Sunday, October 17, 2010

This Winter Is Going To Be A Bad One.....

.....Or so I hear.

So over the past couple of weeks I've heard a couple of people say that this winter is going to be a bad one. The reason that I'm writing about this today is for two reasons. The frequency with which this statement has been thrown around lately has piqued my interest and if, in fact, this winter will be a bad one then I would like to take advantage of the Les Schwab fall tire sale right now.

Now, since new tires are riding on this, I need to know if the winter will be bad or not. It's a gamble because I don't have the cash for new tires. If there really is a need then I will pony up (plastic style) for them, but if this winter is like last winter, then there is no need. Of course, if it's like two winters ago, I'll buy them right away.

My current tires are about 45,000 miles old but they're still in fair shape. They are Toyo Open Country H/T tires and According to Les Schwab they should be good for 60,000. They are not fantastic on wet roads, but I am a very conservative driver. I like to keep that following distance nice and wide. But having old tires eats away at my safety margin, so even though I try to compensate with safe driving, my overall safety margin is decreased. I feel them slip more than I would like.

So now that you know what the current situation is, I return to the question at hand. Is this winter going to be bad or not?

If we were to base the coming season on the current season there would be enough evidence to say that we risk a bad winter. This summer was unusually rainy and cold (yes, even for western Washington). But wait, last winter wasn't bad, so using this logic the summer should have been nice. As I said, two winters ago was bad (very bad-I'm talking paid leave from work, people stranded in their homes, etc.), and that was followed by a nice warm summer. I don't think this argument is going to fly.

What about heresay? Are there some old folks that have lived in these parts for decades that can just tell when bad weather is coming? Or is it just nonsense that was born in rumors?

How do I find out if it's worth throwing down a big pile of fake greenbacks right now?


At 10:29 AM, Blogger Packrat said...

You are in my Reader list, so I'm going to butt in here. :)

Get new tires on for the winter. Save your old tires and have them put on in the spring. Then use your winter tires again next winter. When the winter tires start to show wear, make them your summer tires and buy new winter ones. We always have two sets of tires for our cars.

According to the many of the scientists that we get to talk to through the business, we are indeed in for some rough winters. Their theory is that global warming was caused by the above average sunspot activity that had been going on over the past several years. This activity has all but stopped. We aren't getting the warmth from the sun that we were getting.

It is always good to be prepared for ice (slick roads) and cold (frozen pipes and power outages).

Think of the new tires as an insurance policy. New tires aren't a guarantee you won't be in an accident, but they will help not to be in one. Paying for tires is cheaper than paying accident damages.

Just my thoughts on the subject...

At 7:27 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Thanks for the input.

I still don't know if I'll be buying the tires but I get what you're saying about it being an insurance policy. I bought some new bike parts a couple of years ago because I figured they cost less than an emergency room visit.

I still have some time to mull it over (but not much).

I don't think I'll maintain two sets, but I might be able to sell the current ones for a little money.

At 2:59 PM, Blogger Tara said...

I need new tires on my car too. I remember last year getting stuck behind a school bus last year and couldn't get going again until a semi driver and a good samaritan came to help. Then the semi driver got stuck too. So, for me it isn't a question. I will be getting new tires this year before winter gets here. End of story.

At 8:34 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Well Tara, I've decided to join you this year in buying new tires. The peace of mind will be nice (although paying the credit card, less so).

Packrat, what you said about sunspots was interesting. I started looking into it and if the experts are right then this should be a bad one. Between limited sunspot activity and La NiƱa it sounds like it'll be a slugger.

Along with this comes fresh resolve from Chelsea and I to tighten our fiscal belt so that hopefully we won't be caught in a spot like this again. Wish us luck.

At 9:02 AM, Blogger Packrat said...

I wish everyone luck. Winter is starting here.

I understand the financial situation. We just had to purchase a newer car. URGH. That was not in the budget at all. (It was purchase a newer car or pay more for repairs than our old one was worth.) At least part of the deal was that it came with four brand new tires.

Random - Like most people, we no longer have a fireplace or wood stove for a backup heating or cooking source. Nor do we have a propane grill... So, let's hope the winter isn't as bad as predicted.


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