Happy Fall! “Weather” or Not: Winter Predictions
The weather. Seems like it’s always a topic of conversation but especially this time of year. The change in seasons is more evident, as that first round of snow appears on the mountains, or when the aspen leaves turn golden.
And most mountain people seem to take on discussions of weather with such authority, as if they have a meteorology degree. Some announce the obvious: It’s snowing! It’s dumping! Look at those clouds! There’s a rainbow on the east side!
While others seem to simply repeat things they may have overheard, the old wives tales.
“There is very little scientific evidence to predicting the weather,” stated local weather guru Charles Kuster, who also owns The Book Mine in downtown Leadville.
What? You mean, all that Doppler Radar and El Nino/La Nina stuff isn’t true?! Well, maybe in short term weather patterns and predictions, but probably no more than a week out, explains Kuster, discussing the weather in his downtown book shop one recent late summer day.
So what about when the leaves change color at a different time? Isn’t there any truth to the notion that an early Fall leads to an early Winter? Nope, states Kuster. Well, what about the fact that the animals are on the move already? That the chipmunks and other forest critters seem to be storing up a bit sooner than usual, does that matter? Nope, that has nothing to do with whether or not we will have a long, cold snowy winter. But people like to think it does, laughed Kuster.
Now, surely there’s some truth in the “Bible” of weather, The Farmer’s Almanac? It came out earlier this month and stated that Leadville is probably going to have the same kind of winter as the last, with lots of snow. Well, they might be good at predicting, but it’s still just that, a prediction, says the Leadville weather guy, anything further out than several days is a guess, there’s nothing scientific about it!
Interview with Charles Kuster After Record Snow Fall
Wow, talk about having your weather balloon getting busted! But wait, maybe there was a silver lining in that cloud. . . .
“In all the years (decades!) that I have kept weather records in Lake County,” said Kuster quietly, just as the hope of believing in meteorologists everywhere was about to fade away forever. “There is one consistent variable that has determined how a Leadville winter may look.”
Yes, Yes, what is it!? CLICK to find out what Kuster’s answer is!