That Sounds About Right

You may have already heard the news. My good buddy Phil failed to see his shadow. Or as I prefer to think of it, after allegedly living for over 100 years, he has finally learned to tell the difference between his shadow and a coyote. Anyway, this is what you get when you let a rodent predict your weather.

snowy snow 002

Good call, Phil.

On the other hand, his predictions aren’t any less accurate than my local meteorologists’.

Lost In Translation: Meteorology Edition

What your weather-predicting folks say, and what they really mean. Why do we even bother? 

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Late Frost Warning: I think it’s funny to see people tuck their azaleas in at night!

Here’s a look at the Doppler: Swirly, colorful pictures make me look wise. Like Gandalf.

Maps are so pretty! Studies show that just by presenting a map, my IQ has gone up 15 points in your eyes. You are not supposed to notice that I was too lazy to draw the individual states.

High Today: I might be.

Partly Sunny/ Partly Cloudy:  Depends on my mood. If I’m glum, you get partly cloudy. If I have a date with a model after work, the world is partly sunny.

Seven Day Forecast: I’ve been playing with my Magic Eight Ball.

Heat Advisory: It might actually snow.

Slight chance of showers: Build an ark.

I Dumped Him

courtesy uploadeccv.com because I don't have a photo of a trash truck

I know that many of my blogs have been related to being dumped. Or taking a dump. But this time, it’s not about me getting the short end of the stick, whatever that actually means. Nor does it involve bodily waste. Aren’t you glad? It does involve elimination, though. Eliminating someone totally useless from my life.

I have had enough. After years and years of deceit, plans left in ruins, never having a clue about our future, I did it. I fired the weatherman. In the eloquent words of Ricki Lake, I “kicked him to the curb.” See? I knew my TV addiction in the early 90’s would pay off at some point.

It has been coming for awhile. Over the last few years, I’ve noticed that not only can he not predict precipitation with any kind of accuracy, but he misses the high temperature by as much as ten degrees. That’s a big margin. Ten degrees can mean the difference between chilly rain or up to your armpits in snow. And it’s not just my weather dude. It’s all of them.

They like to pretend that they know stuff. They have those seven day forecast charts that show nothing more than how they would run things, if they were the Big Weatherman in the Sky. I suspect that the forecast being dubbed partly cloudy versus partly sunny depends more on whether your weatherman is a sky half-full or half-empty kind of guy than what the Doppler gods told him.

Consulting a meteorologist before making plans is a lot like calling the Psychic Friends Network. You hear a lot of esoteric gobbledygook that is up for interpretation. But at least my Psychic Friends offer the personal touch of calling me by my fake name when they’re predicting my untimely death.

I know, I know. Meteorology is an inexact science, and it’s a tricky business. Especially if you subscribe to the chaos theory. There are lots of butterflies out there flapping their wings and blah, blah, blah. My answer to that is insecticide. You know I’m kidding, right? Love me some butterflies and all that. But seriously. I would love to have a job where I could be badly wrong every single day, and not only would I still get paid, thousands would tune in to hear what I had to say. And still believe me.

And why do we do it, tune in day after day? We know they are as accurate as a drunken stock broker, but we cannot make outdoor plans without checking in with them. Like they have all the answers. Of course, they do. The answers just happen to be wrong. Take our trip out of town for an outdoor family reunion, for instance. Before we left, we checked the weather of the town where we were going. 80 degrees, moderate chance of rain. So we packed warm weather gear. When we arrived 12 hours later, the forecast had changed a wee bit. Rain and 60 degrees. Seriously? And the weather we actually got? Sunny and 74 degrees. Alrighty, then.

I would feel better about meteorology if they presented the weather in bookkeeping odds rather than percentages. “Rain 1:5, Hail 1:12, and the odds-on favorite for today is Sun at 3:5.” At least it would be entertaining. Or have them say something like “Well, it’s sunny out there, but you might want to take an umbrella because it might rain later. And the high today should be 70-ish, but take a jacket just in case.” Or perhaps make television meteorologist wear robes and turbans like Jambi the Genie. Then we’d be more likely to appreciate the forecast for what it actually is: a shot in the dark.

Here’s my new plan for weather. If it’s February, it will probably be cold. If it’s August, it’ll be warm. I’ll keep a jacket and an umbrella handy to cover my bases. Oh, and I bought a weather loach. He’s at least as accurate as the weather guys, and he has cute little whiskers.

Jojo the Dojo

I bet you think I’m kidding.

Also, I am fully aware that there are plenty of women who are meteorologists. But Weather Woman sounds like a really lame superhero, and Weatherperson is just a little too bland for me.