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.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It’s Going To Be Another La Niña Winter…

43 degrees - 9:33 am - foggy and lightly raining...

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 weather predictions for this coming winter are saying that we are in for another La Niña winter.  Did you know that there have only been 19 La Niña events since 1950?  Last year was #19. 

Last Winter --- using the excavator to dig out Tony's truck

Last Winter --- trying to keep our personal driveway open

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!  With this past summer being unusually cooler than normal, and the evening temperatures already hitting the low 40s, I am starting to wonder if that means this winter will be even colder than last winter.

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.  Last year the first snowfall was Nov. 17th, and the year before that was Nov. 18th.  We are thinking that this year the snow will come even earlier!

Our gate is 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!

The firewood for this winter is all cut, split and stacked, we have already dug out all the snowshoes and tire chains, and in a few more weeks we will be putting on the studded snow tires.  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.

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

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