Friday, June 09, 2006

Why is the weather always wrong? Or, my realization of being duped.

Most days, I check the weather forecast online. Well, let me rephrase: I check it on most of the days that I actually plan on leaving the house. I do this because I walk almost everywhere, and it's good to know if an umbrella is in order, or what kind of outerwear will be needed/appropriate. Weather services thus potentially perform an important function in my life. I mean, how annoying is it to leave the house and realize that you're way overdressed for the temperature, or to be late leaving the house and wonder whether you should run back in and get your unbrella? All these and other little annoyances are potentially avoided by checking the weather forecast. What a great invention. Looking out of or opening the window can only tell you so much. And, so, I hail: Weather forecasters -- I salute you! Weather websites -- I thank you!

Now that that's over with, let the whining commence. I am very disturbed by the huge number of times that the weather forecast is wrong. Okay, so the websites usually get the temperatures right-ish. But when it comes to rain, they are just so wrong so much of the time. Is there something about living downtown in a big city that messes with weather predictions? Does it just rain a lot more out at the airport (or wherever they base their predictions on) than it does in the urban core? Are suburban lawns getting quenched that much more than the ones around here? Because, seriously, whenever the weather people tell me it's gonna rain, there's a really good chance that it won't. I can't get over this. It's just so bizarre. How can forecasters predict so closely the specific temperature I will experience on any given day, but fail so miserably when it comes to letting all us walkers know if we need fear a downpour?! How many days have I used my big purse-bag thing because my umbrella fits nicely in it, when I could have walked out with a much cuter---and thus less practical---bag instead? How many days have I worn unsophisticated closed-toe shoes instead of a pair of newer sandals because I feared ruining the latter by exposing them to muddy sidewalks? How many days have I lugged around my trench coat and never once felt the need to put it on? Oh, too many.

But I think what really gets me is that on almost all of these supposedly rainy days, I seem to have been the only person around who was persuaded by the forecasters! No one else paid them any heed! My fellow Torontonians apparently saw right through what I now recognize as the forecasters' nefarious attempts to mess with their wardrobe/accessory choices. Almost to a (wo)man, they eschewed umbrellas, embraced tiny bags and cute summer shoes, and resisted the indirect call for them to drape bulky rain coats over their tanned arms. And there I was, the physical embodiment of the Boy Scouts' creed ("Be Prepared"), all uncute and encumbered, the silent target of untold numbers of forecaster practical-jokers. O, to be had in this way! To have fallen prey to their cruel jokes, and only now---in my second summer in this city---to have realized the error of my ways! The shame of it all. And to think two paragraphs earlier I was singing forecasters' praises. Again, I say: The shame of it all.

1 comment:

Dave from C'town said...

Everyone complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it!