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Friday, January 19, 2007

A sure-fire way to tell if it's going to snow

As I mentioned yesterday morning, we had the first winter storm of the season yesterday. The snow was just starting to come down at a good clip by the time I arrived at the station at 6:40 a.m. The rest of the day I watched it keep falling, then turn to sleet and rain. It wasn't much of a storm at all but it did prompt most of the schools around here to close early, so that gave us something to do all day, what with posting cancellations and all.

Even if it was a pretty minor storm, it did still snow. Which once again validates something that I heard years ago and thought it sounded rather silly at the time, but I've watched this happen so many times since then that I'm starting to wonder if it's a law of nature.

One night in the winter of 1993, when I was 18 years old, we heard some thunder at our house. Dad, sitting in his recliner, said that thunder in wintertime means it's going to snow 10 days from now. I was like "yeah right" especially 'cuz in 1993, our part of the country hadn't seen a real snow in three years: some younger children had never even remembered what snow is supposed to be.

Well, lo and behold, exactly ten days after it thundered, "the Storm of the Century" hit. That it started precisely ten days after we heard the thunder was something I thought of a lot during the next few days as we were trapped inside the house.

And ever since then, whenever I have heard thunder during the winter months, it has snowed almost precisely ten days (a couple of times nine days) later. The same thing happened in December of 1996: I was driving around Elon College with a friend and we heard thunder. "Geoff", I told him, "it's going to snow ten days from now." Geoff had never heard of that before either. But it snowed ten days later exactly and he went around saying "hey Chris said it was going to snow and..." A few years ago during our first winter since getting married, Lisa and I heard thunder one night in early December. Yup, ten days later we got an early snow. I don't think we heard anymore thunder during that winter but it sure snowed plenty enough.

Well, Monday night of last week we heard thunder here in Reidsville. Sure enough, ten days later we get the first snow of the season.

So now you know how to know for certain if/when it is going to snow. If you hear thunder sometime during the winter, it will snow ten days later. You can practically wager money on it. It works here in north-central North Carolina anyway. There may be some regional variation... but give or take a few days and it's something that will probably work where you live, too.


Anonymous said...

I've always heard that this particular law of nature is that when it thunders in winter it will snow sometime within the next 10 days...not necessarily exactly on day 10.