Native Plants, Habitat Restoration, and Other Science Snippets from Athens, Georgia

Sunday: 18 October 2009

No More Weatherman  -  @ 08:35:38

Our best indicator that we're proceeding into winter:

Tonight we have our first frost. A little early, perhaps, but falling on the heels of a wet period just like winter is supposed to be here.

When I was growing up, we didn't have the internet. It hardly seems possible now, but it is true.

So as kids we'd get up in the morning with little or no notion of what kind of weather the day would bring. I don't think I paid attention to weather prognostication until I was in my thirties. Was there any reason to, really? Certainly not in terms of accuracy or timeliness - there was a reason for the arguable sentiment, "the weatherman is always wrong."

Now, of course, you can get an instant picture of the weather anywhere in a few seconds, and there have been quite a few times when I've been informed of rain by computer before I realized it by looking outside. Now there's a disconcerting and telling experience.

Yesterday at 7am Glenn called down from upstairs, "hey, it's raining." I looked at the radar maps from several sites, and there wasn't a hint of it, nor would there be for several hours while we steadily accumulated moisture. There had been no prediction of this - Saturday was supposed to be sunny to partly sunny. The light rain and drizzle didn't stop until 11pm last night, having delivered 0.31 inches.

It was a very odd and very rare total failure of a remarkably reliable resource. Given the opportunity, I am *always* attuned to the state of the weather. It's as though I scorned for three decades the paltry weather information available for being too sparse until the 1990s when I could make a much better job of it myself.

Or maybe it's an age thing. Do ten-year-olds have a favorite set of weather websites? Most of the twenty-year-olds I work with certainly don't seem to have much awareness of weather, unless it's a big event. Someday I must take a pop poll - how much rain falls in north Georgia in a year?

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