Ohio weather sucks

By Matthew Sotlar

We need to have a serious discussion about Ohio weather. I have lived in Ohio my entire life, and nowhere else on Earth are there weather patterns like there are in Ohio.

Last Friday, I left my house at noon, and it was sunny — practically warm. I got home at 9:30 p.m. and almost drove into a ditch from all the snow and ice on the road. What kind of sick joke is this? Is the entire state cursed, or is this weather localized entirely to the Mahoning Valley?

I remember during the Plague Year — 2020, for those who didn’t pick up on it — it was snowing in May. I think Robert Frost wrote a poem about snow, but then again, what poet doesn’t write about snow? 

Summers in Ohio are always erratic. Some days are dreadfully hot and humid. Growing up, I always heard my grandparents complain about humidity, and I’m finally starting to understand what they were talking about.

On any given day, it can be 56 degrees with a wind chill of 43, and the next day, it’ll be a high of 79. Youngstown is an excellent example of an unstable climate. Perhaps years of pollution caused by endless steel production took its toll on Youngstown’s climate and environment … I wonder.

I always look forward to summer, even during the summer. The idea of days upon days with no rain is simply bliss. No rain means no snow, which means safer roads. In my high school years, I may have abused my car’s traction system doing donuts in icy parking lots, but those days are over. Now, all it takes is one snowflake on the ground and I’m staying in.

How do I occupy my time inside? Well, as I write this column, I’m snowed inside my house. It’s like I’m in “The Shining,” but Stanley Kubrick isn’t here to wildly alter the story and make it nearly unrecognizable from the novel. If you’d like to hear more of my thoughts on classic cinema, let me know.

One thing I’ve noticed that never changes based on the weather is deer. Rain, snow, sleet or hail, they will run in front of your car. Maybe they’ll stand in the lane and just stare at your car and wait for you to stop before they run back the way they came. Deer probably won’t survive the apocalypse.

I think my favorite part of winter is the last few weeks where the snow melts and there’s finally some hints of green. That’s when I switch all my playlists from dreary winter music to upbeat spring and summer music.

That stretch from mid-March to May might be the longest part of the year — always waiting for summer to slowly make an appearance, only for five straight days of rain to ruin it all. But isn’t that just one of the perks of Ohio weather?

Don’t take my cynical assumptions to heart. I love a nice stormy night in the summer or watching snow fall in December. I just don’t like driving in it, but then again, who does?

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