“Weather forecast for tonight: dark.” ~George Carlin
Based on that statement, the weather prediction was right. We’re quick to blame the weather forecasters if the prediction is wrong, aren’t we? Like they had any control over it. It’s a bit like shooting the messenger. It’s a forecast, not an exact statement. And in the south, when it comes to ice and snow, predicting is a somewhat thankless task because we, as a group act like the next ice age is descending upon us. Bless the poor bread and milk delivery people. I’ve seen them not even make it to the racks in the grocery stores. Why does everyone gravitate to those two foods in bad weather?
Of course, we’re finally enjoying spring weather. What comes with that? Wind and a lot of it. When it’s combined with rain, well that’s just perfect. I hate it when umbrellas turn inside out or the rain is blowing sideways. Umbrellas are pointless in those situations. Just accept the fact that either you left the umbrella at home or in the office and you’re going to look like a drippy mess for your next appointment. I recently experienced that dilemma and my hope was to just get in the building for the meeting; if there was monsoon leaving, I was headed home anyway so it didn’t matter.
Thankfully, with all the technology available today, weather forecasts are for the most part pretty much on par. So, let’s explore some fun facts about the weather and give the forecasters a break, shall we?
Extreme Temperatures in the United States
- The hottest temperature was in Death Valley, California recorded at 134°
- The coldest recorded temperature was in Prospect Creek, Alaska at -80°
Wettest Place in the United States
- It’s not Forks, Washington for us Twilight Forks’ annual average is 78 inches.
- The city of Hilo, Hawaii has the highest with an average of 128 inches of rain.
- The largest hailstone found was in Nebraska; it was the size of a soccer ball.
- Speaking of hail, the damage from hail averages around $1 billion per year for crops and property. That’s a lot of roof repairs and a huge impact on our dinner tables.
- The largest wind gust recorded by the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire was 231 miles per hour.
- A light wind is referred to as a zephyr. Poets are fond of that term for gentle breezes.
- Trees are sometimes used as wind blockers to minimize property damage.
- Lightning travels at the rate of 60,000 miles per hour with temperatures reaching 50,000°
- Florida has the most fatalities due to lightning strikes.
- Before a storm is the most likely time to be struck by lightning.
- Contrary to old wives’ tales, lightning often strikes the same place twice. It’s quite fond of tall buildings.
- Texas has the highest number of tornados in the United States.
- Tornados are the most violent of storms. I remember as a child seeing a church steeple, completely intact down to the cross, sitting in the lot beside the church after a tornado had ripped through the county. The tornado seemed to just lift that section off and put it down nearby. Families who experienced the devastation reported people finding personal items up to three miles away from their home.
- The worst recorded in US history was in 1900 when 8,000 people lost their lives in Galveston, Texas.
- The term hurricane is used for storms that develop in the Atlantic Ocean; if in the Pacific Ocean, they’re known as typhoons.
After sharing all that information, living in this area is just fine for me. I do love the changes in seasons and weather (no matter how much I may complain when the weather messes with my plans).
Let’s enjoy the spring and look forward to a summer of warm, sunny days. That’s life in the South, y’all!
“Some people feel the rain — others just get wet.” ~Roger Miller