Friday, June 10, 2011

The Weather Backs All Sides

Awakened this morning by the sound of my teeth rattling from the cold, I vaguely remembered the same moment two days ago when I thought that an evil angel had transported me during the night to the hottest point on the equator. Outdoor temperatures this morning were 59 degrees, the wind brisk. The night before, at six p.m., it had been 91 degrees.

Something of PBS’s Newshour was in that thought. Last night I’d watched a segment titled Arizona Wildfire Spreads as Record-Breaking Heat Wave Grips Eastern U.S. As part of that segment Ray Suarez interviewed one Evan Myers from AccuWeather. Mr. Meyers had a rather interesting map in the background behind him. Here is a picture of both, the map and Mr. Meyers:

The map had triggered a number of insights. One was the realization that our Weather, and I capitalize that word with full respect, is determined to take no sides in the years-long debate about Global Warming. It is determined to make you go to sleep one night thinking that Global Warming is absolutely here, only to make you wake up the following night certain that the New Ice Age is obviously on the doorstep.

And this happens in all seasons. Wherever you are in the United States, and presumably elsewhere in the world as well, be sure that the Weather will oblige your favored view of climate change. Not every day, to be sure, but often enough—so that Global Warmers and New Ice Agers will both be able to point at thermometers by way of seeking infallible evidence.

The map behind Mr. Meyers, however, does give me a certain amount of hope. The color for my region is green, the word is WET, and neither heat nor warmth nor dryness nor cool appear within the green. We’ll get through this summer yet, we in the upper middle with that southern tail. Not, to be sure, the rest of youse.

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