Weather wimps? Not here

Weather wimps.

That’s what we’ve become, according to some scientific experts who track trends in the nation’s weather patterns. They cite endless piles of statistics in an attempt to prove their point, which is that with a warming planet, there’s fewer extreme cold weather events than ever before. Americans have forgotten what truly cold weather feels like, they say.

Well, maybe that’s true in some parts of the nation, where complaints escalate when the mercury plunges to, gasp, 20 degrees above zero. But try telling that to “weather wimps” residing here in the plains states, where temps of 30 degrees below zero or more combined with strong winds during the past week to plunge North Dakota and other locations into the deep, deep freeze.

Weather wimps? We think not.

Had any major city on the East Coast experienced such cold weather as we had last week, the national media would have been out in hordes marveling at the few brave soles who dared to venture outside their homes. Al Roker would have bundled up like the abominable snowman, stood outside for barely a minute and proclaimed that the world was about to come to a frozen end. In North Dakota, we called it Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

While we agree that our memories tend to be short when it comes to weather, it’s for good reason. Who wants to remember those frigid days? Most of us have heard an elderly relative begin a story with a phrase like “I remember the winter of 1936. . .” We don’t necessarily believe those stories, just like we really don’t believe the endless stories we tell our own children of the days when we trudged to school in the snow wearing popcorn boxes for shoes and keeping baked potatoes in our pockets to keep us warm.

Weather wimps? Nope. For optimistic residents around here, making it through a week of extremely cold weather simply means being another week closer to spring.