Each year since moving to the mountains, more than a decade ago, it has snowed on Valentine’s Day. Sometimes just a couple of inches, sometimes a foot or more. This time of year has been noted for it’s cold and it’s snow, but this year is different. There has been very little snow, mountain snow showers, yes, a trace here and there, but only one really measureable snow of about 3 or 4 inches. The temperatures have yoyo’d from parka cold to 80ºf (27ºC), definitely not mid February in the mountains weather. The trees are confused, already they are budding out, some of the maples have tiny leaves.
But this has been the winter of the wind. Our log home is in a hollow with a mountain gap to the northwest and the wind at times howls through that gap sounding like a locomotive bearing down on us. We have experienced that wind many times in the decade, but it seems this year like a constant force. It howls and rattles. Our home is a large sturdy structure with a three story west side of logs on a stone faced concrete footer wall. It isn’t going anywhere, but some days it seems like the whole house is shuttering. The window choice of the log home company from whom we purchased are not the best, though they are double hung insulated windows, we have hung insulated Roman shades on those windows. The ones on the west end of the house have been closed more times this winter than most winters in the past. Opened in the late afternoon to allow in the sun’s warmth, then closed again at night to block the chill from the wind. Today is cold, mostly cloudy, and a high wind advisory again. Tomorrow it is going to be spring like again and calm, reaching unseasonable temperatures for most of next week.
The Virginia and West Virginia ski resorts are probably fretting this year, having difficulty even making man made snow at night. On our way home from out son’s house last weekend, when the temperature was rising to 80, we passed one of the resorts, they had two long parallel man made runs with snow in the otherwise very unwinter like surroundings.
The winter has produces some beautiful morning skies.