Wednesday, December 27, 2006

How to Predict the Weather

Well, back in the fall all the weather experts were predicting that we would have an "el nino" winter. The farmer's neighbor from Longbranch came over and explained it. If you don't live around here, you probably never heard of "el nino."

El Nino is a weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean which produces drier and milder winter conditions, due to the warming of ocean currents and something else I don't understand. There are a lot of scientists who know all about it and they explain on tv all the time how it works. I used to watch tv when I was a kid, but I don't any more.

Anyway all the weather people explained to us back in September that it was going to be an El Nino winter. It was extremely scientific. They had a lot of charts, with red and blue arrows, and little swirly things indicating ocean movements.

The farmer said "uh huh," and bought some more insulation for the pipes.

The neighbor from Longbranch explained what she had heard on the radio from the National Weather Service. It was going to be a nice dry mild winter, which would be a refreshing change from last year, when we had a whole month of torrential rain. It was unbelievably soggy.

The farmer said, "uh huh," and asked the hay man if we could get some extra hay.

And then the weather started: horrendous downpours (the rainiest month ever recorded here in one of the rainiest parts of the country), flooding, the worst windstorm ever, two snows before Christmas (we hardly ever get two snows in a year), two bitter cold snaps, one of which froze the pipes, even with their insulation on, and much more.

Now the weather people have new charts showing why what they said was really right even though it was wrong, and how in the future they will always be right again, and even if they are wrong, they still know everything, so it's the same as being right, and it's still scientific and impressive, even though it does not keep the trees from falling down in the wind, or the pipes from freezing.

Well, the neighbor from Longbranch was surprised. But the farmer wasn't.

"I don't go by the newspaper." the farmer explained. "I just go by Baby Belle." And back in September I was growing a woolly woolly coat. A coat to keep the rain and snow and wind out. A parka.

And that is why goats are better than Double Doppler radar.


Marigold said...

Dear Belle,
Though my coat did not become shaggy, it is quite thick and glossy. Here, on the strait, though, we did not believe the weather people either. We believed the Wooly Bear caterpillars who were on the barn, in the barn, in the grass, in the trees...well, you get the picture. ALWAYS trust a Wooly Bear, whether it is a worm or a goat. This is my motto!

Loner said...

Our girls did the same thing - nice thinck coats - so even when it was in the 70s in December, we knew those 20 degree days were coming. Always trust your goats, seems like a good motto to me.

Anonymous said...

Here in the Shenandoah valley we have had the warmest winter on record. No snow, 70 degrees on Christmas day. Stacked fire wood unused, providing a honey locust buffet for bark beetles.
Of course the national Weather Service was right. It always is when it has a chance to explain after the storms what it really meant before the storms. Perhaps the double doppler radar was pointing in the wrong direction. Tell you Gig Harbour radar operators to turn the antennaes 180 degrees.

goatfarmer said...

Ah, good idea.