Some people may not know what off-the-grid or off-grid means, so here it is --- The term off-the-grid or off-grid refers to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

Off-grid living is no longer a one room log cabin in the woods. It's energy independency. You don't have to rely on utility companies, you create your own power. Today, there are more than 180,000 off-grid homes in the US.

Monday, October 25, 2010

La Niña Winter and What it Means to Us...

39 degrees outside - 9:13 pm - raining with wet snowflakes mixed in...

You cannot predict the weather, but it doesn’t mean that people aren’t going to try.

Short-range weather predictions can even be flawed, let alone long-term predictions about such variable conditions as temperature and precipitation.  It is even harder to try and predict the weather here in the Pacific Northwest, which sits between a mountain range and a costal range.

The La Niña weather pattern this coming winter means one thing for sure – there will be unusually low sea surface temperatures across the Equator in the Pacific Ocean, disrupting the jet stream.  This tends to bring wetter and colder than normal conditions across the Pacific Northwest and dryer and warmer than normal conditions across much of the southern tier of the United States.

According to weather forecasts released this week, winter will hit the Pacific Northwest earlier and harder with colder temperatures, above-average precipitation, higher-than-average snowfall in the mountain ranges, and more winter storms.

To us, this means that it is going to be a cold winter on the mountain!

We live up around 2,200 feet in elevation.  So in our case, it is not a question of if, but when the snow will come.  We are at the very end of a gravel county road, that is one of the last roads in the county to get plowed, so we need to be prepared incase we get snowed in.  In the past years, the county has done a good job keeping our road passable.  Beyond the county road, there is just less than three quarters of a mile of gravel driveway, up the mountain to our house, which we have to keep plowed.  Thankfully we have neighbors who have a snow blower!

In the event that we do get snowed in, we have already started to stock up on winter clothing for the kids, extra blankets, canned food and bottled water.  Today I refilled the flashlights with new batteries and went on the almighty hunt in our storage unit and found the snowshoes.

The La Niña winter is certainly here and looking outside today you can tell that we are rounding out the month of October on a very wet note.

P.S. – Did you know that there have only been 18 La Niña events since 1950?

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