The first Saturday in August brings us the annual meeting of the Steuben County Lakes Council.
It is one of those coverage assignments that usually falls into my lap. Typically it is also on a Saturday when I am tasked with being the night editor to put out the Sunday editions of KPC Media Group’s three dailies, The Herald Republican (my home base), The News Sun and The Star.
Not this year. It is the start of a vacation week for me (technically, I guess, Saturday is part of the current work week that started today, so I supposed I can’t count this as a vacation week).
The Lakes Council’s annual meeting follows a similar pattern every year: pancake and sausage breakfast, business meeting, guest speaker. Sometimes there’s a silent auction for such things as the produce from Bill Schmidt’s garden at Uncle Tom’s plat on Lake James.
Often I have wondered over the years why I don’t take the boat to the meeting (perhaps because it would take about a half hour to get there from Snow Lake). What a great way to start the day. The lake’s typically calm and I don’t ever recall there ever being bad weather for the meeting. And the view of Lake James in incredible.
What a great place, the dining room at Lake James Christian Camp and Retreat Center, formerly Lake James Christian Assembly, the same room where I got to hear live (not on TV) for the first time in my life, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and Noble County boy Earl Butz, which was during the annual meeting of the Steuben County Farm Bureau in the early 1980s (but that’s another story).
At any rate, the guest speakers at the event are typically good. This year we will hear from Mike Lewis of the National Weather Service. When I first read that, I sort of got excited.
I am a weather geek. I have been one ever since my college days when as a student journalist I was challenged to write a story about what weather was going to be expected for Pope John Paul II’s visit to Iowa Living History Farms outside of Des Moines, Iowa, to say Mass on Oct. 4, 1979. (The forecast called for a beautiful, sunny fall day; it turned out cloudy and chilly. I froze to death while perched on a photo stand with 40 other shooters covering the event.)
So, in this summer that has been characterized as wet in many of our areas, it will be interesting to hear from a weather professional.
Why are we getting these rain events that dump 3 or 4 inches in an hour or so? And why are we getting these storms every two or three days? Why is my dock almost underwater in late July?
OK. So we finally ended up with some dry days. There was one stretch, July 12-16, that we didn’t get any rain. If the forecast holds for the weekend, if it doesn’t rain today, we will have gone six days in a row without any rain. As of Friday, we had received 4.21 inches of rain in Angola for the month. The average is 3.29 inches.
As has been the case for many months this year (February being the one exception), we have received more than normal precipitation every month, as measured in Angola, where we are fortunate to have Tim Tyler carrying on more than a century of weather record-keeping tradition for the National Weather Service. (Thanks to Tim, an official cooperative weather observer, we know that on July 26, 2017, we actually had a trace of SNOW in Angola!)
Will there be a talk on climate change come Saturday? Will Mr. Lewis regale us with what role the weather station in North Webster plays? (By the way, this is not the same Michael Lewis who gave us books like “Moneyball.”)
I don’t know. But that’s why I will be showing up at 8 a.m. at Lake James Christian Camp off of C.R. 275N, Angola. Looking forward to the pancakes, too.