Weather is weird.
Have I mentioned I pay no mind to TV weather reports?
I think it’s probably related to my Minnesota upbringing. You see, in Minnesota, knowing when a blizzard might hit can mean the difference between life and death (I’m not exaggerating), so TV weathermen rank right up there in importance between Mother Nature and God.
They’re running interference, so to speak.
Songs have been written about the gales of November (thank you, Gordon Lightfoot). It’s engrained in the Minnesota psyche to Pay Attention.
When bad weather is about to blow in (literally), Minnesotans attach themselves to their TVs and radios to hear the latest, well, blow by blow. Even kids. Kids especially! If school might be called off, well, let’s get up early to find out from the TV weatherman. I mean, Paul Douglas with his fancy moving maps and Doppler weather radar is a Minnesota celebrity if there ever was one. Don’t know Paul Douglas? Then you’re not from Minnesota. (An aside: Did you know Paul’s real last name is Kruhoeffer? That’s what Wikipedia says. Even good Minnesotans probably don’t know that. Paul’s got a brand to protect, you betcha.)
And you know the old saw: When you do something for 21 days, it becomes a habit. So Minnesotans stay up to catch the weather forecast on the 10 p.m. news all year round.
But then I heard somewhere that the 5-day weather forecast had only a 5 percent chance of actually being right on that fifth day. I was astounded and dismayed in the way only a Minnesotan can be. Uffda. I figured out that weathermen are very good at predicting what the weather is where they’re standing RIGHT NOW. They don’t know what’s going on where I am, and they certainly don’t know what’s going on where I am tomorrow.
They’re guessing. And I can guess, too.
So I’m a weather forecast cynic. I rarely check in for a television weather forecast, never in a 10 p.m. newscast, and I only occasionally check the online temps for the day.
So imagine how surprised I was when it was so blasted hot today. We had the windows open. The doors open. I wore shorts (a skort, actually). And I was still too hot to enjoy an afternoon coffee (like a good Minnesotan might). Whew! Where did that come from?
Then we had dinner with a friend at a restaurant 35 miles east of here, and it started lightning. Was that thunder? My gosh, the sky is getting so dark. Oh, it’s starting to sprinkle!
We drove home on the interstate, which is pretty much a straight shot from O’Hare airport to our house, and we encountered three — three! — individual pockets of pouring-down-so-hard-the-window-shield-wipers-can’t-keep-up rain. In between, it was like any other evening; one in-between place was completely dry. Not a drop of precipitation in that stretch between downpours.
When we got home, it was hardly damp.
And that’s why the weatherman can’t tell you what the weather is like except exactly where he’s at. Because he can’t be everywhere , and the weather changes from mile to mile. And weather is weird.