Friday, January 11, 2013

Weather and the prepper

Looks like this:
     It is unseasonably warm today in Florida according to the weather casters.  Some of them just talk to hear themselves speak.  It is Florida.  It gets cold, then it gets hot then it gets cold again.  It is weather, and it is weather in Florida.                                                                                

till it looks like this!
    Today on January 11, 2013 it is 80.4 degrees.  We will not break the 82 degree record.  I pulled winter weeds today.  I worked up a sweat and a good stretch.  I wore short sleeves and shorts and next weekend I will be in a quilted denim fleece lined jacket with a hoody because it will be in the thirties and I will NOT be outside pulling weeds.  I will be covering plants and shifting seedlings, in a coat.  We roll with the weather here and three months out of the year we have two wardrobes on standby at all times.  This is Florida.

      But, no matter where you are, there you are, in the middle of whatever weather local to you.  I remember one long cold ride to Kentucky in January that ended on an Army base.  It was the chill of the decade or freeze of the century or some such.  It seemed to me to be the cold it should be in that area.  I couldn't imagine why everyone seemed so surprised that it was snowing.  It was January, it was way north of Florida, so where was the surprise?  Still, there were burst pipes and cars slid into ditches and people shivering as they walked down the side walks in light jackets.  I didn't get it.  I had on several layers, a sweater and coat, my kids were properly dressed.  What was the big deal? 

     I'll tell you.  It was the same deal as northerners moving to Florida and not getting a major hurricane the first year.  It was complacency.  It was a few years of light snowfall in that area followed by what I thought was a corrective snowfall, but according to the locals was the storm of the century which I have watched over time to have occurred in that area every four or five years.  It was human complacency.

     Complacency will get your crops frozen in the field, your car washed out in a flood, your life in danger from hyper- or hypo- thermia, wind, rain, cold, or just lost in a storm you knew was coming but weren't ready to ride out. A prepper gets their house in order.  A prepper gets their pantry in good stock.  A prepper gets to know the surroundings, its past and present in order to survive the future.

     I found a site called weather base that gives you a page of seasonal averages for every state and for over a hundred cities in Florida alone.  On one page it gives monthly averages of wind, rain, snow, temperature, etc.  You can find it at downloaded it, printed it and stapled it into my best garden book as a reminder to learn from the past before counting on the television forecast.  They also have a sister site with local web cams at .  
     This site also has a great visual for weather history at .  You can find a site and study your own climate and stop listening to the talkers and gawkers on television.  I have learned enough to know I need a barometer to watch the pressure drop when a hurricane is approaching.  But, I only need the past to predict the future here in Florida.Historical Weather Data.

     You ask a farmer whose living depends on a crop's success to predict the weather and you will be told, yes, we will have weather.  I don't care how sophisticated the weather science gets, until we are beaming people up to the Enterprise, tornadoes will happen.  Hurricanes will come and snow will fall.  It will be hot, then cold then hot again.  Prepare accordingly.

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