The thermometer says it isn’t any colder out now than it was when I left the house at eight-thirty. My butt, on the other hand, says it is. I want to believe the thermometer, but I have to live in the same set of clothes with my butt, so I believe it’s colder.
Actually, I believe it’s the same temperature but I know it feels colder now that the wind has picked up from being nearly dead calm when I left the house, to blowing briskly and mercilessly now. Also, I had to walk home through a headwind, and that’s always good for making the weather feel a lot cooler.
Speaking of a lot cooler, I had to peel out of my coat during yesterday’s walk; it was warm enough to walk the streets in my shirtsleeves, and a lot of other people were doing it, too. The day before that, it was colder than it is today. Winter in Wisconsin; if you don’t like the weather, wait a couple hours.
I have to say, Spring is not going well this year. The rain that started yesterday kept on pissing down all night and this morning, but we’re pretty lucky to get nothing worse than that. Not much farther north, they’re talking about having to shovel several inches of snow, drifting, and other unpleasantness. I’m pretty sure if I’d looked out the window and seen snow this morning, I’d have just gone back to bed.
[Added: Spoke too soon about “nothing worse than that.” Light snow flurries began to fall after the lunch hour and continued through the afternoon, but without accumulation, thank goodness.]
I had to wear gloves today for the first time since the snow melted. And I’ve been wearing my winter coat all week. *sigh* Guess I’ll just go looking for my scarf already.
Before we left town to visit New York, the weather here was fine, all the trees were green, even the lawns were starting to look normal again after the summer heat wave that tried to kill them off.
New York was hot and muggy. We had a little rain, but temps were always in the 70s and 80s. We walked the streets in our shirtsleeves. We sat in parks under full, verdant trees surrounded by thick bushes and brightly-colored flowers.
Then we came back here to find that, in the short week we were gone, practically all the leaves on the trees turned and fell, all the lawns went brown and spotty (again) and, even before that, the first thing to hit us was temps cold enough to make us put on our jackets and make us zip them up to our necks. It’s like we missed fall.
The air conditioner was running when I got out of bed this morning. That’s how hot it’s been here the last couple of days, and it’s supposed to go on being this hot all week long.
Actually, the airco kept coming on all night long. I know this won’t sound weird at all to people who live with their air conditioners running all the time, but it’s pretty weird for us to have the air conditioning on more than a couple of weeks total in the hottest months of the summer, and running it at night is something we’ve only recently started doing. Not running it means we spend the whole night trying to unstick ourselves from the sheets that we’ve drenched in our own sweat. Very little actual sleeping gets done on nights like that, and we’re people who like to sleep, ergo ipso facto abracadabra we’ve been running the a/c.
I rode my bike to work yesterday morning, so naturally it follows that I rode it home after work later in the day. After spending the whole day in an air-conditioned building and changing into shorts and a t-shirt before leaving, I didn’t think it was all that bad at first, but after riding five blocks in the hundred-degree heat I changed my mind. It wasn’t that bad. It was worse. I rode all the way home with my mouth tightly closed, afraid that if I opened it to huff and puff my way up the bigger hills, my tongue would shrivel up and I’d choke on the remains of my tonsils and uvula after they were fried to a crisp. My lips were so chapped by the time I got home that when I took a big drink of ice water, none of it went down my throat. I absorbed it all through my skin. It was HOT.
Biking home from work in the hundred-degree heat yesterday afternoon, I couldn’t help noticing that the bike path was nearly deserted. There’s a trail that runs behind the office building where I work, and it t-bones the Capital City bike trail, which runs parallel to Willy Street and Atwood Avenue. It’s usually chockablock with bicycle riders in the hour immediately after quitting time, but yesterday I saw maybe a dozen cyclists as I tried to pedal home without breathing. That’s really hard to do, by the way. Not as hard as trying to breathe air hot enough to scald my throat, but almost.
I was puzzled at first by the lack of traffic. I checked the time when I stopped for the light at Willy Street, thinking it was just possible I’d left work too early. I got a pit in my stomach thinking I might have to turn around and go back to the office, but no, it was after four-thirty. I’d left at the same time I always do.
Riding up Atwood Avenue I saw one, maybe two bikers. That was when it got really weird. Bikers in Madison ride when the temps are below freezing. Surely, I thought, the hot weather wasn’t making them return to their cars? But, after riding as far as the Goodman Community Center and seeing maybe two or three more bicyclists, I had to stop calling myself Shirley and face the fact that Madison’s cyclists had met a heat wave that turned them into weather wusses. I was just about the only person out there yesterday.
I made it home in three breaths, by the way.
Hot hot hot hot hot here today. Very hot. Which isn’t usually much of a problem as I work in an air-conditioned building all day long, but I went for a walk on my lunch break to stretch my legs and get some air and Wow! Was that a bad idea. No, really, it was a good idea; I needed to get out of there. But I was sweating like a goat by the time I got back. If goats sweat. Do they? They sure smell like they do.
But then I was back inside and didn’t give it another thought until the day was done and I stood waiting outside for My Darling B to come get me. It was very windy but that didn’t do much to cool it off, or so it seemed. Who knows how much hotter it would have felt if the wind hadn’t been blowing the way it was? So I should have felt grateful, but I just felt hot. Luckily, B picked me up in good time and the air conditioning in the car was on full-blast.
At home again, we cranked up the a/c because the house was like the inside of an overheated gymnasium. And again we lucked out, because our air conditioning works pretty well and the temps came down pretty quickly. We were able to enjoy our breakfast sandwich dinner in cool comfort, and we enjoyed the after-dinner saketinis even more. And that’s all I’ve got to say about today’s weather.
According to the web site of the National Weather Service, the probability of rain this morning is a mere twenty percent. Having just come back from my morning walk a bit more damp than I was when I left the house, I can assure you that the odds are a tad greater. Satellites, focused on the cloud cover, are whirling through space; Doppler radar is measuring changes in wind velocity; trained meteorologists are analyzing the data; and all this to produce a forecast that isn’t as accurate as stepping outside to take a walk down the road.
B’s gripe with the NWS is when they set the probability of rain at one-hundred percent. The first time she saw that she nearly blew a gasket. “One-hundred percent? So there is no chance that it’s not going to rain today? They’re guaranteeing rain?” And she hasn’t become any less empathic about it over time. We’re a little excitable when it comes to the weather as predicted by the National Weather Service.
It wasn’t supposed to rain today, so I figured I could do about two or three hours of work in the yard and, if I got through at least one of my tasks, I could take the rest of the afternoon off on the excuse that I got enough done for one weekend and I still hadn’t had a proper nap, dammit.
So I started cleaning up some more of the mess I made cutting down some trees (Will I ever finish? Doesn’t seem likely at this point.) and spent about an hour or so before lunch putting it through the chipper, then another half-hour, maybe forty-five minutes after lunch doing the same, before we were able to prove once and for all that the dorks at the National Weather Service make their forecasts by flipping a coin.
I didn’t hear the thunder approaching because I had plugs stuffed deep into my ears to save my delicate cochlear nerve endings from the howling of the wood chipper. However, I did get a tad bit wet now and again, and it was definitely not coming from My Darling B’s garden sprinkler, so when the sky was looking its darkest and I finished off the batch of branches I’d brought from the front yard, I switched off the chipper and pulled my earplugs … and that’s when I heard rolling thunder.
B was already gathering up her gardening tools. She finished up quickly enough to help me wind up the extension cord and put away the rest of the wood-chipping gear, and we got into the house and buttoned up just before the rain came pouring down. B checked the NWS’s web side and it still said 20% chance of isolated T-storms. I guess we’re very isolated here.