Matter, Energy, and Life of Michael A. Castello.

Impudent Weather


Weather is the height of inoffensive topics, typically reserved for such situations as breaking ice, vainly attempting to prevent a relative from espousing their religiopolitical views in polite company, and  interactions that have reached a level of tedium where discussing the class of precipitation seems interesting. One could be forgiven for assuming that, if I am writing about atmospheric conditions in Dayton, Ohio, I must truly be scraping the bottom of the inspirational barrel. I have, however, spent the past week experiencing nearly  every form of wetness that is capable of falling from the sky, a rather foreign phenomenon for me after eight years in drought-ridden California.

Unlike my lovely spouse, I invariably overlook the forecast when checking the weather; consequently I was surprised when I awoke to about 4 cm of snow blanketing my car. Thankfully I had anticipated this by packing a scarf and gloves in addition to my winter coat, although my preparations unfortunately did not include an ice scraper. I bundled up, naïvely assuming that snow was going to be the precipitation du jour. By midday, however, it had changed over to a warm rain, and by the time I left work it was pleasantly clear.

Upon next waking it was raining heavily, the downpour leading to flood warnings via that system where everyone’s phone simultaneously produces a loud alert tone. By the time I went to sleep that night, the cloudburst had transformed into a thunderstorm, lightning periodically illuminating the room. On the following day, the rain had abated but the winds seemed to be picking up, and in fact that afternoon we were treated to another round of alerts, this time for tornadoes. A “Code Gray” was called in the hospital for inclement weather, which, in addition to securing the windows in patient rooms, apparently includes a protocol where someone announces said Code Gray over the hospital PA system approximately every two minutes until the all-clear is received.

We weren’t finished yet, though: the next several days casually alternated between snow flurries and rain, culminating in a ¿por qué no los dos?  sleet-storm that left me sitting in my car waiting for windshield ice to melt because I still don’t have a scraper. Perhaps by way of apology, this Friday was the most beautiful day since I’ve been here, a balmy 27 ºC that saw me visiting Riverscape MetroPark in Downtown Dayton. It’s been raining ever since.


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