Friday, March 7, 2008

Wondering about the Weather

Bummer. I got home early today from a meeting, which should have given me the whole afternoon to go for a nice long walk before dark. (This time of year I usually don't get home from work until after dark and am reduced to using the dreaded treadmill.) Unfortunately, a line of thunderstorms arrived at the same time I did. I will end up on the treadmill after all, in the broad daylight. Double bummer.

I'd go on in to work but it is Bike Week in Daytona and, well, I'd rather not go there.

The temperature right now in my town is 85-degrees. That is supposed to drop dramatically after the storms blow through. The high tomorrow is supposed to be only in the 60's, which sort of puts a damper on my regular Saturday trip to the beach. I would probably work myself up into a regular snit about that, except that I'm thrilled to have the afternoon off and I love storms anyway. In addition, I checked the weather for my home town in Ohio. The high there is supposed to be in the low 20's today, with up to a foot of snow before the storm ends tomorrow. I guess I've got no call to complain about my world!

That got me to thinking. It is so hard to imgine, when sweating in 85-degree humidity, that in other places (not too distant!) it is freezing cold and snowing. It just doesn't "compute". I am reminded of the experience I always have before a tropical storm or hurricane. Before a big tropical system moves in, the high pressure surrounding the storm center often brings absolutely fabulous weather. The sky is unbelievably blue; the humidity is very low. In other words, it is the kind of weather people move to Florida for. That kind of day always makes me want to go out and play in the sand or walk for hours instead of fighting crowds at the grocery stores to lay in supplies or boarding up windows and trimming branches. When it is that beautiful, it is hard to imagine that a storm is on the way.

The transition from that glorious weather to a tropical storm is amazing and beautiful. Starting with the storm bands that blow through quickly followed by shorter and shorter spells of great weather in between, the entire world changes from the peaceful beauty of perfect weather to the purple-black violence of a hurricane with unbelievable speed. Before Hurricane Frances (or maybe Jeanne -- I can't remember which) in 2004, I helped DH board up some windows and take in the lawn furniture. We decided to go out for lunch and to the beach before we had to hole up in the house, but the restaurants were all closed and the police ran us off the beach. We came home and got in the pool. It was amazing lying on my back on a pool float watching the skies change, feeling the wind rise. Not only the humidity but the very quality of the air changed. Then the winds started blowing branches into the pool, and we retreated to the house, where we listened to the howling of Mother Nature on a rampage for more than 18 long, miserable hours. I love storms, but that one went on way, way, way too long. At one point the next day, while the storm was still blowing, I managed to put a call through to my mother to let her know we were okay. She told me it was a beautiful day there.

My world was hell-on-earth, and she's telling me it's a beautiful day!! I think that was the only time I laughed that day. How unbelievably cool is that?!

I guess for me it is both a consolation and a warning. The consolation is that no matter how horrible the storm may be, it will not last forever. The warning is that a halcyon day could be the harbringer of a storm.

No comments: