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Everyone Talks About It

Everyone Talks About It

With March about to come in like a lion or not, I thought it appropriate to talk about the weather, since everyone else does.

Actually the expression is if March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb. Which has proven to have no merit at all, like most weather predicting.

Well, that’s a bit too harsh. Since it’s not the meteorologist’s fault at all.

Because, while weather experts say that short range forecasting is getting easier because of fancy computers, long range forecasting is dicey.

On a particular day in the winter of 1961, meteorologist Edward Lorenz, working on a state of the art Royal McBee computer decided to forego examining a sequence of data and restart the run from somewhere in the middle.

What he discovered was the Butterfly Effect.

“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”
—Mark Twain

Simply put, it’s the observation that an event as seemingly insignificant as the flapping of a butterfly’s wings might create a minuscule disturbance that may eventually change the large-scale atmospheric motion.

Which means that no matter the improved technology, meteorologists can only predict the weather for short periods of time and beyond that predictions are doomed and will always be.

It’s also known as the chaos theory, something I’m more expert about.

This all may be reassuring when you’re seeing dire prediction for your weekend five days away. But not reassuring when it comes to better ways of predicting dire storms.

Because the U.S. experiences more of them than any other country in the world—10,000 violent storms, 5000 storms, 1000 tornadoes happen every year.

Changing the subject, which is appropriate when discussing the weather, what do you make of this quote from George Santayana?

“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.”

Is there any truth that those that live in say, Michigan, looking forward to spring are happier than those that live it year around in California.

I don’t know.

I do know that only someone who lives in one of those non-four season states, like Carl Reiner, could say this.

“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.”

As somebody once said, “Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.”

And you’ll never be at a loss for words, (even with a stranger) starting a conversation off with, “Good weather for ducks, eh?” Or the ever popular, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” Or any well-known and loved weather clichés.

So we should have a lot to talk about. What’s it doing in your neck of the woods? Think March will come in like a you know what…?

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