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Winter weather

Posted: December 28, 2010 12:11 p.m.
Updated: December 29, 2010 5:00 a.m.

Warmer weather is on the way for Kershaw County, and there will no doubt be lots of people who are happy about that. Above-normal temperatures could bring this month’s averages up enough to avoid this year’s being the coldest December on record, but it’s been pretty brutal by southern standards, with more nights in the teens this month than we normally see in a couple years. There will no doubt be a great many expressions of disbelief when heating bills arrive. But we in South Carolina can still consider ourselves fortunate; rarely do we experience the kind of winter turmoil that has been taking place farther up the east coast, though we do recall the early 1970s, when a blizzard shut down highways in Kershaw County and across the Palmetto State, and a couple years later, when an ice storm brought even more havoc. But thankfully, those kinds of incidents are few and far between.

Our neighbors to the north have been wrapped in turmoil for several days, with roads nearly impassable and hundreds of thousands of travelers stranded in airports because of cancelled flights. In New York City, many people were trapped when subways failed because of problems caused by the snowfall’s effect on electrical systems. Airports in New York and Boston were filled with people sleeping on floors, and many of them will probably be there for days longer because airlines have cut so many flights and there’s no capacity.

If there’s a lesson in this, it’s an age-old one: that Mother Nature is in charge, and that no matter how far science advances, we’ll never be able to control weather. That might give people slight solace as they bundle against the cold and wind chill. Perhaps more brightening is the fact that come late March, while the New Yorkers and Bostonians are still watching snow come down, we’ll be enjoying azaleas and dogwoods.

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