Weird weather ups and downs

With Christmas quickly approaching, many of us would love to see some snow headed our way immediately.

Unfortunately for fans of a white Christmas the weather forecast shows temperatures climbing into the mid-60s on Saturday or Sunday and snow seems unlikely next week.

While it will be warm, it will be wet, with the National Weather Service predicting a crest of 31.8 feet for the Ohio River at Marietta on Tuesday, below the 35 foot flood stage but well above normal.

Joe Merchant, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Charleston, W.Va., said the jet stream is in an active pattern.

The movement in the north and south jet streams have been large in the last few weeks, making it active and building up to a time of warmth.

“A lot of people are familiar with the arctic, northern jet stream,” Merchant said. “A lot of people don’t realize there is also a southern jet stream. It’s not as strong and doesn’t move as fast, but it’s important to bring moisture farther north.”

When the two systems work in tandem as strongly as they have this week, the weather can be a little off the norm.

“(Charleston’s) forecast for the weekend is one degree over the record,” Merchant said. “I don’t think (Marietta is) going to approach records because of closer proximity to rainfall.”

Jesse Ray, 69, of Marietta, said he’s taking advantage of the weather.

“I enjoy it,” Ray said, adding, “I remember years ago I mowed my lawn on Christmas Day, so it’s really not so unusual.”

Merchant added that strange weather patterns can happen all the time.

“And not even at this time of year,” Merchant said. “March about two winters ago, we got up into the 80s…It’s really not unusual.”

Ralph Olander, 63, of Marietta, ventured out to practice his golf swing at the Pioneer Golf Center at 712 Pike St. Friday.

“I’m not surprised (about the weather),” Olander said. “The variations in weather are to be expected.”

“I take the days of niceness with gratitude but I think climate change is what’s driving it,” Olander added. “We’re going to have to adapt to the changing weather.”

Another Marietta resident, Jason Ott, 38, was out and about but not thrilled with the change.

“I think it’s crazy,” Ott said. “And, now I have a head cold because of the situation.”

Ott said he was preparing for the weather “day by day.”

“I’m no longer relying on the weather forecast,” he said.

Ray said it would be wise to “keep your summer and winter clothes ready.”

“This time of year, it’s nice to have it a little colder around Christmas,” Ray added.