I thought my interest in the weather was unique, but apparently it isn't. Even people on social media are interested in hearing about what the weather is like where other people are at. It's interesting, too, to see the northern lights from friends in Alaska, or to see sunny desert scenes from Arizona and New Mexico in February or March, when the weather here is struggling to make the winter/spring transition (it was even more interesting to see it for myself when I had a conference in Arizona in early March a couple of years ago). I had an interesting conversation with a group of people in January about the biggest coats we owned, and how we determined when it was time to get them out (they were amused because it was 40 degrees in northern Virginia, and I was bundled up in my warmest clothes while they though it wasn't that bad - obviously, I was the only southerner present). And let's not forget the culture shock of the perpetual 55-60 degree days in San Francisco, regardless of the season. I went from 90 degrees here to 55 degrees there a week after Labor Day. That was the worst nosebleed I ever had (bad transition if you have sensitive sinuses!). I've been advised to go there in January - March if I ever return, because it's actually warmer than most of the country that time of year.
Weather is interesting, because it reminds us of the variation in the world. Today, for example, is unseasonably cool here. It's raining and 80 degrees, which feels more like late September or October than the end of August. Our normal here for this time of year is highs in the 90's and lows in the 70's. And yes, we are keeping an eye on the tropics. You do that when you live in a coastal state. We've been watching the Atlantic with great interest the past couple of weeks. Maybe that's why I had a dream about being stuck at Charlotte-Douglas Airport in a tropical storm last night. I've never actually been in an airport during a storm. I've seen plenty of tropical storms (I survived Hurricane Hugo in 1989!), and I've been in that airport plenty. Maybe it's because somebody made the comment to me last week about planning to travel soon, and hoping a tropical storm didn't ruin or postpone the trip. Who knows where the mind pulls the fragments of images that make our dreams? But then again, I've been thinking all day that it would make a great setting for a story.
I remember my high school psychology teacher telling us that the weather is a popular topic of conversation and interest because it's the only non-controversial topic we have to discuss. The only thing you can disagree on is whether you like it or hate it, but in the end, it is what it is, and people don't have strong feelings about it. I disagree. I think weather is a popular topic because it shows the variation in the world. So much of how we live is based on it, and it really is a foundation of who we are and how we live.
That's all today. Take care, and have a great week.