Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What happened to winter? ... and a note about Charlie Brown

The back-door cold front that pushed south from Virginia and crossed Charlotte on Tuesday morning certainly brought an end to the unseasonably warm weather we had Monday, but it didn't deliver anything remotely resembling winter conditions.

Instead, we had temperatures around 50 degrees Tuesday afternoon, instead of the low 70s that warmed the region Monday.

But we'll be back in the 60s on Wednesday and possibly Thursday, then fall back to the upper 40s and 50s Friday. That will be due to another back-door cold front arriving later Thursday.

Still, we're talking about 40s and 50s as the cooler temperatures, and overnight lows are forecast to stay above freezing.

That's a lot milder than the frigid weather we experienced in November, and the news is that there's still no sign of a return to really cold weather. Meteorologists who specialize in long-range forecasts say it appears as if we'll remain mild -- with seasonal temperatures and occasional above-average readings -- through at least the first half of December.

If you'll remember, the catalyst for the November chill was a strong hurricane that pushed into the Gulf of Alaska as a very strong storm system and disrupted the jet stream. Now we're watching another storm, Typhoon Hagupit.

It's unclear is Hagupit, which is expected to become a super typhoon (a Pacific version of a major hurricane), will push westward and cross the Philippines, or curve north and pass east of Japan. If Hagupit curves northward, it could wind up in the Gulf of Alaska in another week or so, and that might trigger another outbreak of bitter cold in the eastern United States.

In the meantime, there's no sign of real winter for the Carolinas, and it looks as if it will be at least mid-December -- and, likely, later than that -- before we return to really cold conditions.

Christmas stuff (today, Charlie Brown): Over the next few weeks, I'll add a little seasonal touch to my blog. On occasion, it'll have a weather connection, but it also might be other holiday trivia -- or a list of the best and worst Christmas songs and movies.

I thought I'd start with Charlie Brown, one of my favorites.  The original Christmas special will air Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. on ABC (WSOC-TV in Charlotte). It'll air again at 8 p.m. Dec. 16, also on ABC and WSOC.

Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of this special, and I found some interesting facts.

For example, did you realize that the 1965 TV special was groundbreaking? "Peanuts" writer Charles Schultz and the TV show's director, Bill Melendez, took the unusual step of using children for the voices of the characters. Typically, adults were the voices of cartoons. An 8-year-old named Peter Robbins was the voice of Charlie Brown. Robbins later went on to sell real estate and encountered legal problems a few years ago.

Some other interesting facts:

-- While the show was being recorded, the rock group Jefferson Airplane was recording an album in the next studio. Members of Jefferson Airplane came over and got the autographs of children in the Charlie Brown special.

-- Melendez and others involved in the production thought the show was horrible, and they expected a total dud. They were shocked when the cartoon was met with nearly universal acclaim.


James Edgar said...

Mild conditions to prevail? As Charlie Brown said after failing to kick the ball, "UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGHHHH!!!!!!

Bruce said...

Excellent blog today--sometimes those involved in a major production cannot perceive the quality of what they've done. I also suspect most people didn't realize how commercialized Christmas had become in 1965, and this humble animated gem showed them. It's still a timely message as the commercialization is much worse now!

Bear said...

What happened to winter?- Isn't the normal temperature for this time of year in the 50's anyway? That would classify it as "winter" here in Charlotte no? I grew up in the north, 50's was April and started sometimes in September, so I will be happy with upper 40's-50 at this time of year here.

I'd love to hear the "Peanuts" reaction today if they thought it was commercialized in 1965! :-)

Greg Williams said...

I call it Autumn, or as they say in the biz: "Late Fall"

Curmudgeon said...

Maybe instead of using ink to celebrate Charlie Brown's 49th anniversary, you should've used it to celebrate Rudolph the red nosed reindeer ....who's 50th anniversary is THIS year.

Anonymous said...

As noted in the blog, he said he will touch on seasonal stuff. You are correctly named Curmudgeon.

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