Such Anemic Winters

By February 8, 2010Global Warming

One hopes the weather gods had arranged for blowhard Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to have been trapped inside the Beltway this week. It’s would be a just confinement given his Sept. 24, 2008, column in The Los Angeles Times, “Palin’s Big Oil infatuation,” which claimed global warming has destroyed good old Washington winters.

Those odd climatological phenomena led me to reflect on the rapidly changing weather patterns that are altering the way we live. Lightning storms and strikes have tripled just since the beginning of the decade on Cape Cod. In the 1960s, we rarely saw lightning or heard thunder on the Massachusetts coast. I associate electrical storms with McLean, Va., where I spent the school year when I was growing up.

In Virginia, the weather also has changed dramatically. Recently arrived residents in the northern suburbs, accustomed to today’s anemic winters, might find it astonishing to learn that there were once ski runs on Ballantrae Hill in McLean, with a rope tow and local ski club. Snow is so scarce today that most Virginia children probably don’t own a sled. But neighbors came to our home at Hickory Hill nearly every winter weekend to ride saucers and Flexible Flyers.

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