Posted at 7:00 AM on November 26, 2007
by Paul Huttner
I love driving across Wisconsin.
With a wife from greater Chicagoland, we've probably made the drive from the Twin Cities to Chicago 100 times in the past several years.
From the beauty of the St. Croix valley, through the rolling farmland in northwest Wisconsin, the varied topography near Eau Claire, the white pines of Black River Falls, the exposed sandstone cliffs near Tomah to the gentle grassland and farms of southern Wisconsin it's an ever changing landscape.
I've driven that stretch in just about every month of the year, but never has it been more beautiful than Sunday. The lack of snow cover made for a real treat.
Sunday's warm sun hangs low in the late November sky. As we drive northwest toward the cities, a myriad of color stretches out before us. Some grass still green in ditches and low spots facing south and west. The brilliant warm maize color of corn stubble in the fields. Hayfields with creamy muted wheat tones stretching for miles, punctuated by freshly plowed fields with rich brown and black soil turned up waiting for spring after the coming winter.
Throw in a series of ideal looking farmsteads with bright red barns and white farm houses and you've got a Currier and Ives landscape. As we approach Minnesota a few cirrocumulus clouds decorate the sky for an orangy dreamsicle sunset to top off a spectacular day of gently changing scenery.
With all the science of weather, all the debate about the effects climate change, and the occasional big storms whipping up mayhem, it's nice to just sit back once and a while and enjoy the beauty of the brilliant landscape we call home in the Upper Midwest.
Posted at 2:25 PM on November 26, 2007
by Craig Edwards
Economists who try and predict the overall financial future often handicap the weather. For the meteorologists the price of a barrel of oil does not impact our temperature forecasts. Some energy companies and agri-businesses rely heavily on both the short and long range forecast for temperatures which will impact the regional energy demands and farm futures.
Approaching the Holiday season, economists are called upon to speculate on retail sales. When expectations fall short one of the places to lay blame is on the weather. A slow start to winter stifles the sale of winter apparel, snow blowers, and seasonal recreational gear. If a harsh winter arrives early across the east half of the Nation energy consumption soars, impacting oil and gas prices.
The overall tranquil weather for this Thanksgiving holiday period put a smile on the face of retailers. Lots of green currency, disguised in plastic, changed hands on Black Friday.
You’ll be looking for hand warmers and your wool cap the next 24 hours. Despite the snowless, brown and barren landscape, cold temperatures will invade the Plains and the Great Lakes as we close out a relatively dry and somewhat mild November. Hopefully consumers held back some cold hard cash for the winter heating bills.
Weather Service Outlook for first week of December/