NC and much of US weathered a tough winter

March 4, 2014 

Last Sunday, the temperature reached about 70 degrees in many places in North Carolina. This coming Saturday, it’s supposed to be there again.

Oh, but in between ...

The Triangle awoke Tuesday to an icy glaze, worse in some places north and east than in others. The temperature was in the teens and felt lower. More chilly air will be felt through the week. Then comes Saturday, to be followed – or so it’s expected – by milder, more seasonal temperatures in what’s supposed to be early spring. But who knows? That has been the question this year, not just in North Carolina but across the U.S. of A.

Perhaps the only truly accurate weather forecast ever uttered was this: “The storm starts, when the drops start dropping. When the drops stop dropping then the storm starts stopping.” Theodor Geisel said that, under his pen name, Dr. Seuss.

But make no mistake. Weather is serious business. This year, farmers in the West have suffered drought, which may later affect the prices of groceries. New York City and Washington have experienced snowfalls far above their annual averages, costing them millions of dollars to clear streets and fix power failures. Businesses feel a serious pinch: Automobile sales drop, and even in malls, where there’s no weather t’all, traffic goes down because people can’t get there.

Power companies see expenses go up sharply when they have to bring in extra crews to wrestle with downed lines. And school calendars can be upended if snow days exceed the planned-for number.

The Washington weather has closed down the federal government a few times, and that’s without a single threat from Republicans in Congress.

Winter weather of the most extreme can be a drag on the nation’s economy at all levels. Not to mention a drag, period.

Interestingly, the wild swings in weather have even gotten some who had dismissed “climate change” as the fanciful vision of tree-huggers to ponder the possibility that maybe there really is something to it – that maybethe crazy weather of the last couple of years might somehow have, at least in part, a man-made cause.

For now, though, we’d rather ponder something else. Spring.

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