When a chilly wind is blowing from the northwest during daytime, it's easy to understand why it feels so cold. But the reasons for temperature plunges at night are more complex.
Conditions like the record-breaking blasts of cold air during much of February make us dream of warmer weather.
Complaining about nature's quirks, and the disasters that come with them, is a popular pastime. But in spite of some of the troubles North Georgia has experienced in the past, it's realistic to say that we live in a very sheltered part of the world.
It's an ironic fact that more than two-thirds of the Earth's surface is covered by water, yet there always seems to be a shortage in many places.
Buying gasoline for less than $2 a gallon has been nice. Sooner or later, prices will rise again, and thoughts about saving gas are going to return.
Some scenes in last week's news look familiar.
The carburetor is a time-honored device that may yet see its 150th birthday. But it's disappearing almost completely from the automotive scene.
The past two weeks have shown how different the weather can be in Europe, compared to the U.S.
In Georgia, the new year always starts the coldest portion of winter. Naturally, one would like to know if it's going to be a mild winter, an average one or a deep freeze like the one of 1985.
Even with quality windows, there's often a pocket of cold air in the space between the window and the corner wall.
Besides the holidays we're enjoying this week, there's another important milestone. The Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (www.chattahoochee.org) celebrates its 20th anniversary.
You're doing your Christmas shopping. Traffic is heavy. On the main streets, two or more lanes are completely filled with cars. Slow forward movement in your lane ensures a stop at every traffic light.
Most North Georgia homeowners have had this unpleasant experience. You step into the garage or some other room with outside walls after a cold night, and are greeted by a waterfall coming out of the drywall. After turning off the water supply at the meter and using every available towel to mop up the lake that has formed, there are two immediate goals: Fix the damage, and do something that will prevent this from happening again.
"This place is awfully cold. I hope it's not like this all the time."
Atmospheric conditions often influence the course of history.
So far, March has shown above-average precipitation totals in North Georgia. Based on the historic record, we also have plenty of rain showers to look forward to in April.
There's enough talk about explosives in the media to have a person worried. Not worried enough, it seems, are some people handling the liquid explosive we use every day: gasoline. Understanding the hazards of this substance requires knowing about its physics.
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