I got a Christmas card from the nice folks at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – the Climate Witness division. You may recall the article I wrote for them concerning the pitiful state of Lake Lanier (speaking of which, the scientific review of my story is now available). The card reminded me of the potential relevance of our recent confusing weather. Only one week before winter and the northeastern region of Georgia was coming in at highs of 70°F. Today marks the first official day of winter, but it actually arrived in a forced gust of cold wind yesterday. We went from muggy days in the high 60’s to the sudden shock of sub-freezing temperatures Sundays afternoon. By Monday morning, we were in the low 20’s and all remaining signs of water in the streets had frozen solid. There was as much as a 50° shift from last week to this in one day. Is this an aspect of climate change, or just a strange time in the history of our weather? We’re not supposed to realize climate change marked in the passage of a few days or even years, but I can’t help but notice things with a new perspective.
Anyway, I’m still not sitting around the house watching the weather channel, though it may sound like it at the moment. Regardless of the ridiculous weather, we have taken opportunities to enjoy the arrival of winter, officially. We spent most of the day at Stone Mountain yesterday in the Christmas Village. Despite the cold wind, a bundled family – and several hundred others – managed to persevere and blow a wad of money enjoying the spirit of the holiday. We took in the lights, sounds, and smells of sweets, a parade, and cheesy stage shows.