Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nothing to Report

We approach the end of winter, and it has been a really remarkable season in the Northeast. (Meteorological winter is defined to encompass the three calender months having the lowest mean temperatures, i.e. December, January and February – at least here in the northern hemisphere.) We're 10 weeks into that span with only three more weeks to go. And flying over Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut on Monday, I saw no evidence of snow cover at all. None. Zero. That's remarkable.

Since the season began on 1 December, N631S and I have been able to make the trip between KBDR and KVKX seven times in each direction, of a possible ten. That's a much better dispatch rate than we've achieved in the previous couple of winters. (At left, the flight southbound for Christmas weekend.) There was one weather related diversion in December, recounted in these two posts, but that was a result of fog, not the wintry stuff endemic to the period.

And it's been warm. Out of seven Friday afternoon departures from KBDR since 1 December I've only once needed to have my friends at Three Wing Flying Services hook up N631S's Tanis pre-heat system – meaning that every other time the temperature was above 40ºF. I've used the pre-heat system a few times of a Monday morning, after a 6:00 AM arrival at KVKX, but never due to anything lower than about 30ºF. In short it's been quite mild.

Of course I'm not complaining. A look into my logbook for the last ten weeks shows many entries that are variations on the theme: "IFR in VMC; uneventful." And of course uneventful is good! But it doesn't provide a great deal of fodder for posts on this blog having the potential to entertain and enlighten my occasional visitor. Still, I'll take the deal.

There are three weeks left in the season and almost certainly I'll find myself on Amtrak a time or two. And then March may be anything but benign...time will tell. However, at the risk of appalling my friends from the midwest, the Mountain States, or Pacific northwest (who have had, of late, far more entertaining weather) I can say that the Winter of 2011-12 already belongs in the "Win" column and I'll hope for one just like it next year.

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