News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 2, 2014

Editorial: Bracing for a winter blast

Is it too early to dream about an early spring?

The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Where’s that darn rodent when you really need him?

Groundhog Day is a little less than a month away, but given the weather forecast for the next few days, you can’t blame a warm-blooded soul for daydreaming about the little guy popping out of his underground quarters and failing to see his shadow. Were that to happen, as lore dictates, we would be in for an early spring. If only …

Fact is, winter officially has only been with us about two weeks. And this edgy weather has seemingly been hanging around since before Thanksgiving. It’s understandable that folks around west-central Indiana and east-central Illinois would already be weary of the cold temps and repeated visits from snow and ice. While none of the onslaughts have been particularly harsh, just knowing that so many days and weeks of the winter calendar lie ahead is making everyone a bit anxious.

With what’s bearing down on the Midwest for this weekend, there is reason to worry. Snow is predicted to begin on Saturday with some accumulation expected by Sunday. And then the temperatures will plunge to near record lows. The National Weather Service calls for minus-14 degrees Sunday night, and a high of minus-3 on Monday. That high should jump to around 5 degrees on Tuesday, then slowly rise. Still, it is not expected to be above freezing until late next week.

We are not big fans of TV weathercasters who get everyone’s blood pressure and anxiety levels sky high when a rough patch of weather approaches. So we pledge not to engage in those theatrics.

So let’s just leave it at this: Be aware of the forecast. Plan ahead. Don’t take any chances with travel. Stay warm. Watch a couple movies (or some football). Be careful.

And dream about the groundhog’s early arrival.

You can say that again

“There was strength in some important sectors of the economy at the end of last year. 2014 could be the year where the recovery really starts to gain some ground.”

— Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, commenting on reports that manufacturing and

construction have begun to rebound