"What's Up With the Weather?"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, August 5, 2017

Does Mother Nature know what she is doing? Do any of the climate think tank people have a clue?

As I see it, a flip of a coin could be as accurate as the weather people who keep forecasting, in spite of getting it wrong much of the time. A recent one was way off.

A few days ago, a severe weather warning interrupted the evening news. It warned of high winds, heavy rain and hail with the possibility of flooding. Temperatures were expected to drop into the 60s and it was to remain that cool for several days. None of that occurred.

The local forecasters are not very well informed in the Thumb area. I sure would not want their job. Here is another example:

We were told a cool evening was to be enjoyed with mild temperatures to follow the next day. That day began with temperatures that had dropped into the 50s, rose quickly to the 70s and topped out in the 80s.

We were recently warned again of a strong front moving in with high winds and rain that would continue throughout the day. The front arrived but was here and gone quickly, and by noon, the air conditioners were humming at full speed. The next day it was to be clear with mild temperatures. Nope -- it cleared for a while, temps rose into the 80s and we enjoyed a torrential rain storm.

On many days, the shops in our small towns have been busy selling sweatshirts and the cafes are pouring coffee all day long with hot chocolate for the youngsters. Alongside those sweatshirts however, tees and tank tops with shorts are displayed because no one knows what shoppers may be looking for.

Weather is a worry for many people for a very good reason. Just about every small town in our area has a celebration on the weekends. Some extend into the weekdays and number up to 10 days. Most involve food, fish sandwiches, chickens wings and cheeseburgers. There is always a good chance of grabbing a tasty meal while enjoying an event.

Farmer's markets are becoming so popular in our area they are springing up in many towns. They seem to be impervious to weather. Folks grab their umbrellas and head out. All the luscious fruits and veggies just get an extra wash as they await the buyers.

In addition to the markets, roadside stands along the highways offer an array of goods. Fresh produce is at most, but some also have handmade crafts such as outdoor furniture, wood trains and cars, clocks and carvings of animals. One of the small shops tucked just off the road offers seasonal décor made of wood for Halloween and Christmas displays. When the apple crop arrives, I bet some of those roadside stands will offer hot apple cider, with a fried cake.

As I write my column, I heard today's forecast. Three days of spectacular -- they said that, I'm not making this up -- summer weather with a zero chance of rain. I'm going to keep an eye on that promise but be mindful I live in Michigan. Our motto is: "If you don't like the weather, wait a while and it will change."

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