Bicycle Diaries: False spring

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False spring

but I'll take it

It's going to be in the 50s today with a 30% chance of rain later in the day. That'll be the 4th day of what we Windy Citizens call False Spring. It wasn't coined here. Out on the eastern slopes of the Rockies, the early settlers used it to refer to those deep winter warm spells brought on the Chinook Wind. Chinook means snow-eater in the language of the Chehalis, the local Native Americans. They can melt over a foot of snow in a single day and raise the temperature as much as 40 degrees in less than an hour. This is caused partly by warmer temps and partly by the evaporation caused by these dry winds.

Back here in the City of Big Shoulders, False Spring gives most of us a big boost. In general the relief from sub-temperatures makes everybody feel better. Folks get energized and hit the streets in greater numbers. Unfortunately, some suffer headaches, depression and nervous disorders. It's rather easy to deceive one's self that Spring is on its way. Yet when False Spring recedes, as it most certainly will later in the week, winter is back with all its fury.

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