I understand that we talk about the weather when we want nothing controversial to discuss or when we’re being friendly with strangers in grocery stores. As Mark Twain said, “Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.” However, I enjoy the topic, and I enjoy weather — when it’s inclement. As I peruse an odd article or two on Medium, I also see that there aren’t that many other weather writers. I understand there is a reason for that, and I told myself that I am not going to write about the weather — unless the weather does something worth writing about. And it did.
We, here in Denver, Colorado, USA, have been having an unreasonably hot and unreasonably dry summer (although it’s frequently hot and dry in August, when everything becomes dusty and brown), but this summer has been terrible. Fires have raged in the mountains (we’re not California, but it’s been lousy in its own right). The temperature for the past four days hovered in the upper 90s (that’s upper 30s for all you Celsius users), tying several records for our normally temperate State — even the most ardent heat lovers have admitted that it is simply too hot.
And then, overnight, Canadian cold front has reached us. Canada, in all its weather glory, it’s slate-gray skies and slate-gray rain and now snow, has settled with a deep sigh of satisfaction.
I might be projecting a little bit, on that last sentence. It is, indeed, I who has settled, it is I who has sighed with satisfaction and relief. And the firefighters, let’s not forget them.
How to explain my euphoria about the weather? Imagine a plate in front of you. On this plate is your favorite dish — it could be mouthwateringly savory, or it could be a decadent dessert. You have a fork in your hand, and you’re about to tuck into it — but that feeling, right before you bite down, that feeling of anticipation — that is what inclement weather feels to me.
So, we had a 70 degree drop in temperature, with a high of 98 one day and a low of 28 within one day. And it snowed! When there are forest fires, we usually pray for rain, but snow does just as well.
Usually, barometric pressure swings like this would mean a migraine for me. However, last night when I went to the bathroom, I felt the pressure change, and took some medicine. It worked, and I woke up late and without pain, to the rain drumming steadily on the roof. That is a rare and wonderous treat — morning rain.
Denver has weird weather. It unusual to have summer snow, but not unheard of, especially in higher elevation. As recently as last week (the last week of August) we got measurable snow in the mountains. I remember that when we visited my sister-in-law in Salem, Oregon, about 7 years ago, we encountered a heat wave there, while missing snow in Denver. I was a bit bummed out about it, but I placated my disappointment when we went from Salem to the coast of the Pacific Ocean and the temperature dropped by 30–40 degrees. It was marvelous to need a jacket in the cold, stiff breeze.
I have a belief that people will get sick from this 70 degree temperature drop. Our bodies do not handle such changes well. Maybe it’s my looming migraine speaking, but it’s difficult to handle such a drastic change in barometric pressure. That’s how the dinosaurs died out, right? (My attorney had warned me to write a disclaimer: That’s a complete lie, that’s not at all how the dinosaurs died out.)
I set out to write a little blog about our freaky weather, and I think I’ve accomplished it. In conclusion, to paraphrase exactly the immortal words of Mark Twain, if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute, and it will change.