Bundle up your bikini …
I gotta hand it to the Weather Channel, which sponsors the weather report on my Yahoo home page. These folks have chutzpah. I noted with some excitement this morning that there’s a little asterisk next to the name of my town, indicating a “severe weather alert.”
Cooooool. It’s been in the mid-70s around here for the last several days – the lovely snows of a few weeks back are nothing but fond memories – and I was getting a little depressed. Summers are long and way hot in this part of the country. I really wasn’t looking forward to having the broiling Summer of 2007 start in March, but it was looking ugly.
But there was the asterisk. There was the little full moon icon, indicating that the WC knows it’s still dark here right now. There was a little smear across the moon, indicating, um, fog? Wispy clouds? Smog?
Still, a severe weather alert! This looked hopeful. Torrential rain? Rackety, dramatic thunderstorms? Water gushing from the downspouts? Dare I hope for … snow?
Breath held, I clicked.
OK, in a week of cheery yellow sunshine icons, there’s one day with a little rain cloud icon, a few sad raindrops dribbling from beneath it. High temp for that day will be a delightfully crisp 54 degrees Fahrenheit. The rest of the days showed forecasts of sunny mid-60s and low-to-mid-70s.
Yet there was that scary asterisk. Puzzled, I clicked on the bright red SEVERE WEATHER ALERT liner.
It told me in all capped Courier that a storm system is moving into Northern California. Yes, yes! It will be here tonight sometime. Wonderful! I should be aware that with this system, temperatures will drop to seasonal normals on Tuesday, indicating that I might want to get my cardigan, which I’d packed away in mothballs until next mid-November, out again. Whoa, that’s serious. Why, there might be an inch or two of actual snow higher up the mountain from me, but the valley and my part of the Sierra shouldn’t expect more than about a 10th of an inch of precip.
Well, that will rinse the dust off the forsythia blooms, I thought.
Still, the National Weather Service warns me that if I’m planning to head up the hill, say to Tahoe, I might want to make sure I have food, water and blankets in my car.
Now, I understand the NWS feels it ought to cover all the bases, just in case. That way, no one can say they weren’t warned. In the mountains, spring weather can be dangerously unpredictable, so there’s always a very small chance one could get caught in a blizzard on Highway 50 with only the St. Pauli Inn as a retreat. One might be forced to huddle at the espresso bar and drink a cappuccino while forking up some warm struedel, waiting for the little squall to pass. One might even have to drag oneself into the dining room for a bracing emergency lunch of Jaegerschnitzel and spaetzel with gravy, chased with a nice draft Dinkelacker Dark. Dang.
Hey Al? I do believe in global warming. I do! I do believe!