Following the weather

Published 7:08 pm Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The first few lines of the Simon and Garfunkel song “I Am a Rock” go “A winter’s day in a deep and dark December.”

December has passed, and for a few days toward the end of the month — and a few days early this month — things were deep and dark.

Winter is fully upon us, and I’m sure we can expect some more of those “deep and dark” days as we head to spring, including a few more dark days through the weekend and into Monday.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

I’ve always been interested by winter in the south. I find it interesting that we can go through weeks of rainy, cold weather and then experience days that are almost summer-like with temperatures in the 80s and lows in the 60s. How we can go through years when the winter is more spring-like the entire season and then go through periods when winter is more like those states up north with frigid temperatures and snow and ice.

I remember working for a paper in north Alabama when the temperature dipped to 6 below zero and people were apologizing to me about the cold. It made me feel good to know when I changed my antifreeze it was a solution of 90 percent antifreeze and 10 percent water. I remember flying back to see my family in Baton Rouge and my plane at the Birmingham Airport was held up because the fuel truck was “frozen.” I arrived in New Orleans, where it was 13 degrees, a heat wave compared to where I had been.

I remember the spring of my senior year in high school when we worked out on a Thursday for a track meet in balmy weather only to wake up the next day to find it was cancelled because of snow.

And there were 2017 and 2018, when we had snowfalls here.

Given weather’s history in the south, I’m kind of interested what we’ll be seeing as we go through January and into February and early March, especially with some meteorologists saying we are in an El Nino year, where the weather gets turned around and flipped with the north getting mild weather and the south colder. So far, I haven’t seen that, and I hope I don’t.

In the meantime, I’ll be content to watch the discussions about global warming as some people look no further than their front yards on a cold day and try to say global warming is a myth while others — who take a more open, worldly view of the world’s climate — say it’s no myth.

Personally, I do think the climate has changed because of the weather extremes that have occurred in the world like instances of extremely high temperatures in Europe in summer months and droughts in some areas that have lasted much longer than they should.

So I’ll watch the debates and the weather patterns, and I’ll keep the long johns and the summer clothes close at hand.

That way, I’ll be ready for anything.

John Surratt is a staff writer at The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

email author More by John