It’s December 8 this morning in the county of Ulster. The temperature is 43°.
Humidity is still high at 89 percent, but the fever of warmth carried on the wind from the southwest has broken and veered around. It now blows from the north of the compass.
The temperature will rise throughout the day to a high of 49 degrees.
The high tide at 1:20 p.m. today will not be as magnificent as yesterday’s. The full moon will set just before 8 a.m., and will have surrendered some of its pull by the time the flood tide appears. It will still record a notable four feet and two inches
Sunset is at 4:26 p.m., and so the day will last nine hours and 14 minutes.
Only slightly diminished, the next moon rises at 4:40 p.m. to light the dark sky and to wash the earth with its ghostly illumination throughout the night.
For the mountain forecast, now we go to Bjorn Jorgensen out at Belleayre Mountain.
Bjorn, what can you tell us?
Bjorn: Good morning, Johannes! The temperature from the summit is three degrees Celsius. The sky is an open field of stars, with great clouded warships in all directions.
Johannes: Very dramatic, Bjorn. So how was your revel?
Bjorn: It was just that! A large fire and drinking and laughter and dancing, all of it like a waking dream The clouds scudded past overhead all night, scoured and smoothed like a soft muslin gauze, and the moon behind it all like a bright pearl. The sky is a painting, Johannes, and every day is different from the previous one.. But I think I twisted my ankle. I fashioned a crutch out of a broken branch of a linden tree and persevered.
Johannes: You are injured? Perhaps this puts you in a regretful mood, then, Bjorn?
Bjorn: We carry the consequences of our actions in our bellies. Regret is not the right word. I must reprimand the Jorgensen of yesterday, for the Jorgensen of today must think of the Jorgensen of tomorrow. Did you see the moon, Johannes?
Johannes: I did. Out on the riverbank across from the hydroelectric dam near Sturgeon Pool. Fed by the Wallkill, it was overtopped with rushing rapids, a noisy flood swollen with rainwater which crashed onto the rocks below and echoed back from the hills all around. And a mist rose from the surface of the calmer water, climbed the riverbank, and crossed the asphalt road on its way up into the pines.
Bjorn: The moon should have been very bright, and the water should have been very high after all the rain inland.
Johannes: It was very bright, Bjorn. It was a fine suggestion to go out underneath it if one wishes to report the weather. Take care of your ankle. The solstice is just 13 days away.
Cooler, drier air will prevail into the week for some days, though snow is likely by the end of the weekend as the weather drops and the moisture returns. Warm blankets are the watch words as the nights will drop into the twenties.