As I write this it's cold and rainy outside. That’s cold, according to The Weather Channel, as in twenty-five degrees below normal for this time of year. Rainy as in near record breaking rainfall for a single day in October.
Meanwhile down in the San Francisco Bay Area where they normally get a tenth of an inch of rain in October, they've had over two inches of it already with more to come and two weeks to go in the month.
So what gives with the funky weather and what's to follow?
As to what gives, I blame it all on the Obama administration. Just kidding, but the current administration is does a popular target when it comes to things going wrong.
But if the "O-Man" and his team aren’t the problem, what's is -global warming; global climate change? Even our local all-knowing weather sage Bob Shaw doesn't have the answer.
So what should we expect over the next few months? It's my humble opinion that we'll have a mild winter. This is based on my thirty-two years in Central Oregon. During that period, every time we've had lousy weather in October the ensuing winter months were mild.
I recall flying home in early October years ago from Salt Lake after getting snowed out of a multi-day mountain bike trip in the Moab area and arriving in Redmond to 18 degree temps and snow flurries. Come New Year's Day a group of us went hiking at Smith Rock State Park in bright, sunny 65-degree weather which was typical for most of the winter.
So, I'm betting on a mild winter which will be a comfort to those who moved here recently expecting Bend to have mild temperate (read no snow) winters and those fabled "300 days of sunshine a year."
State climatologists have, in the recent past, said that we should be soon experiencing warmer and wetter winters. If that true, skiing will become an over 6,000 feet in elevation experience and Bend might experience more Portland-like weather.
But then we’re talking about the weather. A subject Mark Twain took up in an 1876 speech. Addressing England's weather, he noted: "I have counted one hundred and sixty-six different kinds of weather inside of twenty-four hours"
Sometimes it feels that way here in Central Oregon as well.
Twain added: "one of the brightest gems in the New England weather is the dazzling uncertainty of it."
That applies to Central Oregon as well. So, welcome to an early winter with more or less of the same to follow.