During a recent family gathering, my uncle bought a persimmon fruit from his local market, not to eat, but to predict this winter's weather. The seeds inside are the weather predictors. If the kernel is spoon shaped (shovel), it means lots of heavy snow. Fork shaped means powdery snow and a lighter winter, and knife shaped means icy cutting winds.
It’s January in Kansas City, and we haven’t really had any snow yet. What gives? This is the Midwest after all. We should be trudging through 8 inch snow banks and shoveling sidewalks instead of wearing flip-flops and making do with light sweaters. We’ve barely had enough to make a snow mouse, let alone a snowman.
I have celebrated the fact that we have had such a mild winter! This winter, Minneapolis has only had 22 inches of snow versus the 86 inches that they had last year. In Kansas City, we have only officially gotten 3.1 inches, a record low so far. In New York, 300,000 tons of salt were dumped on roads in 2011. Today the pile is hardly touched. It has been so nice to have lots of mornings where my car did not even have to be scraped in order to go out! It has been so nice not to have to wear a coat every day!
I checked the weather reports almost every week – waiting to see that one little four letter word that usually shows up during the months of December, January, and February: Snow. I was looking forward to winter all summer long. When summer became fall, I started waiting and getting ready for the blustery, frigid, wonderful flakes I knew just had to be around the corner. Halloween came – no snow. That was typical. Thanksgiving came and still no snow. Then came a spattering of snow in December, but it was just enough to be an annoyance and it didn’t last.
With the spring season jumping ahead of the calendar this year, we’ve already had a chance to experience a few severe storms. Last year’s tornado in Joplin really hit home for many of us who have friends and family in that area. After that storm, I decided to take a few proactive measures with some of my keepsakes, and I moved them into our basement. It’s hard to imagine losing things like family wedding albums, photos, and old letters.
It is an emergency notification and weather warning system available to residents who live within the Blue Springs city limits and/or the jurisdiction of Central Jackson County Fire Protection District.
The last year has seen some really strange weather. As I write this, we have just experienced 2 days in the 80s, when just the week before it was cold and rainy. Now the forecasters tell us that we could be experiencing record low high temperatures in the 40s.