Thursday, May 24, 2018

Weather, whether, wither, or whatever



Is there anything more consistently misrepresented than the weather? For ages it has been asserted that the weather person has the most secure job in the world. The reason being is they almost never get it totally right for where we are and yet, they remain employed. A 50% chance of rain could either mean it will be sunny all day, or bring a deluge worthy of Noah and his big wooden boat full of animal pairs.

In a grocery line the other day I was reminded that the weather has been unpredictable for as long as history has been recorded and also possibly predicted impending doom or even the end of the world. I wonder if the folks in Hawaii are thinking this very thing right now. Or how about the incredible fires that swept through California this past year?

I don't want to get into the whole hurricane flooding thing, as for many are still living in a cardboard box in our driveway, or a van down by the river. The weather really uckedsay this past year for many, if you will forgive my Pig Latin.

I hate hurricanes and tropical storms. I remember after Hurricane Ike, I drove west on I-10 and it wasn't until I got to Columbus 100 miles west that I didn't see evidence of its fury. I remarked that this would be a great place to live. Of course I would never move there as they simply do not need or want a Columbus Bert disturbing them. Besides, I love it here, whether I wither in the heat or whatever.

The weather predictors actually do a good job of predicting Houston's moist weather, but not ours. They cannot accurately predict the effect our 7 bays is going to do here, unless a storm is so big that it blankets the entire large area surrounding Houston. This has become a joke with my friends who drive to Baytown for a geocaching event. The weatherman predicts severe storms in the Houston area and they stay home. Meanwhile, those of us who assemble to hike in the woods or whatever, enjoy sunshine and little or no rain.

I tell them Baytown has a micro-climate due to the waterways around us. Storms come in out of the Gulf and hit Alvin and head west toward Sugar Land and abruptly turn north straight for Jersey Village. For some reason, it turns for Greenspoint and heads east passing north of us on I-10 before hitting Winnie in a boomerang movement. It has happened so many times that I don't understand why it hasn't been noted. This is how tropical storm Allison did H-Town. Some places on the west side got 36 inches of rain and here at the Orbiting Command Ship Central, we only got 9 inches.

Another issue I have with the way weather is predicted, or explained to us is RealFeel. "The RealFeel Temperature is an index that describes what the temperature really feels like. It is a unique composite of the effects of temperature, wind, humidity, sunshine intensity, cloudiness, precipitation and elevation on the human body--everything that affects how warm or cold a person feels". I reckon we are all too stupid to do the math that 95 degree heat and 90% humidity is going to really feel yucky.

When did we educated American people become too mentally slow that we need everything interpreted for us? It has reached the point that a lot of people believe we have 100% humidity all the time, which is simply not true. I would rather they gave us the real temperature and the humidity factor, or pushing the envelope, the dew point. While the way they arrive at the dew point is complicated, the scale is not.

If the dew point goes above 61, it starts to become sticky and by 66 it is going to be uncomfortable. 71-75 is our normal hot Summer mornings when the air feels oppressive, even though it is 75 degrees outside. 76+ DP is miserable. There. That's all it takes and if the weather people began pushing this scale, it would give us a better understanding than them trying tell us how we RealFeel. RealFeel is a poor attempt to explain how we will feel outside in my opinion. Anyway, the next time someone complains about the weather, just nod in agreement. How do they know how it makes you feel anyway?

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