posts tagged with 'weather'

BOOM!

Last night I had just said goodnight to the kids when I noticed that light rain had started falling, so I went out to put the bikes away (it's supposed to be part of the boys' cleaning up chores, but mine was out too so I can't cast stones). All of a sudden the world was split open by a tremendous boom and I about jumped out of my skin! It trailed away into rumbles that made me think it was thunder rather than a nearby house exploding, but I still wasn't sure. I ran right back inside to find the kids fully awake and pretty upset. Zion had his flashlight on and was checking for smoke or fire—he thought it was a house exploding too, and maybe our house. After a shock like that nobody could go right to sleep, so we all came downstairs. Of course I still had to put the bikes away, and as I was doing that I got to talk to all the neighbors who came out to look around for signs of explosion damage, then I went back in to talk with the boys. For some of them their main feeling was distress; for others, excitement. Either way it took a while before anybody was ready to try bed again.

The strangest thing about it all was that we didn't even have the rest of the thunderstorm: we had a few other distant rumbles but nothing more, and it never even rained hard (right then—we had lots of rain in the middle of the night). The only other time I've ever heard thunder that loud was when the building next door was hit by lightening. We looked around for a strike, but didn't find anything. You know how they say you shouldn't swim when you can hear thunder even off in the distance, because you can get lightning way far away from the center of the storm; clearly we've now learned you should never swim at all. Exciting!

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climate control?

It is possible for our house to stay cool on hot summer days. Or coolish, at least: cooler than outside, enough to make the children disinclined to get off the couch when it's steamy outside. Without air conditioning, that seems like a win. Of course, if takes a little action on our part. We need to have the right windows open at night, with the fans going—that's easy enough. First thing when we get up we need to open the doors to bring in that lovely early-morning air, the coolest of the day. Then—and this is the hard part—we have to close up the house at the right time. The windows and door facing east are easy: as soon as the sun is above the trees we can feel the heat pouring in that side of the house, so the curtains there make an immediate perceptible difference. But often, even as the air outside gets warmer and warmer, it's hard to close the other windows because we don't want to lose the breeze. If we don't, often by 3:00 it's clear we've made the wrong choice.

That's what happened yesterday. We were tricked by the misty overcast, and distracted by the forecast afternoon thunderstorms, and we left everything open all day. It wasn't super hot, but it was humid, and before long the mist burned off and the sun started burning in... and the house sure heated up. Worse, while we heard some distant thunder the five minutes of light rain that fell didn't do much to change the outside temperature.

We'll try again today, and since the forecast calls for sun and heat we'll be more focused on the job. It only got down to about 70° overnight, so that's our starting point. We'll close up the house after 8:00, and see how we do!

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summer show

Friday saw the first real summery weather of the year, and it ended with a summery thunderstorm. It was just getting started at bedtime with far-away rumblings; since I didn't want to miss the show I stayed up a little late. After everyone else was tucked in I went out to the garden to see the distant lightning away to the north, and it was as good as a fireworks display: some of the flashes were high and sharp, others low to the horizon, long-lasting, and flickering. It was all far enough away that the thunder was just a low background. But before too long I noticed clouds scudding overhead, and the wind started picking up. There were were just one or two closer thunderclaps before a light mist started falling and then, all of a sudden, the big drops. I was maybe thirty feet from the back door, but by the time I reached it I was as soaked as if I'd jumped in a pond. That was fine: I needed a shower anyway! I took off most of my clothes and went back out long enough to feel properly scrubbed—as long as I could, actually, before I died of hypothermia.

Back inside I dried off, closed the windows where the rain was pouring sideways into the house, and watched more of the show. The sheets of rain under the streetlight, swirling back and forth, were very satisfying. But there's a limit to how long I can stay up in the dark house, so I went to bed and fell asleep to the sound of the downpour and the last grumbles of the thunder.

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weather whiplash

On Saturday, it snowed. For a long time, even, though no snow ever stuck around on the ground for even a second. Then Sunday morning was wintery cold—the young maple leaves were visibly suffering, and I was super nervous about the apple and pear blossoms. By mid afternoon the kids were in shorts and t-shirts and the weather couldn't have been nicer for romping in the yard with a pair of puppies. Yesterday started the same way, with ice on the puddles at first light but weather warm enough to make my long underwear really uncomfortable before lunch time. Of course, the afternoon also featured dark clouds, wind, damp cold, and thunderstorms. It's a good thing we never leave home—imagine if we were going anywhere and had to pack clothes for such climatalogical variety!

In general, temperatures are a bit below what we expect from May these days, which is slowing down the garden some. I planted the peas almost a week ago—when there were a few days with mild mornings—and I expect they've not even germinated yet. But I'd much rather that than the alternative: it's easier to accommodate late cold than sudden summer, and it feels less catastrophic. Lord knows we need less catastrophe these days, so I'll take it.

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April snow brings... ?

As if this season weren't strange enough already—with everything cancelled, and days at home stretching endlessly while weeks rush by—on Saturday we woke up to snow falling heavily on the daffodils and forsythia (and, you know, everything else too). By mid morning there was a couple inches on the ground, and as we looked out the window the scene was decidedly not springlike.

snow covering the backyard

what season is it?

The first part of the morning we contented ourselves with board games, and the older boys might never have gotten motivated to get out in the snow had not Lijah taken the first steps. Even without a promise of anyone to play with, he was heading out.

