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Wacky weather everywhere

My dad had a favorite expression when driving across a river, telling anyone in the car, “Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink.”

 I never could quite figure out where the expression came from until reading for the first time “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

A passage of that poem reads as follows, “Water, water, everywhere, and all the boards did shrink; water, water, everywhere nor any drop to drink.”

Some speculate future wars could be fought over an ever-shrinking supply of drinking water throughout the world, and although nobody has taken up arms yet over the Lake Gaston pipeline or against localities in North Carolina planning to tap into the Dan River for a future water source, the idea is still relevant.

At any rate, there’s no shortage of water currently in the Dan River, what with the heavy rains of last weekend, and I know for a fact my yard has been pretty saturated the past week.

Those wishing for more snowfall should just be thankful they don’t live in Anchorage, Alaska, where my brother resides.

He told me earlier this winter they were heading for an all-time record snowfall, and he was proven correct.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, as of March 17 the city was only 3.3 inches away from a 60-year-old record snowfall, that being 132.6 inches of the white stuff.

The newspaper noted nearly 11 feet of snow has fallen on Anchorage this winter, “forcing the city to haul away at least 250,000 tons of snow, or around 500 million pounds, to six snow disposal sites.”

While Alaska was said to have had its coldest January on record, the first three months of 2012 have seen twice the normal number of tornadoes, with thousands of daily high temperature records set.

Meteorologists have blamed a weather phenomenon known as La Nina for the weird weather.

La Nina is caused by an abnormal cooling of waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, while El Nino leads to a warming of those waters.

Both lead to unpredictable weather patterns in North and South America, India and even as far away as Africa, according to published reports.

Here’s the somewhat good news – meteorologists have predicted La Nina to dissipate in late March or early April, so keep your fingers crossed.

But, until then keep galoshes and bug repellent handy, and remember what Red Green says, “We’re all in this together.”