Hard Winter Coming? What Do You Think?

pamcrews(6 SW Missouri)September 22, 2008

Hello Again Fellow Ozarkians.....Since I've only lived through two winters here so far (and my first one was a doozy) I gotta hear from the natives....do you think we're going to have a long hard winter this year? Are there signs pointing in that direction? I keep hearing from others they are expecting a bad winter....what's your take?


Lake of the Ozarks

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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Except for the ice storms which really were doozies, I think we have had milder winters than we have had in the past. I remember using my hair dryer on my volkswagon battery one morning when it was 14 below zero. One December my diesel pickup was quiting on me because the fuel was too thick to flow. We did have one cold winter just a few years ago; I haven't seen as many armadillos since that one.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 9:30PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I think people may be worried about a hard winter because of the cost of fuel and uncertainty in the economy. My view of winter has changed because I have no cattle. I am no longer out breaking the ice in the pond in January.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 11:31PM
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There is really not much to do to get ready...except check your house for tightness, storm windows, doors, foundation cracks, etc.

Be sure to winterize (mulch) some plants that are iffy in our zone.

We keep a close watch on anything that grows near the power line coming from the transformer to the house....that is our responsibility, not the utility company. If it looks like it could touch, down it comes!

Outside of these few things...I can't think of anything else. Oh, you might lay in some kitty litter for icy walks, I know they ran out of it last ice storm. Keep some of that deicer on hand, they ran out of that too!

A generator might be something to consider..............

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 7:36AM
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bunny6(7 AR)

When I was a child, our winters were more severe. Now our area is lucky if we get snow, but we do get our share of ice. I can do without the ice. I plan to buy a generator soon, because I am tired of sitting in the cold and dark when our electric goes out. My grandmother always claimed that if there was alot of acorns then it would be a cold winter. I never tested her theory.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 10:49AM
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Hi Pam - It's a wonder you stayed in Missouri after that awful ice storm that we had and then the late freeze. We were without electricity for almost two weeks and there were a few days when we didn't have water either. That would make nearly anyone think about moving south. I hate ice and it really doesn't have to get very cold to get that so even if we have a "mild" winter, we may be sliding around.

The prediction from the National Weather Service is that we will have a milder winter than normal but the Farmer's Almanac says we will have colder temps and above average snow. They don't seem to agree. It will be interesting to see who's right.

We bought two generators during the ice storm in '07. The first one was too small to power our furnace. We learned our lesson and kept them both and the kerocene heater that we bought. We may never use them again but I sure don't want to be without them if we do need them someday. Things like that are hard to come by if you wait until a million people are all buying at the same time. But - I will tell you, it was the first time in the 20 years we've lived in this house that we needed a generator so hopefully, it will be a looong time until it happens again.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 4:17PM
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proudgm_03(6 MO)

Helen, let me send you some armadillos. They are invading us up here!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 4:59PM
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People are saying a cold winter because it's been a cool summer and fall so far. But that doesn't always hold true. Ice storms are worse in milder winters, when it is warm enough aloft to rain but just cold enough down below to freeze it as it falls. In the 40 years I've lived here I've seen a lot of cold winters, (13 below) but not in the last five or six years or even 10. Which year had the warmest Jan on record? 05 I think. Spinach grew all winter that year. Dorothy

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 2:39PM
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pamcrews(6 SW Missouri)

Well I guess my mind-set is still in the Florida region because I think if we're getting snow....it's a hard winter! I've already put flannel sheets on our bed. Will I ever get use to this or am I desined to live (and garden) somewhere in the tropics? HA!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 9:15AM
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I'm not a weather expert but I'm pretty sure we'll have more snow than your old neighbors in Florida. lol

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 11:54AM
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Flannel sheets already! You may freeze to death this winter.....
Just kidding.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 12:46PM
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Know how you feel!
A former employer uprooted me from my laid-back lifestyle in Ark. and sent me to Bermuda for a couple of years to enjoy the sand, surf, tropical breezes and afternoon showers!
A darkly tanned "stranger" returned home at onset of a very cold winter. I could not wear enough clothing or get close enough to the fireplace to stay warm during that entire season!
But, it didn't take may years to again become acclimated to
cold winters and extremely hot summers.
Side bar note... One winter, while in Bermuda, the temperature dropped to a record low of 45°F and the natives were suffering, even more than I did upon returning home to temperatures near Zero. Their homes were unheated and no electric heaters were available. The power source couldn't support them anyway. Some businesses and wealthy people had installed A/C and when they all turned then at the same time, the line voltage would drop from 110V, down to about 75-80V and we suffered a brown-out.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 5:53PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Pam get an electric mattress cover - better than an electic blanket and insulated coveralls for outside work.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 10:54PM
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pamcrews(6 SW Missouri)

