The weather person is always afraid of the “s” word. If none of the fluffy white stuff falls, snow lovers and school kids complain. If the meteorologist fails to mention the “s” word and flakes appear, snow haters complain. Poor weather guys; they just can’t win. Most of the time, the media takes the first winter storm and runs with it, creating a crisis such as the “snowpocalypse.” Facebook hasn’t helped this problem. It compounds it. Everyone shares and reposts the crazy reports, generating a widespread panic and runs on the grocery stores before they shut down. I am guilty of this, but only when the weather reports are collaborated by multiple reliable sources. So funny. Laughs abound when the overreaction turns out to be correct. Sure, people need to be alerted and prepared for winter storms, especially out here when snow is a rare treat. But do you really need snow tires with the first white flake? No. Just stay home and enjoy it.
As winter sets in, let us consider who really has it best. Having lived on both coasts and a topical island I feel that I am a great judge of what makes a good winter.
The best winter must have snow. But not too much snow. Those of you in northern parts of the eastern united states get way too much. If you have snow for more than four months straight, you have too much snow. If you own your own snowblower, you get too much snow. Yet, places on the west coast or southern parts of the United States do not even get snow. Your winters stink. Yes, we know you live in the warm regions for a reason but what is winter without snow? You freeze your little bikini bottoms off if you go anywhere else.
A great winter must have a clear beginning and a clear ending. Here is where the Northeast takes the lead. Nowhere else will you see a dramatic beginning of winter, the dumping blizzard knocking the brilliantly colored leaves off the tree branches. Nowhere else will you find a refreshing start to spring, marking the end of a long cold dreary winter. Perhaps that is why spring has such a feeling and a clean smell in those states. I love when the temperature warms up and you can hear the snow-melt creating little streams through your yard, running down the street . Or see the green spears of new plants punching through the white crust for a dramatic burst of color. But remember, since you get way too much snow, you can’t win the winter battle. You might win the battle if we were debating changing seasons. But we’re not.
The best winter must not get too cold. Forget temps below 32 degrees. A temperature in the teens is just ridiculous. Don’t even mention below zero temperatures. If you have to plug in your car battery overnight to ensure it starting in the morning, it’s too cold. No, thank you. Winter around the thirties with a few days in the twenties provides a true winter feel without the extremes. Sorry, Canada.
In addition to this, a great winter must have trees to flaunt their snow-covered branches. The branches hold the snow well because a good winter won’t give too much snow. Too much snow makes the piles heavy, which in turns dumps off the tree onto passers-by, leaving the trees in winter nakedness. Good for a laugh but not for a picture. A balanced mix of deciduous and coniferous trees creates the best effect.
Finally, to have the perfect winter, people need to know how to deal with it. This means no idiot drivers trying to do a five point U-turn in front of you. No stupid people going seventy because they are in a four wheel drive while others are driving ten. Large metro buses won’t come sliding down the hill at you. It happens, just look at Seattle in 2008. The entire metro system shut down with one storm! I had to walk two miles back to my hotel after the Nutcracker. Taxis didn’t run and buses were pulled off the streets. Crazy. The sad thing is only areas with tons of snow know how to deal with it. Stupid people still drive in those locales, but the city can respond and handle it. Fleets of snow plows and salt on the roads. Imagine that. Salt. Hey Seattle, I bet salt melts the ice. (Actually, I think Seattle made a switch to a sand and salt mix.)
Dang, this means no one has a perfect winter.