The descent of the weather from summer through fall and into winter is inevitable and routine, and yet the process is different every year. In any given year, a frost may come early but then the first snow arrives very late. In other years, the first snow and the first frost may happen at the same time. Some years, an early snow can be a harbinger of a hard winter while in other years, heavy snow falls early and then the winter brings only a little more snow and very little cold. In this country, winter is the longest and most difficult of the seasons, so we try to read into signs which probably aren't very telling.

Long range weather forecasters look for certain wind patterns or large areas of anomalously warm or cold ocean water but we are often just as surprised by the winter outcomes. This forecaster had a pretty good idea that this summer would be warm and dry. I honestly have no clue about the upcoming winter.

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