Has there ever been a "good year" in the US, weatherwise?

As far back, as I can remember, it seems as if the weather of every year is somehow considered the worst - too much flooding, too little rain, too hot, too cold, or whatever. If it’s not a drought, it’s too much rain. If it’s not a year where the number and severity of hurricanes is the worst on record, it’s an El Niño or La Niña year. If “the worst blizzard ever” didn’t hit Buffalo, it hit Chicago or Boston instead. Now, it’s global warming; in the 1970s, everything was attributed to global cooling and an upcoming ice age.

Was there ever a year where, in the United States at least, the weather was considered ideal? You know, just the right amount of rain, temperatures not too hot or too cold, the number of severe weather incidents about or below average, and so on.

I think part of the answer is that we are now, much more than before, more aware of weather in regions of the U.S distant from our own. The U.S. territory happens to include a huge variety of physiogeographic regions: high mountains, deserts, temperate rain forests, vast plains, many coasts… It’s highly likely that at least one of these regions will experience something “extreme” in any given year. Think about it: if you restrict yourself to, say, a single state (which would be the size of many countries in the world), you don’t hear about extreme weather as often – maybe once every five years, typically. Still, that’s too often to warrant the label “extreme”, which is also partly just hype – making news for news’ sake.

And it’s the extreme, not the average, weather that gets the lion’s share of the attention. (Nor is weather the only area where this is so.)

No, it wasn’t. Do a little research and don’t rely on Sean Hannity as an authority.

Off-topic: I’m basing this on my own memories. I don’t watch Fox News, and I do believe that global warming is a real threat.

Back on topic. Please, I don’t want to see this thread hijacked into a discussion on global warming.

I’m sure if you stick to a region you’ll find years where nothing severe happened such as floods and droughts. I read material from archives sometimes and I run across the same weather comments in the early 1900’s articles. It’s the (whatever) it’s ever been. Todays news continues in the tradition of our preceding generations. Somethings never change.

Elmwood is correct.

I grew up in the 70’s…and it was generally acknowledged (from my memory) that we were in danger of an imminant ice age.

I still think that they might not have been wrong either.

BREAKING NEWS ALERT ON CNN!!! CNN reports that the weather today is very average. Now back to your regularly scheduled program…
Nobody ever reports that, right???

No, you’re not. I grew up in the 70’s too and I have a B.S. in meteorology. You’re suffering from False Memory Syndrome. It has become a meme in the Global Warming debate and now everyone seems to believe this was the case. In fact, it was an outlying theory in the scientific community and had almost no exposure in the popular culture. If you look into it, almost all references trace back to a single Newsweek article that hardly anybody read. It is simply not the case that there was any kind of significant discussion of a coming ice age in the 70’s. Did not happen.

Sorry for the hijack, Elmwood. It’s one of those things I just am unable to ignore.

To answer your OP, they’re all normal. Last year might be considered a “good year” by many as there were few if any landfall hurricanes, tornadoes didn’t hit major cities, etc. Then again, I had over 50 inches of snow in a week right over Christmas, which caused all kinds of major headaches, including a lot of cattle dying. If you define a “good” year as lacking extreme weather events, 2006 would probably qualify.

Oh really. I distinctly recall the National Enquirer running articles on the coming Ice Age during the 70’s . What’s more popular culture than a 70’s issue of the National Enquirer? :smiley:

I disagree.

I remember reading books warning of the possibility of a coming ice age. I remember worrying about it. I remember even reading a essay by Isaac Asimov talking about how there appeared to be ‘large years’ and that we were in early December of the ‘year’ and that a sudden ice age coming was a very real possibility.

I remember terrible blizzards hitting NY. I remember my family being completely stuck in our house for 3 days because the snow covered it completely…and it was my younger brothers birthday…April 26.

I’m not trying to refute global warming…global warming is probably real. I have no dog in this fight. But for you to say that it ‘didn’t happen’ means that you are completely wrong.

I also think that an ice age could still be in the works and that they weren’t wrong in the 70’s. Global warming doesn’t mean we couldn’t crash into an ice age.

The idea that climate on Earth is even remotely stable is scarily being realized to not be true.

What year? I’d like to read up on that storm.

I can’t remember exactly. My younger brother was very young and he was born 73. We moved out of that house in 77 I think…so 74-76. I don’t think it was 76 though.

It was also western ND…which doesn’t get huge amounts of snow.

I think you might have a year where the weather was remembered for being really good in a particular region, but not in the whole country. We’re just too diverse. Remember how El Niño made life a living hell for so many people in the late 90s? Well in Michigan, it got us a year and a half of amazing weather. Warm, dry summers and mild winters. It was fantastic. Meanwhile, there were mudslides every other week in California.

I think it’s pretty much an impossibility to have consistent weather in a country that touches both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. We’re inherently susceptible to too many patterns and currents.

On a related note, I’m in journalism, and one thing I’ve joked about with many reporters is how, when we were interns or worked in small-town papers, we would always have to interview farmers who were having an awful year because of the weather. Here’s the thing: Every year is an awful year for farmers. It’s either too dry or too wet. When was the last time you read a newspaper story about how this year’s corn crop is bigger than average?

I’m probably missing the point, but this year’s corn crop is estimated to be an all time record crop in the US. It’s been in the papers, at least where they grow corn. Another link
Missouri
http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2007/08/17/state-expects-near-record-corn-harvest/

Louisiana
http://www.agfax.com/news/2007/08/lacorn0824.htm

Illinois

Minnesota
http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/11/02_steilm_bumpercrop/

Indiana
http://www.rushvillerepublican.com/agnews/local_story_235214214.html?keyword=secondarystory

Iowa
http://www.michiganfarmer.com/index.aspx?ascxid=fpStory&fpsid=29579&fpstid=1

The amazing thing is that we’re going to have a record corn crop despite the fact that the weather was too cold in the Ohio Valley, too hot in Illinois and Iowa, too wet in the upper Midwest and too dry anyplace it wasn’t too something else. It all tends to average out in most years/

Lamar, it may not have been the meteorologists that were discussing the possibility of a coming ice age, but there was definitely discusion among the public. Specifically, I can remember the blizzard of '76-'77 in Chicago. We had a souvenir coffee cup I think from the Red Lobster commemorating that winter. I was too young to comprehend much so I don’t know how seriously it was taken.

The winter of 76-77, I remember it well. We had 10 foot tall drifts in mid Ohio and driving down the road afterward was like going thru a tunnel. Yeah, I remember lot’s of old stuff. It was the end of the world. Right!

I still drive thru Ohio and see the graineries over flowing. I also notice a lot of really big ones going up.

The weather is what you make it. Good or bad it is still news. The one thing for sure is that it will change.

Did you ever go back to places you went as a kid and realize how tiny they were compared to your memory? For example, I looked at weather stats for Western NY in the 70’s (see BlinkingDuck’s posts) and found that the largest monthly snowfall in the area was around 15". That is for the entire month, not just for the tail end of the month, which is how he/she remembers it. It certainly didn’t cover anybody’s house.