(10/30/2001)
By Bob Weaver

"It has been a few years since we had a really cold winter," said Willard Jones, the unofficial Mayor of Five Forks and ole-time music maker, at the Koffee Kup on Sunday. "It dropped to -24. I think that was the coldest I remember in Calhoun." Willard said he thinks this winter will be really nasty, a lot more snow than usual.

"Its been a few years since we had a lot of snow," referring to the winter of 1995-96 which had the last blizzard, knocking out the power and making travel impossible.

The Old Farmers Almanac disputes Willard's prediction. It predicts warmer than usual temperatures over the next few months, except a major cold snap, colder than usual, in January, and not much snow.

The woolly worm is giving bad news this year, according to Hur's official weather prognosticator, Dianne Weaver. Dianne has been an expert of the Hur Weather Anomaly, where the weather is driven by an air flow up Rowel's Run, snow and rain becomes more intense on Hur Hill than anywhere around.

"You can look out the window and see three inches of snow, and drive off the hill and find but a skiff," she says. "This is the only place I know where we have floods on top of a hill." She also maintains the electric storms streak right over the Hur Herald's executive suite, knocking down trees, before they head directly toward Calhoun's 911 Center.

"Faus Johnson use to tell about skating down the Little Kanawha River from Grantsville in 1917 or 1918, and then walking home," recalled Willard. They could drive teams across the frozen river, before the first bridge was built.

"Down on Yellow Creek in one of those years, the water was frozen clear to the bottom," according to Willard's mom. "She had to go out, chip ice and melt it for the chickens."

Willard Jones recalled the 1950's blizzard, often written about in The Hur Herald, that made a dent on the collective memory of Calhoun County. "The sun was shining brightly and all of a sudden it clouded up and got really quiet. A scary quiet. Then it began to snow that Thanksgiving and it just wouldn't quit. Not much moved for two weeks."

If you have problems with long-range weather predictions, maybe it is best you click-on The Hur Herald WEATHER. It's great.


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