The central area of Mississippi isn't experiencing snow or weather that is considered "winter". We have lows in the 20's nights and highs daytime in 40's, but inconsistently. I have no idea what really cold weather is like, say in northeast NY, where the snow has compacted house roofs with over 9.5". If bad weather comes here in January or February (maybe every 10 years), it's usually in the form of an ice storm. And the natives in their cars may as well be novices on ice skates.
I'm beginning to believe that this area is quite a comfy place to live. The summers are as hot as those in Manhattan; the fall is warmer; and when cooler weather hits, it's around the time the state fair arrives in town--mid October. Then, like magic, the weather turns warm again, sometimes into December.
We have lots of rain. And unlike what I've seen in upstate NY where I live summers, we have mud puddles, water puddles. In the Catskills, the dirt is similar to loess, and water passes through the soil or runs along the base of trees, taking with it the precious grains that hold up massive pines.
Most of the state has good soil, except around Natchez, along the bluffs, where the loess is sliding into the Mississippi River by the inches. Some of the once beautiful homes, now only housing vagrants, sit perched on the bluffs, waiting for a thunder roll and a hard rain to push them into the river. One has to see the sights of these homes to realize the danger imposed by the soil. It's been said that part of downtown Natchez will eventually dump into Ole' Man River.
Weather used to be the topic for old folks only. Now we have a weather station to keep us appraised of changing climate. Weather used to be more predictable. Remember putting away your winter clothes and bringing out your summer ones? Not now.
There's something beautiful when the warmth surrounds us in the fall and a heavy rain pours out like salt from a shaker. It's a challenge to run into the open, raise your face to the heavens and feel first the sprinkle, then the force of drops, and finally the pouring rain that forces you onto the porch. Even the lightning that streaks across the sky is like a pen of silver ink scribbling warnings.
All this seems friendly, kind...until you're warned of an impending storm, perhaps one of tornadic proportions.
Weather has become a national crisis. How little we onlookers understand the exhaustion and frustration victims go through as result of losing their homes, their personal possessions, their...everything.
Let's not forget all those suffering from weather's torment as we squish through the snow, as we breathe in the freshness of a cold morning, as we run in a pouring rain to shelter. Better yet,read the following blog: http:\\gracedavis.typepad.com/Katrinablog.