Speeding Through Snow and Ice Towards Fire

Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash

The futility of weather, now

As I wrote about yesterday, I’m taking a long train trip starting next week. It will take me from coast to coast and back, along different routes. Today, in my hometown of Rochester, NY, it is in the upper sixties and sunny. Atypical weather for the end of October, but we’ll take it, especially since it goes downhill after today.

Being a weather nut, I’ve been following the weather in various places I will find myself in during November. It’s not encouraging at the moment. Chicago is cold, Denver is colder and snowy, Salt Lake is cold, and northern California is burning, fed by howling winds. Ditto for LA. My friends in the Bay area say the air quality is terrible because of smoke and soot. LA may see hurricane force Santa Ana winds. Sounds like a fun trip, doesn’t it?

But then there’s that ten day outlook

These reports were a buzzkill this morning. But the ten day forecasts (aka educated guesses) are more encouraging, at least for the cold places. The fires and winds are less predictable, but easier to avoid. I realized that while I considered switching routes and doing the train from NYC to Miami, including Philadelphia, Charleston, Savannah, and a side trip to the barrier islands of Georgia where a friend owns some posh hotels, I probably won’t take the warm route. There could be hurricanes and torrential rains, not to mention heat and humidity. Though I bet I’d have fun.

There’s a point to this

When you start looking at weather around the planet, the picture is not good. In fact it’s bad and that is not going to change. If we want to travel, we have to live with these extremes. Rochester is known for its winters. Lots of ice and snow well into April. But it’s less known for its gorgeous springs, summers, and falls. Fall this year has been fantastic. All in all, I live in one of the few areas in the US not being heavily impacted by global warming. We seldom get tornados (like twice in my long lifetime and they just threw a few tractors around), no hurricanes, no wildfires, no seasonal winds that howl for days, and little in the way of torrential rain. My friends who are fortunate enough to live on Lake Ontario’s shoreline have experienced bad flooding the past two springs, flooding that kept seasonal marinas from opening and any restaurant bars near the water from serving boaters. A lot of boaters didn’t see their season start until July.

So, winters aside, I live in a relatively stable weather area. And we have immense amounts of fresh water. Looking at today’s national weather and predictions about ten days from now when I’ll be on a train or wandering around in a cold city, had me seesawing about my options. But then I realized that the point of a long trip is its unpredictability, especially at this point in human history. I’m sticking to my plans.

I’ve written at length about my trip and the unexpected things that took place.

Former software marketer. Former musician. Writer, nine non-fiction books, two novels, Buddhist, train lover. Amateur cook, lover of life most of the time!

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