(click to enlarge)


Above is the ECMWF Day 3-7 map, showing above average temperatures coming to the northeast part of the USA.  (I was alerted to this map by Joe Bastardi’s blog at WeatherBELL.)

This made me click over to the Accuweather point-and-click forecast, which informed me that, after a warm front pushes through tomorrow, we could expect temperatures of 88 degrees (F) on Thursday, 93 on Friday, and 91 on Saturday.

An official heat wave requires three full days with temperatures above 90.  However I am going to take a page from Jim Hansens’s book, and “adjust” Thursdays temperature from 88 to 90.  (If need be I’ll move my thermometer into the sun.)

In any case it is going to get a lot warmer than it’s been.  Snow was mixed into the cold rain two days ago.  Right now, as I sit at 3:45 AM with insomnia, it is 39 (F.)

This means it is time to get the corn, squash and beans in.  I held off, as the seeds rot when the soil gets too cold, but now I have to work hard and swiftly.  We have only 24 days until the days start getting shorter, and only 95 days until September and the first chance of an early frost.  (In my bones I feel that next winter will start off quickly and harshly.)

We have such a short growing season this far north that it gives me an understanding how close to the edge my ancestors, who depended on their gardens, lived.  What a complete disaster 1815 (The legendary year of “Eighteen-hundred-and-froze-to-death”) must have been, with the corn crops killed by frosts in June.  They then replanted, only to have many corn crops killed by a frost in July.  The corn that survived was killed by an early fall frost in late August.

All that work, and nothing to show for it.

Or imagine the Greenland Vikings, on farms where their elders had lived for 400 years, seeing the soil fail to even thaw.  (In the year 2020 my family will have lived in New England for 400 years.) All that work, and nothing to harvest.

They must have girded their loins and prepared to live on seal blubber, however one theory holds an interesting fate befell the Greenland Vikings.  Perhaps they had a prayer meeting, and asked God for warmer weather.  Then pirates swooped in, gathered them up, and sold them in Southern Europe as  white slaves.  There were apparently over a million white slaves back then, especially in the Ottoman Empire.  Many ships in the Mediterranean were galleys, propelled by men bending over oars.  It may seem a harsh fate, but maybe it beats starving to death in Greenland, and maybe some were not slaves forever, got promotions, and wound up living in cottages on the shores of the Aegean Sea, basking in warm Mediterranean sunshine, and ruminating over the mysterious ways in which God works.

If such a thing happened, you would think the sailors on the coasts would hear the tales.  Both Columbus and Cobot grew up in Italy, and could have heard such lore, and both sailed west in the 1490’s, seeking a New World, not long after the Vikings vanished from Greenland around 1480.

How’s that for a tale before sunrise?  But that is how my mind works when under the influence of insomnia. It wanders from New England to Greenland to the Ottoman Empire to Italy and back to North America.  It drifts back in time and then starts forward.

However the reality is that it is now 4:30 AM, and a robin has started singing in the dusk of a long day, and I’d better go back to bed and catch a quick hour of sleep before work.

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