Weather Eye: Whether weather is good or bad is frequently a matter of perspective

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

Published:

 
photoPatrick Timm

The old quote by John Ruskin always makes me wonder whether he got any feedback on this one: "There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather."

Much of the time the weather is rather mundane but of course our normal comes from the various extremes in weather and it is in those occasions where I am sure many would disagree with Mr. Ruskin. Weather-related disasters hardly seem to have any redeeming value, especially with loss of life and property. Good weather or bad weather?

It is human nature, however, to help others in time of need and the good feeling of pulling together. Still, there are always those who are hoping for the "just right" weather for their own personal needs. Take the roofer hoping for dry weather to complete the job or the farmer who at the same time is praying for rain. Good weather or bad weather?

And be careful what you pray or wish for. Case in point: I had two readers ask me a couple months ago which period in the summer has the least chance of rain for a planned 50th anniversary and a wedding. I offered the last week in July and the first week in August. A few days prior to the event we had an abundance of marine air and cool, cloudy conditions. Praying and hoping for a bit warmer weather, and Saturday's 103-degree heat materialized. Good weather or bad weather?

So getting back to the quote, what does it mean to you? I should reveal that this was only part of his famous quote; the rest often gets omitted. The original quote went like this, "Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather."

Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at Weather Systems.