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Winter will be mild, say local pundits

We're in for a mild winter here on the islands, according to several local weather watchers.nJimmy Carmichael of Queen Charlotte said he has never seen an October as dry and sunny as the one we just had. Last week, he still had sweet peas and roses growing in his garden, which are usually spoiled by now by the fall rains.n"It looks like it's going to be fairly mild," he predicted for the coming months, "although it's awfully hard to say."nStan McKenzie of Queen Charlotte also called for a warmer than usual winter, although he cautioned that he's not right 50% of the time.nAnother weather watcher pointed to the late departure of the geese this year, saying this means winter will not be severe.nAnd Dave Unsworth of Port Clements says there's milder but stormier weather on the horizon. Mr. Unsworth said "only newcomers and fools" try to predict the weather, but there is an old tale that you can tell what's coming for the next six months by the direction the wind blows on the equinox. On the latest equinox (Sept. 23), he said, the wind was somewhat southerly, which would mean milder weather on the way.n"Of course the weather goes in cycles," he added. "If that's the case we're getting into more stormy winters... because the weather has been pretty tame the last 15 years."nThe weather got much better just around the time the ferry started running to the islands, he recalled. And he predicted that islanders may not be able to count on regular ferry transportation in the future, due to a combination of worse weather conditions and tightened up regulations that will further restrict the kind of weather the ferries are allowed to sail in.n"We're definitely going to have some problems with transportation if this weather cycle changes," he said. nnnn