Learning to love climate change?

The low Sunday night was higher than the normal high for the date, according to the KELO weatherman.

And KELO would know, since it has a weather crew in the dozens and devotes about 73 percent of its news shows to weather. Which is fine by me. I’m a South Dakotan and we are ever-fascinated by weather.

Monday gave us a vivid example of this weird weather.

The South Dakota fascination with the meteorological science must be linked to our farm roots, since those earnest toilers of the soil depend on sun, rain and proper growing conditions. That an fertilizer and giant, expensive machines to harvest their crops. But that’s a different post.

As you may have noticed, Christmas was brown this year across most of the state. And New Year’s Eve looks to be snow- and ice-free as well.

I drove from Brookings to Sioux Falls Saturday and my dad and I spotted five burned areas where grassfires had recently blazed. We passed 10 fire vehicles returning to Brookings.

In Mitchell, a grassfire occurred on Saturday. It was the latest in a series of grassfires in the area this fall and winter.

Is this just a seasonal surprise, an unexpected and mostly welcome from a series of harsh winters? Or is it climate change, global warming, Al Gore-style?

We have experienced a wild 18 months, with record rains and flooding in the spring and summer of 2010, followed by a terribly cold and snowy winter in 2010-2011 with tremendous flooding in the summer of 2011 and now, more than three months of dry conditions.

If this is climate change, I’m not complaining about the lack of snow to shovel. However, the farmers will be hot under their blue collars if snow doesn’t start to cover the ground and replenish soil moisture.

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