Highlight: They (Mr. Monte and Blondie) have called me a Weather Geek from Outer Space. They have tried to smear my good reputation. There are three things, however, that provide solace and perhaps even a touch of vindication:
Several members of our vast and ever growing SFH audience provided positive comments defending my dedication to understanding that which surrounds us always – the weather.
My beautiful wife asks me frequently what to expect with this erratic January weather. “Should we build a fire?” “Can we plan a shopping trip on such-and-such a day?” Yes, she comes to the Weather Geek for advice.
Mr. Monte begs to go out on the porch, and then he comes running back in with a look of disgust – “Why didn’t you warn me that it was windy, rainy, and cold out there?” – I merely reply with a smile, slightly accentuated with a bit of sarcasm – “Foolish Cat!”
Thank you dear readers for your support.
SFH WX Station Report: Snow, wintry mix, rain, wind, etc. January is here and the pattern of unusually high precipitation events continues into the new year. The 19th saw over an inch of rain falling on SFH. The yard continues to be filled with standing water. The only good thing that will come of this will be that SFH will have a skating rink when the flash freeze arrives on the 20th.
Highlight: Winter Storm Gia has moved out of the area and the melting snow is the last reminder of its visit. The only problem now is the long trek to the woodshed to fetch a cartload of firewood to keep the wood stove fueled.
Meanwhile, that self-centered, 20-pound fuzzball Mr. Monte alternates between demanding a warm fire so he can be his lazy winter self and begging to go out onto the porch so that he can imagine that he is some sort of ice age Smilodon Fatalis.
Lately, my dear wife has been grumbling about my fixation on the new SFH WX station. Heck if I know why. Maybe she’s getting cabin fever. It couldn’t be anything I’ve done.
SFH WX Station Report: Winter Storm Gia continued to drop snow on SFH throughout the 13th. Using our highly advanced technical equipment we measured just over six inches of snow on the first day and just a little less than two inches on the second day of the storm.
Highlight: The big news for this part of Virginia is the arrival of Winter Storm Gia. It’s not a blizzard, but it’s impact on Rappahannock County and on the vast (almost 1.25 acres) Serendipity Farmhouse estate is noticeable. As I am writing this on Sunday, January 13th, we are now into the second day of the storm and expect more snowfall this afternoon. When the storm subsides, I intend to post pictures and facts about the event.
Last year we talked about Winter Storm Riley (here) and now we are under the influence of Winter Storm Gia. Naming winter storms is a relatively new practice. You can find a history of the practice and a listing of the names for winter storms for the 2018-2019 winter season at – Winter Storm Names For 2018-19 Revealed
The Weather History Graph for the SFH WX Station (see below) for January 12th shows temperature, dew point, and wind indications as the front edge of the storm passed over SFH. Note that the snow began to fall between four and five PM, just as the temperature and dew point merged.
SFH WX Station Report: The reporting period begins with relatively balmy temperatures for January. The warmer weather moved out and was replaced by cold air from the north. On the 12th, Winter Storm Gia moved in from the west and southwest and met with the cold air. Temperatures dropped, dew points rose and Voila! SFH is now covered in white.
Highlight: What is the meaning of “20+C+M+B+19”? — Well, I’m glad you asked.
Serendipity Farmhouse is a special place, a state of mind, and a retreat from a troubled world. Even if there is bad weather and hard times, it is our home – it is the place where we believe we were meant to be. And without becoming overly religious or pious, this is where God wants us to be during this time in our life. For that reason, like many others throughout the world, on the Solemnity of the Epiphany we asked God to bless our house.
So, on Sunday we wrote “20+C+M+B+19” above the entrances to our house. You can clearly see the year “2019”. The three letters “C+M+B” have two meanings. First they represent the traditional names of the three Magi – Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar and they stand for the phrase “Christus mansionem benedicat”, which means “May Christ bless this house”.
If you would like to know more about this simple custom, check out the link here.
SFH WX Station Report: Roller coaster weather – highs bouncing up and down, but the National Weather Service tells us snow is coming on Saturday (12 JAN) and Sunday (13 JAN). No accumulation amounts have been predicted yet, but we do know the temperatures are already dropping.
We’ll keep it short today as we play catch up and get ready for my first work week of the new year.
Highlight: Son #1 came over for a visit. He brought Grandsons #1, #2, and #4. It was raining when they arrived. A frontal system had moved through and all the boys were interested in seeing how the new SFH WX Station plotted and graphed the wind speed, wind direction, and temperature changes. It wasn’t a science lesson, it was a practical demonstration of how to observe what goes on around you and make sense of it. Even more importantly, it was a chance for us to spend some good time together.
Granny outdid herself putting on a good feed for the hungry lads. Of course, there were some of their favorites – corn chips and SFH’s finest G&G H-Bomb III Salsa. Grandson #4 looked a little overawed with the effects of his portion of Peter’s Pickled Jalapeno Peppers. He was not deterred – he ate them all.
There’s nothing like a day with the grand-boys!
Weather: I included the wind information for Saturday the 5th to show wind gusts recorded just as Son #1 and the grand-boys arrived at SFH.
Why is weather reporting important? For almost a year you’ve heard us complain about windstorms, hurricanes, temperature, humidity, and rain. But all of that whining is merely anecdotal. Using calibrated and reliable instrumentation, we can now give you actual data and relate them across days, weeks, months, and years. It’s wetter, but how much wetter. It’s humid, but how humid. Now we can show you why 95°F at SFH is different than 95°F in Idaho Falls, ID.
Weather is the story behind the many other stories here at SFH. This is our way of helping you understand.
Highlight: The Serendipity Farmhouse Weather (WX) Station has been up and running for over 24 hours. We are slowly familiarizing ourselves with the workings of the new system, but we have a long way to go until we can bring you select WX data on the blog.
For the time being, we have to learn more about the system, calibrate the instrumentation, and work out the best ways to have the data presented on the blog. We will keep you informed of what we’re up to and try not to bore you with technical minutia. As is our standing policy, when we mess up, we will explain what went wrong and give you the lessons learned.
If you would like to see the near real-time readout of the new SFH WX Station click here.
SFH WX Station Report: The following table summarizes our first day of weather observations.
Highlight: It was and remains a not-so-simple New Year’s Resolution – Get Serendipity Farmhouse Weather Station up and running. Here are the not-so-simple steps and progress so far:
2019-01-01 – Eat black eyed peas and collard greens while simultaneously planning to overcome all physical and technological problems. The mind works well when it is fueled by this great Southern traditional meal.
2019-01-02 – Erect six-foot iron pipe mounting pole along fence line, in the open and away from obstructions. Prepare beautiful wife for the potential for technical failures during the next day’s work. Also prepare her for the unusually spicy language that is often uttered when yours truly encounters technical failures.
2019-01-03 – Assemble Weather WiFi OSPREY station; mount and activate device; activate monitor panel; enable WiFi connection; activate Weather Underground account for Serendipity Farmhouse Station. —- As expected, it was an eight hour job; many technical problems were encountered; workarounds and solutions were developed; and, as you can see, Serendipity Farmhouse Station is now active on Weather Underground. Beautiful spouse maintained her faith in me and prayed for me; and I, rather uncharacteristically, did not utter any unusually spicy language.
There is more to come, but let’s save that for another day.