No matter where you live, you’ve probably seen some wild, wacky weather this fall! Here in Maine, where I live, snow has already begun to fall in the mountains. While New England has a reputation for long, snowy winters, snow in October isn’t typical. According to local news reports, we only see snow before Halloween once every three or four years.
And we’re not the only ones, either. Large swathes of the Rocky Mountains, including Denver and Aspen, are already seeing some great skiing weather, with many people hitting the slopes over the last few weekends. More interesting has been early snowfall in northern Plains states, like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, where some dustings of snowfall have actually broken records for this time of year. I have seen the word “frigid” used in describing the Midwest.
To the south, heavy rainfall has replaced drought conditions in the lower Plains, a testament to the old expression “When it rains, it pours!”
Speaking of raining, the strangest weather has to be in Southern California. After a prolonged dry spell, they are being inundated with rain — flood conditions. All of this after huge fires. So, what does this mean for the winter??
Many of you are probably wondering whether these crazy weather patterns may be caused by the El Niño conditions announced in July by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. While the actual effects of an El Niño can be hard to predict, it may be playing a role in what we are seeing.
Whatever the reason, this fall and winter are shaping up to be very interesting. Be sure to keep your 2010 Farmers’ Almanac handy as the weather continues to unfold!
In other news, the cold weather couldn’t stop me from competing in the Fourth Annual Pumpkin Regatta in Damariscotta, Maine, this past Sunday. Coincidentally, this was also my fourth time competing in a pumpkin-paddling race, though my first experience was actually in the Windsor Pumpkin Regatta in Lake Pesaquid, Nova Scotia. I’m proud to say that, for a second time, I handily won the race. My first win was two years ago, the first time I entered the Damariscotta race. Last year, unfortunately, my pumpkin sank, sending me for a nice, icy dip in the bay.
You can see my race-winning pumpkin boat, decorated to look like a NASA spaceship, in the photos below. This was my best pumpkin yet — incredibly swift and stable!