June in January (or something like that)

Up and down the east coast yesterday and today we’re experiencing some very un-Decemberlike temperatures, no doubt pleasing many and positively alarming others. Politics aside and objectively speaking, I saw yesterday’s weather as neither good nor bad, but merely a manifestation of a bigger issue that has been fomenting for some time.

I’ve noticed that over the last 10 years or so Decembers have become warmer, while Februarys and Marches have become colder and more snow-laden. It’s gotten to the point that I expect more snowfall in March than I do in December, regardless of what the calendar says or how I used to think of those months as a kid.

There’s a simple explanation and it has nothing to do with handwringing over global warming or carbon emissions or hybrid cars or anything like that.

We’ve simply screwed up the calendar.

Think about it. Let’s say we were off the mark with the whole 365 days thing. Let’s say the number of days in an actual year is more like 367 or 368. (Perhaps we’ve been unnecessarily shorting February all these years.) If we cut two or three days from every year, in time we’d be days and weeks off the mark from what the actual date was. Such a thing would not be without precedent: let us not forget the great calendar change of 1752.

I think it’s probably closer to the middle of October right now than the middle of December. By the time the real December rolls around we’ll be calling it February. So when those mid-March snows come along we really shouldn’t be that surprised. After all, it’s really only January. Back when I was a kid it was cold in January and it still should be now.

I guess the question remains how did we get off track. Personally I think it has something to do with Y2K. That seems to be about when winter started showing up later and lingering a little longer. We never did find out what the real Y2K bugaboo was, so this was probably it. Damn that Y2K messing up my St. Patrick’s Day 14 years later. Who knows what’s next? NCAA Tournament games cancelled due to snow? Caddies carrying shovels around the greens at Augusta? Horses dashing through the snow at Churchill Downs?

Only misplaced time will tell.

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About moc

My name is Mike O'Connell. I am 36 years old and live in Northern Virginia. I am a teacher, a musician, and an enthusiast of all things American.

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