Yes, me rambling on about weather again. Sorry 'bout that. Here's the offering from The Courier, Aug. 25/09.
Today’s forecast: whatever!
A few weeks back the weather gurus of the nation (at least parts of the nation) were donning slickers, raising umbrellas and telling us all we might as well give up because August was going to stink, too. And I don’t mean “stink” as in “be hot and smoggy,” I mean stink as in “it’s going to continue to rain as if the sky has sprung a permanent leak and soon we will be figuring out what cubits are so we can build arks.”
I would hate to be a weather guru. Environment Canada’s chief climatologist Dave Phillips has been given this moniker, so we have come to expect he knows something about what’s going to happen – as if he can directly channel Mother Nature and develop long-range forecasts with some degree of certainty. Well, either he has a faulty connection or Mother Nature is doing some serious drugs, man.
In any event, every time Guru Dave opened his mouth and proclaimed we would not be afflicted with the Wettest Summer Ever (fear not!), some folks wiped their soggy brows and breathed a sigh of relief.
“Good weather is coming in mid-July!” people shouted from what was left of their flood-ravaged streets.
It did not come.
Guru Dave and his “weather expert” friends scratched their heads, grinned for the cameras and told us that, yes, July has been rather putrid, but August will be divine! Warmth and sunshine will grace us once again. I was sceptical, and as July continued on its cold and soggy course I started ignoring the forecasts because of their annoying rain-sunny break-rain-rain-sunny break-rain-rain-rain pattern.
One night, though, during a news story about this miserable summer, an expert from The Weather Network was featured.
“Whatever,” I grumbled, as they rambled about how Newfoundland and Manitoba are the only two provinces that have had a somewhat “normal” season.
But then this weather guru did something unusual. Rather than placating our weary, weather-beaten souls with more promises of “good times ahead,” she basically said, “You know what? August is probably going to stink, too.”
Huh? I perked right up. Finally, someone was not getting my hopes up and it felt refreshing! Within a few days of this brilliant revelation, I read in the newspaper that Guru Dave concurred. Indeed, August would probably be just as wet as July. Oh, and a cubit is somewhere between 45 and 70 centimetres, depending on who you ask.
I was talking to my mom about this astounding turn of events. “Isn’t it great? It’s going to keep raining!”
She offered some wisdom, though, as mothers are wont to do, and suggested that if Guru Dave says it’s going to rain, maybe it won’t. After all, can anyone remember when any of these so-called experts got it right in recent years? (Please note I am not including the Farmers’ Almanac in this category. I’m not sure what predictions were made for this summer.)
Lo and behold, August has shown remarkable improvement, featuring such phenomena as not one, not two, but three or more consecutive days where it didn’t rain at all! Not even a teeny tiny drop! And there has been heat! And sometimes even humidity! And there have been heat advisories and smog warnings!
Okay, so nothing is ever perfect and it always takes a bit of time to acclimatize when summer arrives in Canada – even belatedly. Nevertheless, the latent reptile in me soaks up the sun (with sunscreen) and heat and has felt generally much better about kicking the kids outside without forcing them to take umbrellas and slickers and such. Playing in the wading pool is more fun when it’s warm and sunny than when it’s overcast and threatening to drizzle at any moment.
I have to admit I am left wondering if the so-called weather experts ultimately got together, threw up their hands and said, “We have no idea what’s going on with this silly weather. Rather than constantly disappointing Canada, let’s tell everyone it’s going to rain forever so they won’t get their hopes up and then if it does actually get sunny it will be a joyful thing.”
Whatever works. Keep the sunshine coming!