Lijah in the snow in his snowsuit, wearing a big scarf

he knows what to do

It wasn't too long before Zion also got suited up and joined him, and they played for about an hour—climbing on the snowy playhouse, throwing snowballs and regular balls, and making snow angels. They got very wet. Harvey didn't make it outside until Jack invited him out; they missed the best part of the snow but seemed happy enough playing in the light misting rain that followed it. Once they got launched they all got plenty of enjoyment out of just those few inches of snow. Not as much, perhaps, as the first-grader who told me in our Kids Church session yesterday that he and his family had built a snow fort (!), put certainly enough. After all, it is April!

Almost all the snow was melted by dark. Today we were back to our regular spring programming.

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my favorite weather

It got cold yesterday, and it was cold all day today. I love it. My favorite time of day when it's clear and cold is first thing in the morning or later at night, when the air is so still that I can go outside without putting on all my winter gear and experience the cold and quiet without feeling chilled myself—as long as I don't stand around experiencing too long! I just went out this evening to close up the chicken coop and make sure the hens were all cuddled up together, and it was a beautiful welcome peaceful moment after a day full of fun and conversation with kids and friends. Of course, this being the broken winter it is the cold won't last long... but I'm sure enjoying it while it lasts.

missing winter weather

The most immediate loss to me last week when the blog came to a crashing halt was the post I had just finished up at the time—a good four or five paragraphs about our wonderful experiences at a classical music concert. When I pushed "publish" it disappeared into the void where $_POST variables go without a script to process them. As you can see, the blog is now (mostly) up and running—but I'll never write those words again. Other parts of the website aren't fully recovered, though, and a more lasting loss comes from the missed week of weather reporting. See, I usually make a little note everyday on what the weather brought us—my record goes back years. It's of course theoretically possible for me to have made weather notes on a text document or even, you know, a piece of paper, but my brain just doesn't work that way.

And it's some crazy weather that I missed! Our winter is broken: it's been well above freezing almost every day for at least a week. There hasn't been any snow for two weeks, and it seems like what cold we have only comes with clear skies; whenever there's any precipitation it's, at best, snow mixing with rain. There's a winter storm watch for tomorrow, and it's for sleet. That doesn't do anyone any good. At least the ice was thick enough that it's still sticking around on the more sheltered ponds. We take what we can get. Even when we're not writing it down.

winter wonderland

We don't usually get good snow in December, so we were extra excited when, on the first of the month, wintery weather arrived ahead of schedule. The forecast for Sunday into Monday was uncertain, with the rain-snow line wavering back and forth somewhere over Lexington; as it happened it was well to the east of Lexington Center, and our precipitation was all snow. Then on Tuesday we had a second storm; it was predicted to be over by noon but kept going strong until late afternoon. There was a lot of snow. And we enjoyed it! On Monday the boys sledded with Grandma (in the sleety Lexington snow). On Tuesday they romped and wrestled and snowball fought with schooled friends who were enjoying a second straight snow day. And on Wednesday I got to join in with the sledding, as we traveled to enjoy some beautiful powder on a Chelmsford golf course.

Harvey standing on the hill with a sled

this is the life!

The winter weather was so beautiful that over the week I took almost a hundred and fifty pictures—more than I took in the whole month of November! (always a low month for photography, I find). Admittedly, 50 or 60 of them were burst mode pictures of the kids going off jumps on their sleds, but I also did my best to capture the winter's own artistry.

natural ice sculptures on the wisteria

ice art

Sadly, today was warm and rainy and the considerable snowpack is melting away almost faster than it accumulated just a week ago. Oh, I hope more falls soon. As lovely as our yard and our town are all the time, they're even better under a blanket of white!

the deck cleared of snow, with snow still piled high on the picnic table

I like it like this

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storm report

There was a storm last night. A "bomb cyclone", apparently, that brought 55mph winds to Bedford, along with some rain. It didn't feel entirely cataclysmic as we experienced it, though things crashing did wake me up once or twice. Our power went out between 1:00 and 4:30 or so, but really, who needs electricity in the middle of the night? It was back when it counted. And none of our plants or trees suffered at all.

But that's not to say we escaped entirely unscathed! Our storm door in front blew around and got a little (more) banged up. Some water came in one of the downstairs windows. And most startlingly, the back door blew open entirely and the kitchen floor got soaked, as did my backpack which I'd left by the door. I know, I should have put it away—but you still don't expect to suffer a deluge! The bag was soaked through, my Pokemon card case was wet through... luckily, the deck box itself within the case kept out the water so my favorite deck didn't suffer any damage.

Lots of folks had it worse than us. 45 percent of Bedford households were still without power at 6am, and the schools had a two-hour delay to let the DPW clear the roads. At Harvey's friend's house around the corner a tree fell on their car—luckily missing smashing it entirely, but it's still not something you like to see. Then today was cold and wintery. Summer is over.. the season of storms is upon us!

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we beat the heat

It was super hot here Friday and over the weekend. Hot enough that it was all over the news, with heat warnings and cancellations and everything. The official word was that it was dangerous to be without air conditioning, so those of us who don't have were directed to visit the mall to seek relief—and, presumably, to pick an AC unit from Sears or whatever. I'm on the record pooh-poohing similar panic around extreme cold weather, and while I don't know that I've written about it I've certainly talked about how I don't care for the heat, as a general thing. And you can bet we don't have AC. But I want to say, it wasn't that bad. I don't even think it topped 100°F.

Sure, there was some humidity. Sure, it was probably close to 100°F inside our house by Sunday afternoon. It wasn't really enjoyable. But sitting in front of the fan, or outside in the shade, was totally fine. And by this morning it was already much cooler; in fact, I needed to get up in the middle of the night to get the comforter off the floor since I was getting chilly. Right now it's 66° in Bedford and raining, and tomorrow's high is forecast at 68°. I think we survived it. And now I'm looking forward to the kids complaining about being cold tomorrow morning!

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