"It's Spring (Or Is It?)"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, April 1, 2017

According to the calendar, spring is here! All the media weather reports announce it, but can we believe what we are told? After all Phil did say no, right?

Two weeks ago, all the forecasters declared winter had exited and spring was about to arrive. And what arrived? Perhaps the worst storm of what was definitely still winter.

There are a number of natural things that herald springs arrival: the woods and forests come alive, trees begin to bud and green replaces white in the landscape. When I last talked to someone from Grindstone, I learned there was still some ice and snow along the water’s edge. In the past week, two news articles appeared in the Tribune regarding a traveler believing spring had arrived. The county Sheriff’s Office personnel suggests anyone planning to go offshore by kayak or boat re-consider until conditions improve.

I called a friend in Huron County to see if spring had indeed arrived and was a little disappointed. She told me there was just a hint of green where grass should be breaking through although deer in her yard were rooting around and finding some to feed on. The skunks and opossums, who were also hungry, were seen feeding side by side with them. She told me all the snow was gone around her home, and a few tulips were beginning to pop out. I’ve heard from other Huron County friends traveling around the country: visiting Arizona and Wyoming. They are watching weather reports and are eager to return to Michigan.

This time of year it’s well-known that forces of nature cannot only change but completely reverse. Snowbirds returning from warmer climates seek clear weather forecasts to avoid problems on the road — or in the air if flying home. Most snowbirds who take to the highways are not restricted by a scheduled time of arrival and will seek safety before advancing in poor weather.

If you’re planning to head north from your warm winter local, be prepared to stop due to road closures. In the past week in my area, many roads have been closed as a result of fires that have crossed roads and reduced visibility to zero. Brush fires along major highways often begin off road, but can totally halt traffic because of the heavy smoke they produce. Many areas known to burst into flames when dry spells occur are difficult for firefighters to reach, so they get a good start. Once they reach the highway’s edge, just a few embers blown across the road can ignite brush on the other side of the road. This may result in traffic having to be totally re-routed.

If you see signs of smoke or heavy storm clouds up ahead as you travel, prepare to stop. If you are near a rest stop, pull in and seek information on conditions ahead. Turn on a local radio station and look for a weather report. No matter where you are traveling on the road, it’s almost impossible to outrun fire and smoke or tornados. This time of year, severe storms can and do develop.

As I see it, if you plan to travel a long distance, pack some provisions including your daily medications, and be sure to fuel up.

P.S. I spoke to a person in Detroit early today — Thursday, and learned it was raining, sleeting and yep, snowing!

Return to Home Page of Tipsforboating.com


Copyright © Fred Davis. All rights reserved.