We had snow in Chicago this past weekend, followed by temperatures in the single digits. This puts me in mind of how rude it is for guests to arrive excessively early, as when January decides to show up in November.

Our house on November 10th, 2019

The question is, what does this portend for the rest of winter. According to the Weather Channel’s Winter 2019-2020 Outlook just released today, it portends lousy. My part of the country is supposed to have a normally cold December, or something close to it. But January and February are supposed to be in definite “Colder Than Average” country.

This isn’t true for everywhere in the country, so you might want to check out the Outlook yourself. Here’s a link. 


Of course, Colder Than Average can mean a lot of things, so it might not be so bad. Or it might be.

November’s sudden attack of cold and snow did a number on many plants that had been holding onto their leaves. Suddenly they went from green to freeze-dried. It was all very abrupt.

snow on March 23
Me on the way to Springfield after a March snowstorm in 2015.

It’s unwise to spend a lot of time worrying about something you can’t control, but who said I was wise? I can look on the bright side, though: with the ground frozen, the damn rodents can’t dig up my bulbs.

52 Comments on “Winter’s Rude Arrival

  1. Hmm, this forecast may portend well for our cherry-picking winter in Quebec, but this last storm sure hammered natives and non-natives alike.

  2. I laughed out loud at your comment about the rodents, but really got me was the photo of you heading off in March. If that’s not an expression of weary resignation on your face, I don’t know what it is. With luck, this snow will melt and things will moderate a bit. You deserve a bit of respite.

  3. Looking at the photo of you in the snow, really brings home to me how difficult every day life must become…..imagine catching planes in that weather? …..if they are able to take off and land.
    Here’s hoping the bulbs are enjoying, and growing in this weather.

  4. I feel your pain. We are having the same weather here in Maine, and the prediction for January and February is similar to yours. Chuckled over the comment of the rodents and your bulbs.

  5. LOL at your “silver lining”! Only today has the ground thawed enough from the now-retreating arctic dip for the squirrels to bury their winter stashes. I see them hard at work and just look away; I don’t even want to know where they’re digging. May’s crop of black walnut seedlings will tell the tale…

  6. Your cold snap was even reported here and I thought of you and your poor garden, but you are right about the rodents… it will hopefully put a stop to them digging! Hope this doesn’t mean a long and cold winter for you.

  7. Thanks for the link. Unfortunately looks warmer-than-average for my region. Sigh.

    Can we trade?

  8. Snow already? I do call that rude and unnecessary in November. Glad you can find a silver lining. No snow here, just constant rain.

  9. Oh, how true, about guests arriving excessively early! We (in Kentucky) got the snow and plummeting temps a couple of days after you. We feel your pain. Onward!

  10. You are freezing, Australia is burning and in Italy they are drowning…… I hate Winter !!!

      • Over here we can’t complain so far, the watershortage we had is almost solved, we have a bit of nighfrost once in a while…but I don’t like Winter 😀

    • Well, it’s not winter in Australia . . . or is it? If their months are the same, shouldn’t their seasons be the same too? . . . even if ‘winter’ is the hot and dry fire season?

      • At the moment it is Spring in Australia, so the hottest weather is still to come…Did you see the map of Australia where you can see where the fires are located ? So if everything is already bone dry, what’s it going to be in Summer !!!??

      • Australia is one of the few places that gets worse fires than ours. The only advantage is that is not so populous. It takes months for our fire season to develop. It typically starts at the end of summer, although there are often bad fires much earlier. The region is still rather damp in spring. Our fire season just ended a few days ago, with the first storm of the season. If California started out so dry in spring, the fires would be catastrophic.

      • I’ve seen the Californian fires on tv, so many people lost their homes !

      • And does insurrance pay for all the damage and burned houses ??

      • Ofcourse you have to have insurance first and I know insurance companies surch for reasons not to pay but it is possible then, at least that is something.

  11. You did make me laugh ! .. about the rodents and bulbs,that is .. Last Saturday I was on my hands and knees trying to break up some soil in the front garden, for those last daff bulbs I wanted to plant .. it was just too frozen out front .. but by golly ? I was able to dig up enough soil in random spots in the back garden to get them in .. no wasted bulbs even though it upset my planting design in the front garden curve, for Spring … there is always next year right ?
    This year .. winter came harder and faster than in a multitude of years .. it is going to be a VERY long winter I fear.

  12. You are looking a bit frosted yourself! According to the link you gave, I am exactly on the line between slightly below and slightly above average for the winter. Which probably means we will have our typical yo-yo temperature swings from too cold to too warm, and no one can predict what season tomorrow will be!

  13. Love your attitude!!! The bulbs you planted will do especially well next year!

  14. I am just getting this almost two weeks late. You must be quite into winter by now. We are just now getting our first real rain since last spring!

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