Ohh Helen I hadn't heard of electric mattress cover...you might be on to something there....but as far as the thermal coveralls I just bought my hubby another pair today at walmart. He had a pair last year he about wore out and I saw them today and he said get 'em. I really can't see myself going to work in a pair of those since I work in an office environment...however I have learned to keep my feet warm in the winter by wearing two pair of socks....yeah, I'm a slow learner....LOL. Thanks for the tips.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 8:58PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

You can get them at Wal-Mart; I saw them today. Turn it on before your nightly go to bed routine and by the time you hit the bed it is nice and warm. Then you can turn it off because your body heat under the covers is enough unless you have a drafty house or don't use many covers.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 11:44PM
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Ice is usually the worst problem, as it can result in power outages from downed lines. We have a woodstove, and I'm working on a stack of firewood. When there's no electricity, it comes in really handy. We can cook in it if need be, too. When the power is out, we get water from the creek in 5 gallon buckets for flushing toilets, but we stock up drinking water ahead of time for such occasions.

It's hard to predict the weather 3 days out, much less 3 months...

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 10:41AM
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Mom and Dad moved to the Ozarks with me when I was 13 from the warmer climate of Texas. Our first few winters were brrrr so cold - as in 24 degrees below zero and two feet of snow on the ground for six weeks at a time. Believe me, we do not have winters like that any more! In the winter of 1979, it did not get above freezing for about six weeks and the ice on our pond was 13 inches thick. These are much warmer winters now, but I do look for a wet winter this year.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 8:44PM
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Welcome Oneozarkgirl - I remember that too. I walked home from a friends house in the blizzard (not sure it was the same year but I think so) and couldn't see the road or anything else. Everything was white and I was worried about being able to find my house. I was still in high school and we had quiet a few snow days a couple years in a row. My friends and I passed the time by watching cars get stuck and then helping them shovel out. My kids have a play station and might find it hard to believe that was how we had "fun". Someday they will be telling their kids about the winter of '07 when they had to power their DVD player and Playstation with a generator. lol
Check out the date on the article below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blizzard Leaves Missouri in State of Emergency

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 9:48AM
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I think one of the signs of a hard winter is wooly worms having narrow orange bands. I would call these wide bands.
There were about 6 of them in the drive this morning.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 1:48PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

We had a good weather man on Joplin TV, Lee George was his name. He was an older fellow who would remember the people in the surrounding areas. He forecast snow flurries. We got about 3 feet of snow. I was young enough to enjoy this snow. We ventured out after a few days and got stuck in the high center the snow made on the road. Somebody with a tractor got us going and I thought the whole thing was fun. Now I would be a nervous mess if that happened. This was in the late 60's or early 70's. We had a bad ice storm in 1971 or early 1972 but not as bad as our recent ice storms.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 2:36PM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

Let's go clear on back--to the winters in the mid-to late 40's.
We had a curve just past our farm, where the drifts would pile the snow 7-8 foot deep. my brother and I, and the neighbor kids built tunnels back in it--our own ice homes!
I can remember the suprise the first time a road grader came out in the winter--it was after we moved to this farm in'67.
First winter we lived here, hubby took year old son on a sled to the top of our hill (on the road)on a sled--when they went by where I was they were traveling on--probably at least 40 MPH. No--we look back on those antics, and think how stupid we were (but-It was such fun!) Guess its true the good LORD protects fools!
Now, that tiny son is 40--and lives on the farm at the top of the hill--and they grade roads in winter.
The ice storm you're speaking of? where we had ice for 6 weeks? I walked over to my daughters (socks on over my shoes) fell down on a hill, my daughter gave me a shove--and I sailed down the hill-on my rump--laughing too hard to get up!
This winter? I think , with the economy tanking, more people than ever will be hurting.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 8:09AM
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lol "the good LORD protects fools" I think that must be true.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 10:00AM
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bunny6(7 AR)

When I was kid in the 70's, we had a real big snow. I can't remember the year, but my dad had a garage and a tow truck, and would travel roads, pulling people cars from the ditches for free, but that year even he could not get out on the roads. My son would love to have a snow strom like that. My husband is from up North and he misses the snow. Not me, a little snow goes a long way.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 10:25AM
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Sorry can't help but laugh,, I was raised in No Dak hard winter's here? Don't think so.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 2:15PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

My sister lived Savannah when her husband was in the service. She said they had one inch of snow and the mall closed and people had wrecks. When I lived in Washingtom state we never ever missed school for snow. The difference is being prepared for the weather.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 4:23PM
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