Growing Tired of the Winter That Wasn’t & Looking Forward To Spring

/, Birds, Black-necked Stilts, Box Elder County, Utah/Growing Tired of the Winter That Wasn’t & Looking Forward To Spring

Black-necked Stilt on one legBlack-necked Stilt on one leg – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

For the second day in a row the temperature will be in the 60’s when our highs are normally in the lower 40’s or high 30’s. Looking at the long range forecast for February doesn’t show much “winter” at all.  There might be a little rain tomorrow and on Monday with a bit of snow forecast on the 19th but that will likely change too. March doesn’t look much better for rainfall or for snow although the predicted temperatures are more in line with what is “normal” for the time of the year. Right now though it seems like spring when it should be winter. I admit it is nice to not have to scrape snow or frost off of my Jeep in the morning but I’m more worried about the long range issues that can be caused by the lack of a healthy snow pack in the mountains.

When I look up at the tops of the Wasatch, Oquirrh, Stansbury and Promontory mountain ranges and they look more like late April or May than they do on a normal winter because there is just so little snow up there. To say we are having a mild winter isn’t saying enough really, it is alarming because it seems like winter has stayed well away from northern Utah.

We need the snow pack and spring runoff to fill the reservoirs for the water we will need for the rest of the year, to flow into the rivers that feed into the marshes and then into the Great Salt Lake. I saw a shocking comparison between the snow last year on February 7th last year up at Mirror Lake and the snow this year in the same location on the 7th of this year and it looks dismal. You can view the photos here on the U.S. Forest Service Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest Facebook page.

I am looking forward to spring migration and the birds that will arrive then but I am concerned about the lack of winter and snow right now and the impact that it will have the rest of the year.



  1. Patty Chadwick February 11, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    We haven’t had much snow either…am worried about the reservoirs…especially since the number of people keeps increasing…we are a stupid bunch of animals!

  2. Marty K February 9, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    We just came off a horrific fire season in California and look to be poised for another one. My only hope is that we’ll se some spring rain and snow, but that ain’t likely.

  3. Barbara Hall February 9, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    I live south of New Orleans and we’ve had some record-breaking cold temperatures here though it’s warmed up to the mid-sixties today which makes us happy because it’s the weekend before a very early Mardi Gras.

    The freezing weather has hit some of our birds really hard.Two days ago I went to Elmer’s Island (which is right before Grand Isle in the southern-most part of Louisiana) and found 8 dead Louisiana Brown Pelicans on the beach. This was within a distance of .8 miles. I didn’t want to find more, so I turned back.

    One of the pelicans was an adult and the rest were juveniles. I’m guessing they froze to death, which is heart-breaking. Now the pelicans have moved inland to marshes the main road travels through, and I saw four more dead pelicans on the roadside that were hit by heavy trucks unable to quickly and safely stop when a bird flies in front of them. The cold weather has had a double-whammy effect on the pelicans and it makes me so sad.

  4. Pepe Forte February 9, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Ditto here in San Diego. This has been one of the driest years on record. Normal precipitation is about 6 inches at this point in our rain cycle…this year we have had less than 2. This is a arid region anyway so an unusually dry year is hard on everything. Plus with the ever increasing number of wildfires in So. Cal…things can get nasty real quick in the late summer. An even deeper concern is that the entire west coast is dry and our mountain ranges, like yours, have nowhere close to a normal snow pack. Scary stuff.

    But not your pic Mia. It is beautiful. Thanks.

  5. Utahbooklover February 9, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Beautiful image. Yes, the change in climate seems to be giving us warmer weather. Definitely makes life harder for wildlife and problems for us.

    “The Year Without a Summer was an agricultural disaster. Historian John D. Post has called this ‘the last great subsistence crisis in the Western world’. The climatic aberrations of 1816 had the greatest effect on most of New England, Atlantic Canada, and parts of western Europe.”

    Interesting reading of the past trials and tribulations, makes our problems this season seem minor in comparison. Read more:

  6. Laura Culley February 9, 2018 at 7:59 am

    We’re no better in Northern Arizona and I have the same worries with the addition of quail and cottontail populations. While it’s kinda nice tromping around the fields in 70-degree weather, I know there will be consequences in terms of the hell to pay during the summer! Despite that my hands hate it, I want to see some snow/rain.

  7. Steven Kessel February 9, 2018 at 7:31 am

    We’re also experiencing a year without a winter down here in southern Arizona. Today’s predicted high in Tucson is 83 degrees! It should be in the high 60s. We’ve had virtually no rainfall since August and conditions here are drier — by far — than I’ve ever seen them. The prospect of a horrific wildfire season lies before us. There’s little likelihood of a change in conditions before the withering heat of June sets in. One can only pray that our summer Monsoon is timely and abundant.

  8. Liz Cormack February 9, 2018 at 7:16 am

    What a beautiful photo. The potential for marshes drying up is scary.

  9. Bob mcpherson February 9, 2018 at 7:03 am

    Love the photo, Mia

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