Posted by: davepidgeon | September 10, 2009

My name is mud

Hikers in St. Anthony's Wilderness, Pa., hike into fog and rain this summer.

Hikers in St. Anthony's Wilderness, Pa., hike into fog and rain this summer.

I shake my head in disappointment.

AccuWeather says rain for this weekend. Again. Another hiking trip under concrete gray clouds spilling out daylong precipitation like we’re in the tropics. There’s been so many of these rainy trips for adventure seekers in the northeast, I’m starting to think the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Adirondack Mountain Club, the Green Mountain Club and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy should start handing out free samples of Prozac.

This weekend's backpack in the Catskills will most definitely not look this placid due to all the rain.

This weekend's backpack in the Catskills will most definitely not look this placid due to all the rain.

This weekend promises to bring more of the same. The forecast for the Catskills Mountain Preserve in southern New York calls for rain all day Friday, most of the day Saturday before the sun finally breaks out. Mud, mud, mud, mud. I’m heading up to the Slide Mountain Wilderness with the AMC’s Delaware Valley Chapter for three days of exploring trail-less peaks, scrambling through balsam brush and seeing views most hikers miss.

I know we all say a bad day on the trail is better than a good day at work, and yada, yada, yada. But geez, I would love a good weather weekend in the woods, wouldn’t you? Clear views, blue skies, warm sun …

So what’s with all this rain? Why is nature bent on putting our Gore-Tex, System III, Conduit waterproof membranes through the ringer?

For the short-term, there’s a low pressure system soaking the Atlantic Coast, acting very much like a tropical storm. It will churn off the coast, lashing us with showers from the ocean before moving on late in the day Saturday.

During this entire summer, hikers, cyclists, climbers and others here in the Northeast have found themselves simply waterlogged. From the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University:

Residents of the Northeast don’t have to be reminded of how much rain fell so far this summer. Totals that ranged from 2 to 10 inches above normal resulted from a combination of heavy downpours and many days of rain. On average, the region sees about 30 days with measurable rain during the period June 1 – Aug 27 … Hartford, CT, Islip, NY and Scranton, PA saw their greatest number of days with rain on record. In addition, 22 other cities in the region were in the top ten with respect to most number of days of measurable rain.

Take a look at the map. Most of New England and Pennsylvania received more than 40 days of rain, with some areas soaking up more than 50 days of precipitation this summer.

Basically, high altitude weather patterns in June and July above the Northeast created a trough that sent rainy weather down it like a Slip-And-Slide from the old days.

I’ve heard from more than one person who has said Mother Nature/God/Barack Obama owe them a summer because of all the rainfall and cool days. Amen.

But summer isn’t coming back during this waterlogged weekend.

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