Weather Forecasting

You can’t help but pay attention to the weather in the last week. I have friends sailing Vineyard waters. They are visiting different islands which include Block Island and Cuttyhunk and our neighborly Nantucket. And my fishing friends are out working their favorite rips. The first words out of their mouth when I hear from them on a strong cell phone connection is a comment about the weather… the diversity of it and its unpredictability.

In the last few weeks we’ve had plenty of good weather, but even more we’ve had a barrel full of weather. From a loud crashing thunderstorm that put my neighbor’s pet dog under the boxspring mattress, to hot summer days with the thermometer reaching but not caressing the 90s. Add to it fog you can nail a shingle to.

If you want to know weather, ask a sailor and if he or she isn’t around, ask a fisherman.
Mariners are far more intimate with the immediacy of weather than a farmer.
My farmer friends are also pretty tuned into the actions of the day, but in the end of the conversation it is all about precipitation and sunshine. My sailor and fishermen friends put their lives in between fast and slow and changing breezes.
Sailors furl their sails at the end of the day in a new harbor. They may not know the details of the harbor, but they sure are aware of both what is happening overhead and the actions of their barometer below in the cabin.

When it comes to the weather of these past two weeks, my sailing and fishing friends’ level of trust for meteorologists is almost as low as their trust for political pundits. Meteorologists and political pundits have something in common. They both get paid whether they are right or wrong.
Farmers depend on the weather for the harvest.
Mariners put their lives at risk on a forecast.

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