Ulster County, good morning.
It’s 5:45 a.m. in the Rondout. The temperature is currently 24°, but will climb to a high of 44° around three o’clock, when the moon, 95 percent full, rises. The sky is clear. A wind so faint it can be forgotten blows out of the south.
Here in the darkness before dawn, the light at the rim of the sky is nothing more than a suggestion. Astronomical twilight, when the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon.
The sunrise catches fire at 7:09 a.m., when that hot star will continue its transit through the constellation Sagittarius.
Low tide has passed. Boats on the river drift on a slack tide before it turns once again and the saltwater starts pushing back in. The first high tide peaks at 11:23 a.m.
For the snow report, now we go to Bjorn Jorgensen out at Belleayre. Bjorn, how does the mountain find you?
Bjorn: The mountain is pensive today. Why do we strive, Johannes? Out of our warm beds on bare feet, out into the cold of winter with our steaming breath. Scalded by the moonlight. Though the ground is like petrified wood, still we dig. Still we build. Even the forest has to eat.
Johannes: Yes, Bjorn. All those trees. Is there any wind on the summit today?
Bjorn: Well, there is the kind of wind that picks up the surface of the snow and blows it around. A wind of trickery and mischief. Where there is any snow.
Johannes: And has any snow fallen?
Bjorn: Sadly, no. Not for days. Where there should be snow, there is only night and fog. The skis I have carved will have to wait.
Johannes: But Bjorn, if the clouds aren’t producing, the snow guns surely are. Snow like freshly brushed corduroy.
Bjorn: It’s not the same.
Johannes: Always the purist.
Dusk begins at 4:26 p.m., and night falls shortly thereafter. Behind the frail wind, rain is forecast for the week, but not today.