Color Me Winter

White Out & Wide Open—The Blog Steve Janes Blog

             By popular demand I am compelled to fire up the computer and start pounding out my weekly blogs (okay, so nobody actually demanded my blogs, but my newsletter director threatened me if I didn't giver her something to send out).

            Actually, the reason it's been so long between this blog and my last was frankly I found golfing much more enjoyable than writing about snowmobiles. After all, 90-plus F temperatures tend to put a damper on snow conditions. And it hasn't been until these last couple of weeks when it finally became apparent that global warming was giving way to global cooling for the next six months.

            The other day I had an opportunity to drive up to Alpine, WY, from Idaho Falls. There's nothing like the fall colors along Palisades Reservoir  to make you realize that summer is over and Old Man Winter is about to make his entrance in a big way. The deep blue water of the reservoir bordered dark green pines mixed with bright yellow aspen and brilliant orange bushes to make the landscape appear more like an artists paint palette. For those who know the drive know what I'm talking about. Those who don't . well, I guess life's not fair.

            If those colors weren't enough to remind one that summer was over, then the blinding snow storm that accompanied my return trip home that evening was more than enough to tell me winter is just around the corner. And one can't help but believe that some of this snow that is stacking up in higher elevations has a fighting chance of staying through the winter.

            So my first proclamation of this season will officially be: We are in for a very snowy winter.

            Now I'm not a weather man (which actually boosts my odds of being right from 30 percent to an even 50 percent coin flip), but there are three indicators that might point to a good winter.

            First, the Old Farmer's Almanac has indicated that this could be a good winter. (And here at SnoWest, we've always been a fan of the Old Farmer's Almanac.)

Second, there have been no hurricanes this year; that means there have been no weather fronts coming from the Atlantic Ocean that can stall weather patterns coming from the Pacific Ocean. With no competing pressure fronts, the colder low pressure systems dropping down from the north can drop down on top of the moisture flowing east from the Pacific . which tends to turn the moisture white and unload it across the West.

And third, the Pipeline Masters surfing tournament in Hawaii this fall has recorded the biggest waves ever for the event-and that dates back four decades. So there must be some major cold air contrasts building somewhere. No wonder the Arctic ice cap has increased 60 percent this year.

            Now I can't really remember the last time we had some of those storms dumping several feet of snow at a time . but I'm hoping that will change this year. During the past several seasons many snowmobilers have become frustrated in trying to find good snow. If we could just get the return of one traditional that piles the snow right on top of us, you can bet some of our former snowmobiling buddies will realize what they're missing and get back into the swing of things.

            So this is my first blog, my first proclamation and my first prediction of the season. You may want to print this up for no other reason than to send it back to me in the spring with either an appreciative thank-you note or with a scathing "you're-such-an-idiot" note. I'll either bask in your praise . or head back out to the golf course.


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