Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stormy Subtleties

Although it's true I have moved to a place with more weather (precipitation types and frequencies, temperature fluctuations, humidity), I've come to realize that the raw beauty of the weather may be less prominent in my new locale. And I do not meant that there is a lack of scenic days (72 and sunny is well matched by 22 with fresh snow, in my mind), but rather that the humbling nature of a powerful storm system may be lost due to the geography of the area.



I miss the well defined comma of a Pacific storm system. First of all, the predictable shape and movement allows for even laymen meteorologists to accurately predict the timing and impact of a storm. But the things I have most come to miss are the perfectly regular bands of increasingly ominous clouds that ceaselessly roll inland ahead of a coming storm. First a wide band of thin high clouds drifts in accompanied by a soft breeze. Then more prominent cloud bands roll in, darkening the sky as the wind begins to gust. Finally, the rain can be seen hanging in curtains beneath poorly defined clouds, the storm being upon you when you can no longer tell the boundary between cloud, rain and air.