The Flight of the Snowbird


Climate change, even though it’s a complete hoax, has so messed with our weather patterns on Long Island that the calendar no longer dictates the temperatures we’ve come to associate with our seasons.

Case in point, the first day of December was a moderate 50 degrees. The sun shined. Birds chirped. Light sweaters sufficed for cover. A day earlier, the bitter freezing, driving rain caused Canadian geese to migrate northward to escape the cold. Nothing is what it has ever been–or ever will be again.

In short, it’s getting weird.

The calendar no longer suffices when it comes to predicting the weather. The weather forecasters seldom seem to get it right. How do you know when it’s time to break out the winter coats, dust off the UGGs you preemptively brought out in the first week of October because drinking pumpkin-spiced lattes in flip flops just seemed wrong, and resign yourself to the reality of an unavoidably brutal New York winter?

Why, you follow the flight of the snowbirds, of course.

Snowbirds, unlike the newly-coined invective “snowflake,” is northeastern slang for those who move from New York to Florida in the wintertime. There is no set date for this migration. It just happens.

You notice by the increasing traffic surrounding LaGuardia and JFK airports. The lobbies fill with smart blue-and white-haired folk who have put in their time enduring biting air that hurts your face, the indignity of trying-and failing-to keep balance while walking across parking lots made treacherous with black ice, and suffered countless flat tires on Long Island’s many, many, many potholes. (So many. But don’t worry. Road construction crews will repair the roads come spring time. During rush hour. At your expense. You’re welcome.)

That’s right, those who have paid their LI winter dues will head southbound to the land of sun, sand and white pants in winter. How do they know exactly when to shuffle off this frigid coil and head down? Well, no one knows exactly.

Scientists could study it, but who would listen? All we know is that like canaries in the coal mines, when you see airports teeming with grandparents and moving trucks heading from New York to the sunshine state, winter is nigh.

(Photo credit: Pixar’s Up)

More from our Sister Sites