By Bill Biddle
Whoopee! Snow lovers unite – 17 inches more at the Wolf Creek weather station (Okanogan 25 in the Spokane weather reporting system) from Sunday night’s “spotty snow showers” as forecast by KOZI on Sunday afternoon. At the same time, the National Weather Service was warning of 16 to 18 inches on the east slopes of the North Cascades and the same for the Okanagan Highlands. Hmm. Weather forecasting is not easy!
However, the Methow Valley Winter Guide 2008-2009 Weatherwatch forecast for January that was written in November calls for a January that “will be very cold with snowstorms during the first and third weeks, and a big snowstorm at the end of the month. The second week will have a January thaw – slush and slop – ugh. But it will be short lived – it is not yet mid-winter!” Find a copy of this guide at many of the valley stores – it’s free – and read it for its well-written articles about a Methow Valley winter.
Another valley publication that is highly recommended is The Methow Naturalist published by Dana Visalli. It has been a “voice for nature” for 13 years. The current issue, Winter 2008, has an excellent article by “Eddie Torr” (a “retired meteorologist” living in Twisp) entitled “Methow Weather: The Big Picture.” It is very well written with excellent illustrations. It is a must-read for people of the valley. It, too, is available at many stores or by subscription. It is well worth the $2.50 cover price.
January is truly the depth or height of winter, depending on your point of view. This January will be no exception. At the beginning of the month it is solstice-short daylight; by the end of the month, an hour has been added to the daylight.
Weatherwatch has found a new poet to add to our January commentary, Frances Horovitz. Her poem entitled “New Year Snow” begins with the following lines:
“For three days we waited,
a bowl of dull quartz for sky.
At night the valley dreamed of snow,
lost Christmas angels with dark-white wings
flailing the hills.
I dreamed a poem, perfect
as the first five-pointed flake,
that melted at dawn:
to peer back at guttering dark days,
trajectories of the spent year.
And then snow fell.”
February? Stay tuned!