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We’re all going nuts

A heavy mast means a hard winter, so the saying goes, and if that’s the case, we’re in for a cold one, judging by the crunching noise under my feet.

Everywhere I go, the sounds and sights of autumn are obvious, the driveways and lawns covered by nuts, the crunching sound of acorns being driven over by automobiles.

Of course, the leaves are beginning to turn colors, with the Virginia Department of Forestry predicting the colors reaching their peak in the period Oct. 25 through Nov. 10.

It’s the time of year one thinks of cooler weather ahead and how to put lawns and gardens to bed for the winter.

The trusty Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts the coming winter to be colder and drier than normal for the Appalachian Zone (our area), with the coldest periods from late December through early January and in early and mid-February.

The Appalachian area, as mapped out by the Old Farmer’s Almanac, extends from Elmira, N.Y. in the north to Asheville, N.C., in the south, and includes the cities of Scranton and Harrisburg, Pa., Frederick, Md., and Roanoke.

Halifax County is at the extreme eastern edge of the zone, as shown in the Almanac.

Snowfall will be below normal in the northern part of the Appalachians and above normal in the south, with the snowiest periods in mid- to late December and early January.

The Almanac predicts October to be slightly cooler than normal with average precipitation (three inches), and it predicts November to be slightly cooler than normal with less than average precipitation (2.5 inches).

But, weather forecasting is full of anomalies, and it’s a prime candidate for Murphy’s Law, particularly when it comes to predicting snowfall.

I recall one February several years ago where it snowed each Thursday, like clockwork, and other winters — 2011-2012 comes to mind — where it barely snowed at all.

That’s good news for those of us who dislike snow in any form, but bad news for school children who look forward with great anticipation to the announcement school will be closed due to snow.

Ice and freezing rain are friends to nobody, however, and the less of that we see this winter, the better.

Who knows what the coming months will bring in terms of weather, and that’s all part of the plan.

As the old saying goes, all of us talk about the weather, but there’s very little we can do about it.