Weather -- take a guess

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hi neighbors. You probably already know Phil the groundhog saw his shadow. That is supposed to mean six more weeks of bad weather.

On the other tip of the country General Beauregard Lee of Georgia did not see his shadow, so I guess that part of the country is going to have more spring like weather early.

Since there is so much controversy amongst groundhog forecasters, I suggest we just sit back and watch and make judgments later.

There is always someone around to tell us what's going to happen. Usually it is a weather prediction. I've found the weather outlook changes from media to media.

The television Weather Channel, particularly the "Local on the 8's" segment; can be interpreted with at least a 24 hour variation.

If you have cable television you can click on the main menu and then click on Local Weather to get a clearer forecast. Still, that can be tricky if you are distracted for even a few seconds by a jumping dog or flying cat -- the two tend to go together in my house.

For the real low down on the weather I always call "The Woman." For all the Sherlock Holmes fans out there, no, I do not mean Irene Adler.

The Woman I am referring to is the automated female voice on the telephone you can hear any minute of any day. She keeps it short, simple and re-dialable.

This weekend will be either really wet, really cold, a real nasty combination of both, or not so bad at all. Take your pick, lay down your bets, and discover the real truth out your windows Saturday and Sunday.

The entire next week will be more of the same -- or completely opposite. Who knows? Not the weather forecasters.

My uncle commented once that television weathermen (or weatherwomen) used to tell you what they thought the weather would be. Now they just give you the odds.

No weather forecaster says simply, "It will rain tomorrow." They cover their bases with, "There is a 40 percent chance it will rain tomorrow." A forecast which also includes the 60 percent chance it won't rain at all. Such variables offer the weather prognosticator a 98 percent chance of retaining their jobs and their audience.

Of course, few people want to be weather forecasters. If you get it wrong, people tend to hold you personally responsible for the weather.

Would you want to be the person who promised the town a sunny day for the local fair, just to have it start pouring down rain half past noon? If it is the town you live in, you will probably be teased about it for weeks. Or worse, reminded of it on the event's anniversary every year afterwards.

Although no one wants to be put on the spot to stand up in front of the world and say what they think the weather will be tomorrow, everyone likes to offer their version of how to interpret the signs.

Have you heard "Red sky at morning, sailors take warning. Red sky at night, sailors delight"? Here in Missouri we don't concern ourselves too much about sailors sailing off into the ocean in the morning or getting home safe from the sea at night.

Still, we can use that to determine if we will have a storm in the night or during the day can't we? Well, maybe not. I don't remember seeing nearly as many red sky mornings or nights as I remember seeing storms.

Many say animals can predict bad weather. I'm not too sure about that either. Even if they think bad weather is coming, what do they do about it? When I start seeing cattle build storm shelters I might buy into this one a little more.

Of course, it is very possible animals can respond to the changes in barometric pressure, static electricity, and other storm indicators. There may be more to this theory than I have given it credit for. If you know of times when animals have predicted changes in the weather, let me know.

Until the next time friends, remember, whatever the weather outside, avoid bad storms in your household next week by remembering to get a Valentine Day's gift for your special person.