Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Oh, Mr. Weatherman...Wrong YET again!

Well, we didn’t really get ICE STORM 2011 here last night. I’m a little disappointed. I know areas around us got a lot more ice and the areas north of us got a fair bit of snow but our fair city got a little freezing rain that wasn’t really enough to even make the pavement that slippery.

I’m not disappointed about the ice. As I said, thick and heavy freezing rain is scary to both drive in and walk in. I’m more disappointed that we didn’t get our Weather Event.

Also, a lot of my Facebook friends who live in areas further north and west of us got either snow days or ice days from work today. I’m jealous of that and I don’t mind admitting it.
The problem with having the perk of living six minutes away from the office by car is that…I live six minutes away from the office by car. I have a have three left turns and a right and I’m at my office building. Things could be worse. It means I can run home to the pups at lunch, grab some food and get some puppy love before I go back to work.

It also means that I have no excuse to call into work unless there’s a level 3 snow emergency and you can get a ticket for being out on the road.

It’s a trade-off. It also means that when the weather is ropey, even though it’s scary for the short distance I have to drive, I only have a short distance. I’ve learned already where the areas of my ‘commute’ are the worst and so I’ve come to know where to be most cautious on my drive. Nevertheless, there are some days that would be nice if they were snow days. I blame Facebook for all the comments of my snow/icebound friends who were settling in with hot chocolate or pancakes or a movie or a book. Some of them still had to work from home but speaking from experience, some days, it’s quite nice to work from home while you’re wearing your pajamas.

Of course, I say that but I’m not actually the pajama-wearing-while-I-work type. I adore wearing my pajamas. However, my brain has this rather strict schedule about wearing pajamas. During the winter, it’s ok to take a shower or bath and put them on quite early…as long as it’s dark outside. Thus, in the winter it’s perfectly reasonable to get in from work, do some necessary things and then take a shower and be in my pajamas by 7 pm. In the summer, however, when it’s still light at 7 p.m., I cannot wear pajamas. It just feels…weird. The mornings are a little different. As much as I’d like to stay in my pajamas all day, once it gets passed 9 a.m., I feel rather odd wearing pajamas. You know in a dream where you realize you’re in the middle of a public place and you forgot to get dressed and put on your makeup? Being in my pajamas past 9:30 a.m. feels a little like that to me, even in my own living room.

So, that’s why I can’t work from home wearing my pajamas. I’m sure you don’t really care but I thought I’d share anyway.

Our little ice ‘storm’ last night wasn’t terribly newsworthy. It was enough to rim the trees with a thin casing of ice and enough to cause people who parked outside to have to chip their way into their cars but that was it. By the time we went to work, salt had been put down and the roads were travelworthy.

Also when I left for work, our forecast was for the temperatures to warm up, the freezing rain to turn to regular rain and eventually, overnight, turn to snow.

So, when I came out of work this evening and almost fell on my bottom, I was a little surprised to discover that it was raining heavily and freezing when it hits the ground. This, for those of you not used to it, is called freezing rain not regular rain. The temperatures did NOT warm up and thus, as I write this, the world outside is now encased with ice and looking a little lethal. It’s now supposed to turn to snow rather than regular rain.

What I find interesting is the forecast I heard was about seven hours before I came out of work. How is it possible to be quite so wrong about the weather, particularly when the people telling us it’s going to be warm make their living predicting the weather? I’m not the first person to say it and I won’t be the last but if most of us were as wrong in our jobs as weathermen and women, we’d get fired. They simply shrug and say “nature has a mind of its own.”This is true except, well, they have technology and gadgets and training that’s supposed to predict the weather accurately. If nature has a mind of its own, then why do we have weather reports? So, this evening, I’m now tempted to turn on the news and see if they’re back to the excited ICE STORM 2011 or they’re sheepishly reporting the weather as it happens? Given that most of us weren’t prepared for such an icy deluge, I think they have a right to be at least a little sheepish.

Still, we listen to the weather reports even though they’re frequently wrong. We care about the weather a lot because it governs so much of our life. It’s fascinating, really. People can always find something to talk about in the weather.

My dad in particular likes the weather. He has one of those fancy indoor weather gadgets that tells you absolutely everything you want to know from wind chill to barometric pressure. He likes to inform us of dramatic things such as “the temperature….is dropping.” If there’s a weather event predicted, he frequently checks his weather gadget. If it’s a winter weather event, my mother shrinks with each passing moment into a little ball in her chair because she simply despises winter. I think, if she had her way, she’d put a paper bag on her head and pretend winter wasn’t happening. Or, more likely, she’d hibernate because, honestly, who wants to put a bag on their head? I’ve tried it. It’s not comfortable. Also, it’s quite hard to get the eyeholes and nosehole to line up so you can actually see and breathe.

I digress. Again. Sorry, mum, by the way. I didn’t mean to divulge your secret desire to be a Mrs. Paper Bag head.

I think my mother should embrace winter. She should build a snowman and turn her face up to the falling snow and let it tickle her face the way I do. If she could just turn that frown upside down, she’d realize snow is lovely.

More likely, though, she’d tell me that it was cold and that there was no way she could like the stuff. Everyone’s different, I suppose. She likes summer which is my least favourite season.

Still, this time of year, the weather is unpredictable. When even the weather forecasters have to come up with alternate forecasts because they don’t know what the weather is going to actually do, you know that they can’t really predict anything. I suppose this is why they were so very wrong this morning. Last night, at least, they gave two forecasts for what could happen. Perhaps if they gave us multiple forecasts every day, just in case something changes, they’d be right more often.

But that still wouldn’t be very helpful, would it? Ah well, you live and learn. Stay safe if you’re reading this from an icy/snowy clime!

Happy Wednesday!

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