Two hundred eighty days as of today, and counting. More than nine months. Three quarters of the year.
Two hundred eighty days is the length of time Milwaukee has gone without a measurable snowfall, a new record.
If we're going to have a white Christmas, we need to get our act together. This week's forecast calls for a few "flurries" and "snow showers" for the early part of the week, but nothing that will accumulate. Rain is on its way for next weekend.
Yesterday morning I pulled out of the garage and noticed what looked like extra heavy frost on the grass. It wasn't until I took a closer look at the cars that had been parked outside last night that I realized that white stuff was actually a little bit of snow flurries that hadn't quite melted. The cars all had a tiny mound of snow nestled at the bottom of their windshields near the wipers.
But it wasn't enough. The official snowfall is measured at the airport, about three miles from here. I believe the first mark on the measuring stick is half an inch; what was sitting on the grass couldn't have been the quarter inch of a standard quilt seam.
As a native Wisconsinite, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the snow. We are a hardy bunch; only rarely does the snow stop us from doing what we need and want to do. An entire industry revolves around the skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing and other winter activities that only thrive in places where the temperature stays low and the snow stays solid for a substantial part of the winter. On the other hand, not having to break out the boots, scarves, mittens and funny looking hats just yet is a relief.
For now, I've no reason to pull out the winter dishes, brew up the hot chocolate and sit by the fire gazing out at gently falling snow.
I just hope that by Christmas, I can.