Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring in the Panhandle is horrible

Bottom line: I've always despised spring weather in the Panhandle, if there is such a thing. It's the worst. As great as our falls are, this is payback for the great weather from September through November.

It's the wind and the unpredictable temperatures. But mainly it's the wind. From the first of March to the end of April, you can count on one hand the number of calm warm truly spring days. When that happens, it's like an unexpected gift. It's probably what gold prospectors in the 1850s felt like when they uncovered a golden nugget. It's a rare treasure. As is, anything under 25 mph is officially considered "soothing."

The worst fire in Texas Panhandle history occured thanks to March winds and dry conditions in 2006. Saturday was absolutely ridiculous. There was no storm a-brewin', just straight winds of more than 60 mph. Near Wheeler, approximately 15,000 acres burned in the eastern Panhandle and the town had mandatory evacuation.

When I covered sports for 20-plus years, the most miserable time of the year was trying to cover spring sports which was more of a test of endurance and perseverance. The Midland-Amarillo High baseball game was a classic example. Midland drove 240 miles one way for Saturday's game. After the first batter walked and it was evident the winds were too much, the game was postponed. So Midland gets to drive about 500 miles round trip again today to try one more time.

Then Sunday winds changed to the north and it was freezing cold. Ten days ago, eight inches of snow fell. I don't think the Chamber of Commerce could spin it about nice spring weather in the Panhandle.

I know Mark Twain said that everyone gripes about the weather, but no one does anything about it. Well, I'm going to do something about it. I just don't know what it is yet.

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