the weather forecast

Sunny skies, no rain in sight for the foreseeable future.  Not a bad forecast if it isn’t frigid or baking hot.  Unless we live where on-going forecasts add no value, we’ve come to rely on them, good or bad.  They keep us safe(r), spare us inconvenience or discomfort, and help us spend blocks of time a little wiser.

Prior to landing in Shanghai the other day, the pilot announced our arrival to sunny skies, temperature close to 70 degrees F, with winds out of the northwest at 10 miles per hour.  Not a bad forecast indeed.

Forecasting big weather, or storms, is the main reason forecasting matters.  With a combination of computer algorithms, radar observation, and knowledge of trends and patterns, we can make fairly accurate, near-term predictions.  We get it wrong once in a while, but if we didn’t they wouldn’t be forecasts.  Tornadoes though, still keep us guessing.

In some places forecasts are irrelevant, where the weather rarely changes, or when it does, it doesn’t matter much.  In the Amazon region, it can be sunny, then pouring rain, then sunny again, all within minutes or even at the same time.  No forecast needed.  In desert areas, except for the occasional sandstorm alert, a daily forecast is superfluous.

Someone once told me “there is never bad weather, only inadequate weather preparation.”  There may be logic to that statement (if we don’t get run over by a tornado), but a good forecast helps.

As we mosey through our day-to-day, we use our internal radar, instinctual algorithms and observation to forecast emotional weather.  With experience, we can see patterns forming.  We can even dictate and manage the weather as our internal forecasting works continuously on a subconscious level.  Without being fully aware, we calculate wind strength and try to avoid storms (even causing them at times).  We seek to minimize inconvenience and endeavor to stay safe.  Still, a forecast is a forecast and we occasionally get them wrong.  While most weather is relatively predictable, an errant storm can appear out of nowhere.

A good forecast may look like sunny skies and no rain, but weather may be all in the preparation.  Not many of us has the gift to crystal-ball the weather.  It takes practice and fine-tuning, otherwise, we are caught in the driving rain without an umbrella more than necessary.  Whether it rains lightly or pours, the sky is blue or we face strong headwinds, the right internal program tweaks help us better weather the weather.  It’s not always possible to avoid a pop-up storm, but two cups of preparation with a dash of awareness yields less blame on the weatherman.  If we are lucky, we may even get to a place where no forecast is required.

For now, prepare for sunny skies, seasonable temperatures, and winds out of the northwest at 10 miles per hour.

P.S. Because of a un-read forecast, being in China last week prevented access to this blog site for its weekly post upload.

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