News Columns & Blogs

Snows that giveth and snows that taketh away

I’m a weather junkie 365 days a  year. Several times a day I head online to check the forecast for everything from the next few hours to the next couple of weeks.

Yes, I know anything past about two days is largely a meteorological guess but I still want to know.

But lately I’ve been checking several times an hour. I’ll be like that until the coming winter storm passes.

Weather events like the one coming brings good news and bad news. A few inches of snow can make for great bird hunting as all of the white forces pheasants and quail into thick cover where they’ll hopefully hold well for dogs.

But such weather can bring negatives, too, for outdoors lovers.

Several times while waterfowl hunting yesterday I wondered if it might be my last chance for ducks. The coming cold could lock-up most water. Too much snow can cover up enough food to send even the hardiest of big Canadas and mallards to warmer places.

But such systems bring bigger worries about what impact it can have on assorted wildlife.

Bobwhites have been struggling with issues like declining habitat and successive weather-related poor hatches in some parts of Kansas. A foot or so of snow blown into 10 foot drifts by the predicted high winds certainly wouldn’t help. Areas with good quail numbers could lose most of them in a couple of weeks of thick ice and extreme cold.

But as we watch the progress of the coming storm we also note the predictions for the days after it passes. Will there be enough sun and above freezing temperatures to give the birds a break?

That’d be great, but will the snow last long enough for us to get out and enjoy it?

Time will tell.

But I’ll keep checking with the weather dudes every few minutes until that time comes.