Finding My Inner Weatherman

Life in the Farm Lane

2/5/2014 10:17 AM

I admit it, call for a big weather event and I am all in. For rain, there is the rain gage that we check to see how much we get after a storm. For snow, I have my handy ruler or yardstick to venture out and measure the storm’s progress. For cold weather, we have an outdoor thermometer to register temperature readings.

Maybe it's from growing up watching WNEP-16’s meteorologist Tom Clark asking for backyard forecasters and thinking how cool it was he got weather readings from his viewers. However, more than likely I think it’s a farmer thing. At my childhood farm, we always had a massive rain gauge that could read up to floodlike levels of rain. Same with measuring how much snow we received. The thermometer was also placed strategically to provide an accurate reading and a brutal reminder when the temperature dropped below 0 degrees. Come in from the barn at breakfast, and the morning weather report could stop a meal in its tracks.
Today, the Weather Channel, mobile weather apps and the Internet can serve up real-time data. However, there is something much more accurate checking out what is happening in your part of the world instead of reading about it virtually.
This past storm, my boys had fun “helping” to measure how much snow we received. Our final total was more than 7 inches at our house. They also liked “testing” the snow to see if it was light and fluffy or packing snow. It did not take long for a snowman to magically appear in the backyard. And, if you live in southeastern Pennsylvania, you're coping with an onslaught of freezing rain and ice Wednesday morning. Guaranteed, I am monitoring the progress and seeing if the local meteorologists got it right or not.

Have some great snow/ice photos from your farm? Make sure to send post them at We enjoy seeing photos of what's happening from across our coverage area. And to our feed and milk truck drivers, stay safe.
-- Charlene Shupp Espenshade, special sections editor

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