This morning I learned from WRAL Website that today is the start of “meteorological” spring. “The term is supposed to signify a noticeable change in the weather as the harshest 90 days of winter come to an end,” says the site.
I say this after watching the forecast for this week — especially for Saturday — grow colder by the day. At the beginning of the week the day was expected to start around freezing and make it into the low 50s. Today, we’re still looking at a freezing start, but the high is only supposed to hit 47. And there is mention of snow flurries. I don’t thing that’s the direction of change the good scientists who came up with the term meant.
I’m especially disappointed in this, the advent of meteorological spring because tomorrow is the Umstead Marathon, and last I looked my name was among the 250 race entrants. While cool weather trumps hot for running a marathon one truism of aging I’ve learned is that there’s a disproportionate relationship between cooler temperatures and the time it takes to rev your body up. That is, at 40 degrees, it takes a 30-year-old five minutes to warm up, a 56-year-old (moi) 10 minutes. At 30 degrees, it takes the 30-year-old (still running in shorts and a T-shirt, by the way), maybe six minutes; me, it will take most of the morning.
True, you may note, It’s a marathon — you’ve got 26.1 miles to warm up. You’ve got all day, ha ha!
Technically, no. There’s a cut off — I only have 6 hours.
My point: tomorrow’s weather may be good for a lot of things, I’m just not sure a marathon is one of them. But I’ll get back to you on that.
So what is this weekend’s weather good for? Two things:read more
Whenever we get wind of snow in accumulations of five inches or more in the mountains and Piedmont, we trot out our handy cross-country ski guide. For those of you who have skis, you’ll find some of the best spots to cross-country ski in the mountains. And for those of you who don’t, it will help you find out where to get some. Here’s hoping the prediction of up to 12 inches comes true.read more
Tuesday’s forecast calls for a high of 58 under partly cloudy skies. Which wouldn’t be bad for early winter IF TUESDAY WEREN’T CHRISTMAS!
Sorry. Feeling a little flush.
Which is why we’re offering up a little escape today to colder times, to times of snow and winter fun and winter camping and skiing and sledding and building a snowman and getting bonked in the noggen with an ice ball — well, maybe not the latter. Still, who couldn’t use a little winter right about now?
So here it is. Grab a hot toddy and enjoy.read more
Think this weather is for the birds? Well … you’re right. It may seem cold to you, but for hundreds of thousands of birds from more northerly climes, North Carolina’s coast is to them what Florida is to humans. That makes this time of year ideal for getting out in the wild for some birdwatching. Here are three programs this weekend where you can go out with trained naturalists and learn just who likes to spend their winter at the coast:read more
The plan was to go backpacking at Mount Rogers, a plan that was ultimate done in by it’s inspiration
A winter trip to the highest, most exposed part of Virginia during one of the snowiest winters in recent memory? Epic! But then the area got an additional foot of snow last week on top of an existing foot (sending drifts up over six feet from their original four, according to an advisory posted on the Web site for Grayson Highlands State Park, which adjoins Rogers). Even more snow was forecast overnight. Then a backpacking colleague pointed out that what blazes there are at Mount Rogers (mostly on rocks, since trees are scarce in spots) would likely be covered. Finally, my partner for the trip backed out.read more