Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Small Digression On The Weather In St. Louis

The snow storm of yesterday and the day before kept the ball tossers within doors, greatly to their disgust.

Dave Reed, the official scorer of the Browns, will take his benefit next Saturday, weather permitting.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, March 21, 1876

There are two things here that I thought I should point out. First, the benefit for David Reid was scheduled for March 11 but wasn't held until April 5. Obviously, the weather was the reason for the delay.

Secondly, for those who don't know much about the weather in St. Louis, this is an example of the nonsense we have to put up with climate-wise. The winter of 1875/1876 was mild enough for baseball to be played on Christmas and New Years Day and there were numerous games played among the top clubs during January and February. However, in late March when the season should have been gearing up, it was snowing.

Right now, here at the end of September, it's nice and cool with highs in the low sixties. But it wouldn't surprise me if within the next two weeks, the high in St. Louis hit ninety degrees. Of course, it also wouldn't surprise me if there was a foot of snow on the ground by Halloween. The weather here is ridiculous.

Here's what I don't understand: Let's say you're a pioneer in the mid-18th century and you decide to establish a little fur-trading outpost somewhere on the Mississippi. You find a really nice location at the confluence of the Mississippi and the Missouri, right in the heart of giant, beautiful river valley. Perfect. But the winters are as bad as anything in Canada and the summers are as bad as anything in Panama. And the spring and fall is nothing more than a battle between these two extremes. Also, there are tornadoes and floods and horrible humidity. From a weather standpoint, this is about as bad a place to settle as you could possibly find on God's green earth. Wouldn't you, after you figured out the weather patterns, pack it up and head somewhere else? The fact that they didn't do this and the fact that St. Louis exists makes me question the wisdom of our pioneer ancesters.

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