Outside of one snowfall right after Christmas, where we live in Cedar City had experienced on of the driest winters on record. From the second week in January until the third week in February, we also experienced record highs for winter, with the high on many days in the sixties and the low not even freezing. In the twenty-one years we’ve lived here, we’ve never seen anything like this. We had tulips actually leafing out – two months ahead of time. Even in a time of climate change, this couldn’t possibly last, and sure enough, it didn’t. On Sunday, February 22nd, it began to snow, and by the time it cleared, Cedar City had experienced another record – 24 inches of snow, an all-time record. By Wednesday, it was into the high forties, and then we had more snow flurries, and on Saturday – the day my wife was directing a multi-state regional singing competition at the university, at five in the morning it began to snow again… and when it stopped snowing at six that evening – about the time the competition ended – we had another foot of snow. Sunday was mostly clear, until sunset, when it began to snow once more, and when that snowfall ended on Monday afternoon, we had another ten inches of the stuff. And yes, I was again very glad for the snowblower I purchased last fall.
Now… we’ve certainly experienced more snow in our lives – every year when we lived in New Hampshire at the foot of the White Mountains, but Cedar City is high desert, and the water content of the snow was also a record. While weather is not necessarily indicative of climate change, what we’ve experienced tends to suggest that climate is indeed changing.
Of course, the fact that local weather and world-wide climate aren’t the same, or even close at times, is a fact lost on certain powerful Republican politicians. While the eastern U.S. has had one of the colder winters on record, the fact is that the planet as a whole is experiencing, so far, the warmest on record, and the west and southwest, and even large sections of Alaska have had far warmer winters than usual. In fact, the part of the U.S. suffering record-low winter temperatures comprises less than 3% of the world’s land, and roughly just as much of the U.S. is experiencing record-high winter temperatures. But then again, when did most politicians ever look farther that their own bubble… or the views of those who elected them?
On a lighter, or at least, more amusing, note, on Monday morning, my wife received an email, as did all the faculty at the university, stating that because of the massive amounts of snow blanketing the university, campus mail would not be delivered until further notice. Classes, however, were neither delayed nor cancelled. Now… if the mail carriers can’t even trudge across the four block by four block central campus… how does the administration expect students and faculty to do so?