Winter Arrives with Worms


A Wormy Start to Winter
 It’s time to say goodbye to Autumn and hello to Winter as we shifted seasons overnight while we slept. Officially the winter solstice hit at 12:30 am as the sun set up shop directly over the Tropic of Capricorn at 23.5 degrees of south latitude.
That’s great news for folks in Rio and Melbourne who will bask in the heat of 90 degree days for the next 3 months. Hey it’s summer down under in the Southern Hemisphere!
Here at home, weather-wise the change in seasons is about the “same old same old” with more rain and a continued lack of snow in your Thursday afternoon and night forecast. Those rains look to arrive mid and late afternoon points west of Charleston and along I-77 and I-79 for travelers by sunset.
Now by my record keeping, the latest dusting of snow in the Huntington-Charleston area so far this young 21st century has been on December 26,2001. If the snow gods insist on frowning upon us for another 5 days, we will better that string of snow-less Decembers by this time next week.
To recap, Wednesday’s showers hit and ran quickly announced by a dazzling array of dark cumulonimbi (angry storm clouds), a swirling mid-day wind and a quick downpour. Those rains brought Huntington’s yearly total to just less than 61 inches, as we added to the record wettest year with every drop that fell. Oddly Charleston has lagged the River Cities-Ohio Valley region in rain by more than 10 inches this year. Still wet, Charleston will reach a mere 50 inches with Thursday night’s rains.
Left behind Wednesday morning’s showers, a taste of spring filtered through the air as temperatures jumped into the 60s by afternoon. So warm was the air and wet was the ground that on my walk through the neighborhood I discovered several earth worms had been flooded out of their homes.
And that’s where the title a “wormy” start to winter comes from. So soft, wet and warm is the ground that here on the first day of winter, more earthworms may well be wandering your patio at a time of year when they would normally be burrowed in and hunkered down underground for the winter.
Since I have noticed several plump robins in my neighborhood this week, one has to credit the warm and wet fall and a bevy of juicy earthworms for this blue plate special of a fall for our feathered friends.
I showcased one of those worms on my 11 o’clock show and on Thursday before the next round of rains arrive, I will offer the worm up to any late season bass or bluegill that are still active in my pond.   
Hard to believe we are talking robins and worms, bass and bluegill on the first day of winter!   
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