I hate to say “I told you so,” but I told you so.
On Feb. 9 I wrote a blog about my disappointing experiences with February and suggested/predicted that the wonderful weather I was enjoying that day as I drove through West Texas would be nothing more than a prelude to disappointment, expectations dashed, spring delayed.
The following day, just to tease me, the weather was even better. It touched on the high 70-degree range as I drove north up into Lubbock. I watched a herd of pronghorn antelope frolic in a pasture; hawks circled overhead, stark against the cloudless, azure sky. It was balmy; it was nice; it was an illusion.
I got up early the next morning to meet my good friend Mary Jane Buerkle, Plains Cotton Growers’ splendid media person, for breakfast and then out to a farm for an interview. I left my hotel and walked into a blast of cold air that reminded me of why I dislike February. That quickly, a mere few hours, spring turned into winter. Temperatures stayed in the 40-degree range all day while wind gusts, seemingly reaching 30 miles per hour at times (but I am no accurate judge of wind speed, so it could have been 15 or 85), made things seem even colder.
I drove home through winds buffeting my truck about. A few sprinkles fell. By the time I reached the Dallas area, it was warmer, near the mid-60s. Two nice days followed and then we were informed that by Sunday, Monday at the latest, cold would return and a tad of snow or ice could be our lot. We received no icy precipitation but the cold snap warning was on the mark. One day it dipped to 28 and barely nudged above freezing most of the day.
For the latest on southwest agriculture, please check out Southwest Farm Press Daily and receive the latest news right to your inbox.
Our weather, however, was nowhere near as bad as the onslaught folks were suffering from the Midwest over to the east and up into New England. So, karma being karma, I had to fly up to St. Louis for a meeting. I booked an early flight out of Dallas, left home at about 4 a.m., had to defrost my windshield and noted that it was 34 degrees as I pulled away from home. I thought that was cold.
When I arrived in St. Louis, the temperature was around 15. It improved little during the day. Snow was on the ground. I don’t own enough winter clothes to plan for this kind of weather. My ears hurt during the brief time I was outside.
The meeting was beneficial. I met some nice people. I enjoyed a nice lunch in a warm restaurant and made it back to the airport and eventually back home, where the temperature registered 43 degrees, which felt balmy.
Today is Feb. 19. Thank goodness it isn’t a leap year.