Saturday, December 7, 2013

December 8th singing canceled due to weather conditions...

I wish I didn't have to write this update, but phone calls, emails and three different weather services pointed to continued cold weather and freezing rain or drizzle on Sunday. Saturday's weather should improve in the NWA region but another smaller weather front is expected to follow Saturday evening or Sunday. The second front is not expected to be as severe as the past few days and weather conditions may improve on Saturday with highs in the mid-twenties followed by night time temperatures in the mid-teens. But Sunday high temperatures in Springdale are only expected to reach 29 degrees.

The Friday afternoon check of the Weather Channel's Interstate Forecast for Sunday also suggested "Poor" (orange) driving conditions for Joplin and "Poor" for I-40 at Fort Smith and "Caution" (red) for I-40 east of Russellville. While I-540 is not specifically shown on the Interstate Forecast map, common sense suggests possible "Poor" conditions in the mountains between I-40 and I-44 in Missouri, particularly if freezing drizzle is added to the equation. The roads may be salted and plowed but there are some long bridges and steep hills in the shade on 540 and the connector to Joplin. Some two lane roads may also be less than ideal.

So after emails and phone discussion, the consensus was to lean toward the side of being safe rather than sorry. Thus the Sunday December 8th singing has been canceled. Like many of you, I wish the weather was better and hate to miss a Sunday singing. At least we can look forward to wishing each other a Happy New Year in person at the January Sunday singing on January 12, 2014. Stay safe and warm this weekend.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 8th Singing and the Winter Weather Watch...

December 8th Singing: Katy's been busy decorating two Christmas trees with all the Christmas ornaments she's collected over the years -- more than will fit on a single tree. Like many other singers, we've both been looking forward to the December 8th gathering of the Shiloh Singers to celebrate completion of another year of singing Sacred Harp music and munching on Christmas cookies and other delights at the 1:30 P.M. singing in the Shiloh Museum's General Store in Springdale. That's still on the schedule and this is the usual December reminder.

Like many of you, I've also been digesting local and regional weather reports instead of chocolate cookies for the past several days and have already consulted the group's leadership before I sent out the December newsletter and updated the website. In summary, the consensus is to send out the usual reminder BUT with a concern that if the NWA weather forecast and travel conditions continue to look poor for Sunday, 12/8, we'll send out another e-bulletin on Saturday and cancel the Sunday singing if necessary. As Bill Caldwell responded, "We don't want anyone to make a risky trip."

One of the things I've learned about weather over the years is that short range forecasts are usually a more accurate than long range forecasts, but in spite of radar and computer models, weather is still unpredictable. So again, the game plan is that several long distance singers have already been asked to look at their local Sunday forecasts on Saturday morning and phone or email their best guess of what Sunday travel will look like from their area. Other member input always welcome. If the weather observers think slick roads and limited visibility will prevail, I'll send out a 2nd notice to sing or cancel via email and then post a similar notice on the web. We can always celebrate a happier New Year if all of our singers can be present on January 12th.

In other news... Syd Caldwell received sad news that Rene Greene's mother, Mrs. Shelbie Sheppard, passed away this past week in Alabama. Many of the Shiloh Singers will remember that Rene conducted the Singing School on Friday evening before the October NWA Sacred Harp Singing Convention. Syd is sending flowers on behalf of our group.

The Shiloh Singers had so many new singers at the October Singing Convention and at the November singing that we've ordered another box of The Sacred Harp song books. Given the usual Christmas mail rush, we should have them in time for our January singing.

One more thing... Just in case that one or two of us lose electrical power or our new-fangled computer connection, warmly wishing everyone all the best for a

Merry Christmas 
and a
Happy New Year!

Keep an eye on the weather and be careful out there!