Someone recently asked me how I choose my column topics. Well, there is usually something to say about the weather even when there isn’t much going on.
Most of the time, I sit down at my computer about an hour or two before my 6 p.m. deadline and have no idea what to write about. However, there are days when I keep pretty aware of the happenings outside, usually signs of nature and activities of local residents. Almost everything is influenced by the weather, and even if things are rather calm, as they have been for some time, there is plenty of activity taking place.
I heard my first cricket of the year Wednesday. It was competing with a frog in the woods behind my home. It was hard to tell which one was a bit off key; they actually didn’t harmonize too well. But, hey, they had spirit. Many of nature’s creatures, big and small, react to changes in weather and can certainly sense the changing of the seasons.
One of the first things I do is to review the myriad computer models, forecaster discussions and other data. I usually come away with some gut feeling of what we can expect, then add my intuitive feelings. I also review the day’s high and low temperatures from around the region and any tidbits of weather news.
Rather than bore everyone with statistics and records, I usually add a bit of wit, prose and observations from my bench down along the Columbia River. Come sit down a spell with me sometime, and we can gaze at the skies, soak up the sun and chat about possible things to come. Usually, the river is flowing westward, and the clouds are drifting eastward. All in all, in perfect sync with the way of things.
I’m thinking we could have a chance at our first 90-degree day Sunday. It makes me feel like a coach calling a pinch-hitter out of the dugout to help give us a number on the scoreboard.
Meanwhile, I am just content to sit here on the porch with iced tea in hand and my feet propped up, watching the remaining days of August drift by, bringing little more than what we can expect.
Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at http://weathersystems.com.