Monday, July 28, 2008

Back from Wisconsin & Bringing Back News of Trees Signaling an Early Winter



It is great to back in town after getting back from Oshkosh, Wisconsin over the weekend. It was a great time and our Christmas in July celebration was simply wonderful. You see the scrumptious cake above. I had at least two big pieces. The weather was just about perfect with sunshine and highs in the lower 80s. We all hit the pool. It is hard to believe little Lauren is almost ready to swim on her own. Below you see cousins Tony and Emma in the foreground and Megan and Abbey in the background. Lauren was practicing her kicking by the ladder with cousin Isabella.

The pool was one of many highlights of the day. We also played a cool family game of "corn hole". At least this is what many call it here in Indiana. I guess up in Wisconsin the official name of the game was the Tailgate Toss where you try to land the bean bag in the hole or at least on the board. Not to brag, but I did not lose a game all day. I may not be very good at another Hoosier game of euchre, but I have at least mastered one Hoosier tradition that folks usually play on Saturday morning before the big Purdue football game. It is hard to believe we only have about 6 weeks until football season! Boiler Up! Abbey made "corn hole" look easy and she made sure to tell everybody she was on my team. Together we were unbeatable. She is really competitive and when I tried to miss to give the other teams we were playing a chance she quickly put a stop to it with one mean glance in my direction. I better not teach her euchre, because I can see her quickly getting out of hand. I will try to teach her better self-control among other things before attempting this. Right now it would be like feeding a gremlin past midnight. I am competitive but she has taken it to a whole new level.

Speaking of Abbey, it was good to see all of my kids again. For those that do not know, Julie and I have been kidless for two weeks and it was like a second honeymoon for us. We may not have been on a cruise like the first time but it was every bit as relaxing and special. Julie and I found time to just talk and actually go on dates. The funny part is that we still did not get to go see a movie together. It has been at least a year, maybe two since our last movie but I would rather have spent time walking and talking with her anyway. It was much more exciting than Momma Mia. We really were both happy to see our girls again! It was a little too quiet at the Prangley house. I want to thank aunt Shelli and Uncle Tim, aunt Barb and Uncle Jeff, uncle Rob and aunt Molly, and of course Grandmother and Grandfather Becker. Our kids were back to fighting in the car on the way home, but it kind of put things back into perspective. As parents it is what we are used to and we wouldn't have it any other way. The only regret about heading back home was that I was missing th e Foreigner concert that was playing at the EAA air show in Oshkosh this coming up weekend. You can see some of the planes were already getting ready for the big show by practicing their circles in the sky. These are some cool contrail clouds that you normally do not see.


There really is no other place in the country quite like Wisconsin in the summertime. There are more parties and concerts going on there than anywhere else in the country. There is more than cheese in Wisconsin! I think REO Speedwagon is playing at Summerfest. Now that the Brewers are in a pennant race they whole state is going crazy.

The girls wanted to know if they missed any bad weather while they were gone and I told them it had been very quiet since they left. After having rain an average of 5 out of every 7 days to start our summer, we have only had rain 4 of the past 19 days. This is quite a turn-around! One of the reasons is the expanding High pressure systems to our South and West and of course the Bermuda high to our East. Now the big weather headlines in Wisconsin is that they have not had any 90 degree days. We have had only one official 90 degree day here in Lafayette. The big blog question of the day is what does it mean for our winter. We spoke a little about this on the air Friday. Here are the hard cold facts below.

I found some trees already turning a yellowish tinge in Shelli's yard in Oshkosh. This is a sign of an early winter according to some weather folklore! What are they really telling us meteorologically speaking? Well, if you look at the past history of the Midwest and compare it to this year, the big year that it matches up with is 1954! This was a very bad hurricane season for the East Coast.

Here in the Midwest this means winter should be coming early. Our first frost that year was September 23rd. On average our first frost is usually October 3rd. We had our first inch of snow on Halloween night and November first. Wear warm costumes this year! Maybe go as a bear with one of those thick grizzly outfits! In 1954, we ended up with between 10 and 15 inches of snow which was below our average of 22 inches. Spring set in early. So right now it looks like an early winter and an early Spring through much of the Midwest. Overall it looks like a much milder winter here in the Midwest than last year with an El Nino pattern developing. The stronger the El Nino the less our snowfall. If it stays more of a weaker El Nino I will bump up the snow totals later on. We still have a long way to go but this first sneak peak will help keep you cool with some of the hottest weather of the year on the way over the next couple of weeks. Here is our blog song of the day featuring Foreigner since I am missing them in Wisconsin. Of course since the early part of our winter will be as cold as ice. Here is this classic song from 1977.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't wate to hear them.
Love the pictures mike! Did you have fun?

Justin in Lafayette.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, Mike and family! I enjoyed reading about your trip to WI. WI is a beautiful state. I never knew how many severe storms they had until a few years ago when I started reading some wx lists from there! Wow...they get hit more than we do.

I am not enjoying these hot days as I can't have the windows open even at night, but it will soon be cooling off so i try not to complain.

Have a great day, everyone! I am doing sweet corn for the freezer!

MA in REM

Anonymous said...

Mornning everyone Mike very glad to see you are back! I bet your grils were not to happy knowing that when they went to WI, the weather here was clum LOL :) Iam looking forward to winter it would be nice to put up the X-mas lights when there is snow on the ground have not got to do that in a long time. This last year we had a
La-Nina which gave us so much snow to bad this year is El-Nino Mike keep it a weak one LOL :)

Also everyone we are in a Fog alart which means possibleity of poor visibilty when driving so keep safe!!! Mike really do hope you had fun and that cake look's good an X-mas cake no better kind.

Justin in Lafayette.

Anonymous said...

Mike, glad to hear you had a nice trip! I have played many games of "corn hole" with kids I work with, I am pretty good at it myself:)

Folks are talking about winter already?? BOO!

You wrote about cold weather in Oct. I want to share something I remember:
In mid Oct. 1989 a bizzarre snow storm hit Indiana, Around 8 inches of snow fell in West Laf! There were still leaves on the trees that were just starting to change to their beautiful fall colors. The snow melted quickly, was gone by early afternoon, but what a beautiful sight! However I dont remember what the winter was like that year!

All keep cool today!

Teri in Laf

Lee Ann Okuly said...

You were in Wisconsin and didn't call me?!?!?!?! It's ok :) Hope you had fun up here. We had our big fair this past weekend and I did my show live Wed. Thurs. and Friday :) It was fun. Amy and I were both out there.

Hope to see you soon!!!

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