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.