These days, watching television and seeing even the finest meteorologist give a forecast that is everything other than summer would be a lot funnier if it didn’t mean that climate change is hitting this area — New England — harder than it is hitting other places in the world.
Nobody ever said it would hit every place equally at the same time, although somehow that’s how I imagined it.
This idea came to me as I commented to Garry that my sinuses were throbbing, my lower back felt a little better than it had earlier, but both hips were pulsing in pain. also, I have a massive headache and both eyes feel like someone poured sand into them. Translated into meteorologist-ese, it means:
Humidity is rising, barometric pressure is dropping, probably fast. Temperature is falling quicker than my head can handle and the air, for the moment, is very dry (eyes), probably because I ticked up the heat by a couple of degrees.
I suddenly foresaw a new kind of weather report. Traditional and “old person” weather.
First, the modern, up-to-date scientific meteorologist gives his report. Maps, stats, wind directions, where it’s coming from, going to. When we’ll get sleet, freezing rain, blinding snow, less blinding snow, total amounts from Connecticut through Maine. How much of whatever falls will fall on us?
How long will it last?
By the time he’s done, he has forecast every possible form of winter weather and all anyone knows it that is will be cold, wet, and ugly. I better make a new doctor’s appointment in the morning. No matter how good a driver Garry is, he isn’t the only one on the road. There are an awful lot of people who don’t “get” that simply slowing down would prevent a lot of weather-related accidents. Four-wheel-drive doesn’t help on ice or sleet.
The weather report’s not over yet. Winter weather reports take up at least half our news broadcast, just as — when one of our teams is winning — sports takes up at least half the report. Especially baseball and football.
Part two of the report has no stats, numbers, or maps. There’s an old person, male or female — both? — in comfy chairs, rambling on a bit. Local color. “Remember that 24 inches we got on April 1st in the 1990s? That was some storm … and it all melted in three days. Lots of flooding,” she says.
“My right shoulder is bad,” he says. “Suppose that means cold with snow.”
“My spine hurts bottom to top. Rain first. Likely sleet, then snow. The boiler is in overdrive, so temps are dropping. Bad day tomorrow. Coming from the west. so it’s packing a lot of water. Unless we get lucky, we’ll have a nor’easter along the coast. Good thing we don’t live on the coast anymore, eh?”
“We’ll get twice as much snow as they get along the coast, but at least we won’t flood.” says the old guy.
“Not yet,” she points out. “When it melts, it’ll be dicey.”
“Figure six inches at least, depending on how much sleet and freezing rain we get before the snow. With the falling temps? Gonna be black ice under the snow. Time to cancel that appointment with the doctor.”
Everybody over fifty will relate. Anyone who plays sports will get it. What’s more, we will be accurate — at least locally. Can’t do national forecasts, but we can tell you how it’s gonna be right here in the lower Massachusetts section of the Blackstone Valley.
A heating pad really helps.