A deep question that has been bouncing around the blogosphere hit me the other day as we get more into winter: Have we become “weather wimps?” Seriously, scientists suggest that we are in fact “weather wimps.” According to scientists, as the world warms, we’re experiencing fewer cold spells. Yes, these scientists think that we in the lower 48 states just can’t handle the brief cold periods. These so-called experts say that in the past 115 years, there have been 58 days when the national average temperature dropped below 18 degrees Fahrenheit.
C’mon and give us a break! We experienced a single-digit low in January 2014 here in the Atlanta metro! That bone-chilling temp has not been reached in our neck of the woods since 1996 – a lifetime ago for those of us living here. Heck, in January 1996 the Summer Olympic Games hadn’t been held yet, Winn-Dixie grocery stores were alive and barely kicking in the metro and we were a little more than two years ‘til the end of TV’s Seinfeld. So, then again, six degrees in the Atlanta metro area is nothing to laugh about!
No, we are not weather wimps! We survived several snow jams, The Blizzard of the Century in 1993 and Ice Storm 2000. OK, we are living here to tell about it would be a more accurate description rather than saying we survived with passing colors. Never mind that folks abandoned their cars like they did in Snow Jam ’82. I didn’t have the pleasure of experiencing that one – I arrived in the metro area a little more than seven years later. Still, that snow event was so devastating that there is a very good website dedicated to Snow Jam ’82. The Blizzard of the Century took us in the Atlanta area by surprise. Indeed we knew snow was coming, but not a devastating amount that packed us in for a weekend. Then there’s the January 2000 ice storm that took down too many trees and well, too many cars that spun out on the highways and bi-ways. Tree “detritus” was collected, left in our front yards for a few weeks and kindly picked up by our county.
OK, that’s the winter. It doesn’t happen around these parts so give us a break, right? We’re much better with the heat. How about that long stretch of 90-plus-degree days in Summer 2011? Yep, we stayed nice and cool because we’re good at it and we like it that way. No electric grids went down. That was all fine and dandy. Then how about that summer day in 2012 when we hit a whopping 106 degrees? We all got into our scorching hot cars and drove merrily down the highway – some of us with no AC on! OK, then we made it through that horrid drought in 2007. Some of us conserved water and dealt with a string of 100-plus degree days. Heck, we even got extra water from our air conditioners’ condensers! The rain came back with a vengeance in 2009 only to be followed by a few more dry years and then Summer 2013’s massive rainfall and thankfully, cooler temps.
So don’t worry about us becoming weather wimps, you silly scientists with all of your research and statistics and such. We’re doing just fine down here in these parts.