Fall is here. What will winter bring?


The thermometer on the back porch reads 54 degrees as I brew a fresh pot of coffee this morning and sort out the challenges of the day ahead.

The threat of a long day on the hard un-padded bench of the Floyd County Courthouse eased when a scheduled trial of a young man charged with sexual abuse of two younger kids in the foster home he shared was continued to January of next year, leaving a smattering of bond hearings and probation revocations on the docket.

The forecast for the day says zero chance of rain and a sunny day with moderate temperatures — a fantastic day to let my Harley be daily transportation for covering court for The Floyd Press and whatever the afternoon brings.

Looks like showers will hit us for Friday and Saturday, probably the trailing edges of a hurricane that is expected to slide up the East Coast after it levels several islands in the Caribbean.

The sun and no rain for Sunday and Monday, if the forecast holds.

It could mean rain for the return of Floyd County High School football as the Buffaloes face Radford at home at 7 p.m. after a bye week.

Looks like overnight lows remain in the 50s this week before dropping down into the 40s starting on Saturday and continuing into the following days and nights.

Maybe our lawn, which needs mowing, will get a final trim for the year this week — or maybe not.

Nat King Cole once sang about the “the lazy, crazy days of summer” but some of us welcome the slowdown of fall after a long, hot and frantic period.

Do we face a harsh winter or a mild one during what remains of 2016 and the beginning of 2017?

The Old Farmers Almanac projects a cold winter with above average snowfalls “from southern New England and western New York southwestward through the Appalachians.”  Does that mean us in Southwestern Virginia?  It depends on how far down the heavier than normal snow patterns range.

“Winter temperatures will be much colder than last winter—but still above normal—in much of the eastern two-thirds of the nation. We expect below-normal snowfall in most other places that normally receive snow,” says Michael Steinberg, Old Farmer’s Almanac meteorologist. “Precipitation will be below normal across most of the southern two-thirds of the nation and above normal in the north, with the primary exceptions being above-normal rainfall in northern California, southern Oregon, portions of the Midwest, and Florida.”

The Almanac has spoken.  Now we may need to watch for the woolly worms to confirm the forecast.


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