Pick your weather

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hi neighbors. I hope you have all been warm and dry this week. It seems we are back to the ice ages of the last two years again.

With all the talk about global warming, I can't figure out why we have more and more ice in the winter and less snow?

There are several groups of scientists with conflicting theories.

There are those who insist that we are entering another ice age.

The other group speculates that not only will we get no new ice, but all the ice we now have will melt and we will have massive flooding along coastlines.

There is another group who have come up with a different scenario. They theorize that the earth's axis is tipping.

If that means Missouri will start resembling the North Pole, then they may have something.

Like all people throughout history, trying to figure out the weather is pretty impossible for most of us. We all gave up on doing something about the weather centuries ago.

But not according to my friend Flossy. She thinks either Jules Verne or Leonardo Da Vinci invented a machine to control the weather. Like all great mysteries, this machine has yet to be rediscovered. But then, Flossy thinks these two gentlemen knew everything about everything.

Flossy says there are natural and reliable ways to determine the weather. Checking woolly caterpillars or opening a persimmon seed are just two examples.

One of the few things Flossy and I argue about is the weather. She gets her information from the Weather Channel, I go with the local weather selection on the TV cable box.

The Weather Channel has that "Local on the 8s" tool which is pretty good. But I've noticed the days are wrong. For instance, say it's Tuesday.

When you watch "Local on the 8s" it will say today, then give a forecast. Then it says tonight and gives that forecast. The next screen might say Forecast for Tuesday and then Tuesday night. Then it goes to a screen showing the next four days and nights. But the first day that screen shows is Thursday. What happened to Wednesday? Was the "Forecast for Tuesday" actually the forecast for Wednesday? What's that all about?

The cable box forecast is at least in chronological order. But the temperatures can be different from the weather channel by several degrees. One day last week the weather channel said it would get to one degree with a wind-chill of 15 below. The cable box said it would get to 15 with a wind chill of five degrees below.

What can you do? The radio is pretty reliable; but you might have to listen for a while to get the weather. Who has time for that?

When Flossy and I just can't agree, we leave the weather in the hands of "the old woman." That's our name for the local weather forecast on the automated telephone number.

I used to call the unknown person behind the voice "the old lady" but Flossy pointed out I really knew nothing about her character.

"You can't make assumptions about anyone's moral character based on the sound of their voice," she chided.

The "she" designation is correct at least, in my opinion that is. Flossy just raises her left eyebrow and says in a hushed voice, "You never know these days." At my insistence, we refer to the telephone voice as "she" instead of "it" which was Flossy's idea. I think she is more prejudiced against the phone lady because she's not the Weather Channel than for any other reason.

Flossy likes the Weather Channel. She watches it all day, all year long. In the summer, if the Weather Channel shows a big thunderstorm in Texas, Flossy starts shutting her windows.

"The whole purpose of knowing the weather forecast is to get prepared," she nags.

With all the conflicting weather information out there, I think we would all be better off to pick a single source for our information and listen to it exclusively.

When all else fails we can step outside and look around.

Until the next time friends remember, the weather is always with us and usually pretty unpredictable. What will be will be and a weather forecast is not worth arguing with a friend over. Just keep extra clothes in your car, extra food in your kitchen and hope for the best. Watch whatever forecaster you want and if you can't decide who to believe don't despair.

We always have persimmons.