George Isobar talks about the weather 1.14.09

Written by David Green.

Three inches Friday. Three inches Friday night. Three inches Saturday.

The nine-inch blanket of snow in the region marks the deepest snow here since February 2007 when 10 inches covered the ground.

“This was really quite a nice storm,” said Morenci area climate observer George Isobar. “It was light, fluffy stuff that was easy to shovel, there wasn’t excessive drifting from wind and the temperature didn’t plummet into the single digits.”

Isobar said that “everybody” knew about Morenci’s snowfall because it was mentioned in an Associated Press story. The story was reprinted in papers across the country.

“I even saw a link to it on the website of a British paper,” Isobar said. “Of course it wasn’t quite right.

Isobar said he received a call from the National Weather Service office near Detroit about noon Saturday. He hadn’t measured the snow, but he could see there was about two inches of new snowfall.

“I told them I reported six inches that morning and we had a couple more, so that was it. The AP story said ‘The National Weather Service reported 8 inches of snow at Blissfield and Morenci in Michigan, and more than 6 inches of snow fell on Detroit.’”

Isobar mentioned February 2007 earlier. He said what lies ahead for this week looks a little like the cold spell two years ago.

“From what I’ve read, this one won’t be quite as bad,” he said. “In 2007, we had six sub-zero mornings in a row, then a couple more later in the month.”

Isobar said he’s tiring of the weather people talking over and over about the terrible cold weather coming.

“We’re supposed to have single-digit low temperatures through Saturday and two or three below-zero nights, but we’ve certainly had worse.”

In January 1994, there were 11 below-zero mornings and a low for the month of -25°. Other January lows include -12° in 1999, -11° in 1997, -13° in 1987, -16° in 1985 and -23° in 1984.

“We had 11 below-zero readings in 1984, eight in 1982 with a low of -16, and 10 of them in 1981.”

On the other end of the spectrum, the temperature never even dropped into the teens in January 2006.

“It’s going to be very cold this week,” Isobar said, “and the wind chill is going to make it very bitter, but I wish they would lay off with the end-of-the-world predictions.”

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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