Feb 25, 2018

Winter = true!

Just as I lay down on my couch the sun reached the upper left corner of my big west window here in my great room where I am mostly living my life. It dazzles me and it’s really hard to write, but there is no way I am shutting it out. Here comes the sun!

2017 was the year of +11°C  (52°F and 0°C (32°F). Around freezing point most of the winter and pretty much 11/52 during the summer. I was wearing a wool coat in July! And the winter was covered in ice as precipitation came in rain and snow every other day. It was horrible. I felt like I was living on an island as the ground around my house was covered in ice and it was life threatening business for me and the people helping me out to get to and into the car when I had to leave my island. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so physically isolated.

Since I had to quit going downhill in 2000 I haven’t been a fan of snow. There is no point with it any more. Only worries about how to get it out of the way. But this season we actually had snow already in late fall, and it really helps with our struggle fighting the dark here on the 64th latitude. Even when there is hardly no light at all to reflect in the snow, it makes the ground brighter and so our souls. 

Frankly, I thought (and I’m not the only one) the days for real winters were over. 2015, -16 and -17 have surely pointed in that direction. It’s 5 years since we had a winter that followed what used to be a normal pattern. But here we are 2018 with lots of snow and really cold temperatures!

The white stuff has been falling continuously since even before the Holiday season kicked in and there has only occasionally been days around freezing point making the ground dangerous and the snow pack water filled. Temperatures mostly at -5° - -10°C (23-14F), which is pretty much perfect. The landscape has been white as a winter painting, and since it hasn’t even been windy the trees have been all covered most of the season. It’s been truly beautiful.

It’s not new the winters are unpredictable, but when people have been complaining my response has always been: well, we can always trust February. Which means however miserable December and January can be, we can rely on February bringing the real cold temperatures and our heat bills to rocket. Not even that was true for 2017!

But 2018! For some weeks now weather systems over Arctis have pushed high pressure from Siberia our way, and it’s really cold here! -25°C over night warming up to around -15°C (-13F - 5°F) during the day. And it’s even colder further north!

I don’t think I’ve seen this much snow (it’s about one meter /3,3 feet) since my sons were young, and March can sure bring a lot more. Jonas who is doing the plowing in the village hardly has anywhere to put the snow anymore, the piles are huge! And my brand new gutters at the house are demolished from the weight of the snow hanging from the roof…

Now, you might be wondering, when does spring arrive when there is such a snowpack? The funny thing is, it doesn’t really seem to make that much difference. 2017 there was hardly a feet of snow and mostly mild temperatures, yet spring was three weeks later than normal! And than the wool coat summer followed…

The sun has wondered over my window and is now disappearing at the bottom to the right and behind the forest. We have won exactly three hours since the winter solstice already! The snow mobiles are roaring crossing the fields towards Torrberget/Dry Mountain on the perfect bedding. In only a week the worst of the cold will let go and the winter will transform into springwinter, giving room for midday thaw and shades protecting our eyes from the sharp snow-reflecting sun. The season promising everything you hope will come!

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