This has been an amazing year for weather, and for the naysayers that say global warming is a myth, they had better not talk to me.  Now I agree that I have not lived long enough to form a pattern, but what I have seen of late makes me think and take pause.  I can say that the globe is warming, but I am not smart enough to say it is greenhouse emissions.  Then again, I am not prepared to say it is not, so it remains the single scariest item on this planet at this time.  If this is not a normal cycle of cold and warm, and man is playing an active role in our weather—then all is lost.

For me the strangest winter of all was 2011 (I hope I am right on that year) but it was an “open winter.”  No snow and very little cold.  I trucked into Skinner in Early February and there were endless deer tracks that had come out of deer yards—in February.  Ordinarily, I never see spring deer tracks in Skinner until early May.

I arrived in early Feb.  It was 75 degrees that day and the trees started to blossom—and they continued to blossom all week.  And then it was 17 degrees and the blossoms dropped off.  The trees, still alive, have never blossomed again.

The summers here are unlike what I saw when I first came.  These summers are hot!  We never tried to grow tomatoes here, as it was just too cold.  Now I can beat NJ with my tomatoes.  But is this right?  Should I compete with NJ for tomatoes from Rangeley?  I think not.  If nothing else it is a disaster for trout and salmon.

I have noticed a lack of serious thunderstorms coming out of Canada.  When they come, they hit Portland, not the western mountains.  They are not serious, compared to what I have seen in yesteryear.  Why?  I do not know.

Hurricanes or thunderstorms need to go over water to stay powerful.  A hurricane that comes off the Gulf of Mexico is at its zenith when it hits shore—thereafter, it loses pop as it wanders over land.  That’s why Maine is not a high-risk hurricane or tornado state.  A storm sweeping off the ocean hits Cape Cod and comes in.  The water off Cape Cod is cold compared to the Gulf, and the storm weakens at the outset.  Were that storm to hit the warm waters of the Gulf and then come ashore, it would be a full-blown hurricane, but it would be two thousand miles away and the storm has to go over land to get to us.  We are protected on two fronts.  The cold water of the North Atlantic and the 2000 miles of land that will weaken any hurricane. Those afford us no protection in the winter.  A “northeaster” is a low pressure area that goes up our coast.  The winds spiral counterclockwise and pick up a lot of cold moisture from the Maine ocean.  As it proceeds up our coast it sucks cold Canadian air into it and makes for a blizzard.  Our coast is the sweet spot for our blizzards.  If it veers inland and goes over Rangeley area, we get on the warm side and it brings rain or freezing rain.  There were plenty of sweet spots last winter.

There are exceptions and Maine can cook up some serious thunder storms and years ago I saw one and lived it—but just barely.  I was fishing with my   father on First Roach.  You do not need to know much about First Roach, except that it is due east of Moosehead.  The largest storm I have ever seen in Maine approached.  It crossed Moosehead and headed up First Roach.  First Roach reminds me of Mooseluc, except Mooseluc has a crook in it.  First Roach is a straight shot, and we were on the crosshairs!  The storm gathered power and the lightening was endless.  I have never seen a storm like that in Maine.  I was terrorized and I was 22 years old.  It was five miles away and there was no way it was going to miss.  We had a mutiny in the cabin, and I threatened to throw my old man out of the boat, unless he took me to shore.  He proclaimed that I was a baby and no harm could befall a boater no matter how intense the storm.  Was he right?

He dropped me off and scooted out.  The storm hit with full fury and I expected him to be killed at any minute.  Lightening hit all around his boat as it they were artillery shells.  The wind got up to 30 knots and blustery, and the rain was endless.  Guess what?  He started catching fish left and right!  I huddled under a shelter on the shore.  But was he right?  Will electricity be attracted from the sky and go to a boat first.  What I saw with my father would say no.  But it wasn’t that simple.

Fast forward thirty years and I found myself on Azischoos Lake.  Weather was threatening, but nothing like my father’s storm.  Trolling along I got a huge jolt of electricity in my boat.  It hurt.  Then another, and another.  I became convinced that my battery was causing the shock and disconnected it—all the while the jolts of electricity were endless and painful.  I was close to jumping out of the boat.  It ended as soon as it started.  What was it?

Electrical people have told me that I was getting close to instant death.  The sky was trying to connect to my boat.  Were they right?  My father dances through a sea of death and I get scuffed by a small storm.  I do not know which is true, but it makes me think.

Electricity is attracted to the path of least resistance.  A steel tower certainly qualifies, as the metal is a conductor and its height is the first point a bolt will go.  Water is a conductor but the amounts in a lake are so vast as to absorb the electricity without fanfare.  When lightening hits a lake or pond, I have never seen fish being killed.  Have you?  I hope there are some electrical wizards that read this and tell me whether lightening is attracted to a metal boat on water. My father had no fear of it whatsoever and he sailed through the worst storm ever.  He died of natural causes at the age of 96.  I remember his playing golf in Florida with serious thunderstorms around and he would not leave until the rangers forced him to go.

I have a healthy respect for lightening and one of the safest places to be is in a car and It has nothing to do with the rubber tires,

 

 

MARKET REPORT

In my last market report, I told you I had a bad feeling about the Fed cutting rates.  I was right—market lost 1200 points in the first three days, tried to correct and did not.  So far, a disaster.  The reason is simple—the trade war with China.  There is no end game.  China will not budge because it believes Trump will lose in 2020 and they would rather deal with someone else.  It is going to be a rugged market time in the next year.  And if the market is horrible it will hurt Trump’s chance at reelection.  He picked the wrong time to pick a fight with a powerful adversary.  Close to home our lobster industry has lost a huge buyer in China.  They are learning to buy lobsters from Canada which has inferior lobsters but the price without a tariff makes it doable.  We have colder water than New Brunswick and cold water makes for good lobster.  The warm Gulf Stream hits RI and the Cape and bypasses Maine and on to New Brunswick.  I have fished in the Mane Ocean.  Go forty miles out and the temperature of the water is much warmer than on shore.

 

 


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