The Doldrums

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the term, but maybe not in the meteorological sense. In that manner, it refers to an area in the tropics, near the equator, where there is little to no wind. Before ships were equipped with engines, those that ventured into this region of the Atlantic or Pacific and become stuck there for many days, even several weeks. Some of them would run out of food and water, causing all aboard to perish.

Our situation here in the upper Midwest is not as life threatening, in fact, it’s just the opposite. The lack of any winter storms in the past several days and in what looks to possibly be the next week or more will allow for good travel and a potential lack of weather related fatalities. There are chances that the Northwoods could see a few inches of snow Wednesday, maybe even a bit of ice in southern MN and central WI, but other models so not see that happening, so I have to use the meteorological cop-out term “potential” with regards to it happening.

Maybe cop-out is too strong of a word, especially when it would be foolish to say that the storm is a for sure or not a for sure. In any case, it has been quiet for several days and looks to stay that way for at least a few more. This pattern we are in is much more like an El Nino one and there is no El Nino occurring. The state of the equatorial Pacific Ocean is much closer to a La Nina, with the temps running a bit cooler than average. The temps have been on the upswing, so perhaps that is what is driving the weather pattern across North America right now.

On the plus side, our temps have been mild enough to keep heating needs lower than average, plus being outside is more tolerable without any bitter cold, but I miss the near daily occurrence of snowflakes in the air. Their last sighting up here was Thursday morning, but it seems like it has been longer than that.

We do have plenty of snow on the ground to recreate in. The mild weather and decent snow pack is very favorable for the downhill and cross country skiers and snow shoers, but snowmobilers will take all the snow they can get, the ice fisherman could use colder temps to make more ice and there is a segment of the downhill skiers who love the fresh powder as much as the snowmobilers.

I am quite confident that we will still see what most would consider a lot of snow to fall yet this season, but I have growing concerns that overall, this will go down as a dud of a winter. Who knows, things can change in a hurry and we could end up with a very snowy end to January, as well as all of February and March. I will keep that though at the front of my thoughts and not focus on the other potentiality. 

The weather was fairly good for the guys building our new home. As mentioned in Tuesdays entry, they showed up on Monday and got the slab cleared of snow and the lumber arrived Tuesday at midday. They got the mudsills down on Wednesday and then began the task of framing and lifting the walls into place  on Thursday and are currently close to halfway done with the exterior walls. Here is a shot of the front of the new house and here is a shot taken from the rear. I suspect that they will be able to finish the framing of the exterior walls this coming week. The trusses are to arrive on the 17th, so with a bit of luck and a big crew from the 17th to the 20th, we may have a roof on!

I’m sure they will be happy to have a roof over their heads and even happier to have it shelled in from the winter. I have to admit that it was quite strange to arrive home the first day they had some walls up and see them standing there. For as long as we have lived here, the backyard of the old house was always empty. Even when the foundation was put in, we really could not see it. I have grown used to seeing the new house there now and am excited to watch the future transformation take place.

That is about all I have to write about for this go-around. Have a wonderful week ahead and I will talk to you next time!

Good Night from the Keweenaw..