I know the difference between partly cloudy and partly sunny. I can convert from Fahrenheit to Celsius in two seconds flat. I know my sleet from my freezing rain and ice pellets. I, my friends, am an obsessive weather freak. There, I said it. And I’m beginning to think that I may not be the only one…
When I was young, I used to come home from school, I’d make a snack, jump on the trampoline for a couple of hours, then turn on my favourite TV channel: The Weather Network (Canada’s answer to The Weather Channel for our friends in the States). I could sit there for hours at a time watching the local forecast on the tens, the national forecast on the :03 and :33 of the hour, and I would wait on pins and needles until the Weather News came on at the :15 and :45 minutes. Honestly, if the phone rang during that time, I would let the answering machine get it; I would not leave my spot in front of the TV (thankfully we have PVR and TiVO these days to remedy that problem).
Every Saturday morning it was a fight over the clicker with my brother who wanted to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Smoggies while I was clambering to watch the international forecast to see what the current conditions in Perth, Australia were. And since the International forecast came on only once an hour on the :56 minute, if you missed it, you waited another hour!
Don’t ask me to explain my obsession. It might have something to do with the fact that I wanted to become a meteorologist when I was young, but then I found out there was a lot of physics and math so that was dead in the water. I think I just wanted to be a weather personality a la Tamara Taggert; to stand in front of the cameras, look primped and describe the accumulations experienced with snow squalls off of Lake Huron while juxtaposing balmy weather in BC as a result of a strong high pressure ridge giving places like White Rock and Victoria above seasonal temperatures. You just get the forecasters to give you the ammunition you need to deliver a killer weather report.
I definitely had my favourite on-air personalities having seen many come and go over the years. That foxy temptress Anne-Marie Sweeney and her fabulous power suits, gives great gardening tips and lets us, the viewers, know what she got up to that day. Chris Scott had that hot nerd thing going on, I love it when he says “humidex” and occasionally shows clips of him biking around town in bike shorts during “Weather News”. And good old weekender Chris St Clair always trying to teach us more about the weather phenomena around us with his detailed explanations of orographic lift and the chinook wind. He’s like that know-it-all uncle that everyone has that just wants to impart knowledge because he loves to see the “Ah-ha” look in people’s eyes when they realize that they understand.
Wouldn’t it be hilarious to see them do a Survivor Weatherperson edition? I think that they are such knowledgeable, interesting people, if a bit loquacious, but wouldn’t that make it all the more intriguing! That innate weather-person panache would quickly evaporate and knives would surface as the first argument, over the exact dewpoint at dusk that day, would divide the camp. How could you not love it? Could you imagine the guy in the video below fighting to win the immunity challenge ”Forecast for Your Life!”? Anne-Marie and him would be scrapping it out! There’d be hair pulling, name calling – you name it! (Anne-Marie, as one of your biggest fans, you would most certainly win – and you’d do it in pumps)
OK, I’ve accepted the fact that I’m a full on weather geek, but I guarantee there are more of you out there. It’s funny, years ago when I told my friend Matt about my weather obsession, he told me he had the same one! In fact, coincidentally enough, we had the same favourite Weather Network personality at the time! Since then, as I’ve been a little more open about my atmospheric interests, I have been shocked as to how many hardcore weather fanatics are out there! All it takes is a conversation at the water cooler that delves into discussing more than just the sun and the rain and your eyes meet for two extra seconds. One of us then says “You watch the Weather Network too?” and it’s at that moment that you know that you are not alone.
So come ye weatherbeaten brethren, I urge all of you who experience those same feelings of raw intensity when poring over the morning forecast, who go through your young lives with this feeling that you’re different from everyone around you: open the flood gates and come out as a weather geek.
So, who’s with me?