Weather or not it’s predictable


Ann Kuehn - Contributing columnist



Having just submitted a column on the pleasures of non-accumulating snow, the events of Feb. 3-4 necessitate a recant. There is a saying, “Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first turn mad.”

It’s working.

Clinton County residents, cursed as we presently are in social isolation, now find the weather agiainst us. Snow, sandwiched between two layers of ice; plummeting temperatures; 4-5 foot drifts barricading garage and other doors; vehicles immobilized; deliveries questionable; one is afraid to ask, “What’s next?”

Weather has become a national news preoccupation. Clinton County is fortunate to have a National Weather Service facility on Rt. 134. While I am not in any position to understand, much less explain the intricacies of weather forecasting (aside from wooly worms), I can assure residents the National Weather Service is a fascinating facility to tour (note to The Wilmington Garden Club).

Every year I purchase The Old Farmer’s Almanac, 2022 being Issue No. 230. “Useful, with a pleasant degree of humor”, the Almanac was the creation of Robert Bailey Thomas, a 26-year-old farmer and teacher in Sterling, Massachusetts. First published on Sept. 15, 1792, The Old Farmer’s Almanac is the oldest continuously published periodical in North America.

Mr. Thomas rightly believed the 46 pages of his almanac to be a comprehensive, trustworthy reference for his mainly New England neighbors on matters pertaining to, but not limited to, planting charts; astrology; astronomy; farm chores; recipes; home remedies; history; weather; tides (perhaps non necessary to those living outside the coast of Maine); and miscellany.

The latter, in the 2022 edition, approaches gestation and mating tables — animals, not humans.

Mr. Thomas studied solar activities, astronomy, and weather patterns to come up with his still-used-today secret formula for Almanac predictions. He was decades ahead of Francis Beaufort and Robert Fitzroy, officers in the English Royal Navy, who developed the Beaufort Scale — a description of weather based on wind speed, wave height, and sea and land conditions to categorize wind/force weather coding.

While amazingly accurate, the Almanac can deliver an occasional “woops”, but so can the National Weather Service. For our immediate consideration, the Almanac predicts that Feb. 2022 will have an average temperature of 35 (1 degree above average) and precipitation at 2 inches ( 1 inch below average). Feb. 1-4, sunny, turning mild. Feb. 5-14, rain to snow, then flurries, cold. Feb. 15-20, showers, warm. Feb. 21-28 snow, then showers, turning mild.

The longitude feuds with the altitude of the latitude

Which, in turn,

Intrudes on the magnitude of the centrifuge

Leaving it quite confused as it attempts to move.

“Close the window!”

“It’s raining!”

Ann Kuehn resides at Ohio Living Cape May in Wilmington. She says, “I gravitated to Ohio at age 18 and never left” and moved to Sabina in 1987.

Ann Kuehn

Contributing columnist