poor

pollination period because of rain for a few days can mean acorn crop

failure two years down the road. Large acorn crops are therefore

unusual – once every ten years or so – and we think result when the

weather allows for it – “all the weather gods must be aligned”

Of course, it is part of the power of the Internet to be able to reach someone with so much knowledge, and then be able to pass it along. People might think I’m smart to know about acorns, but I’m just smart enough to ask questions.

Oh… there’s more to the story. I thought I was writing to him at Yale.

I am in Panama at present but if you need any further help give me a an

email buzz

We live in a wondrous time!

&#185 – I often wonder if the feeling is mutual, but that’s another story.