Weather

Or why I like storms.

I think I have a rather different perception of weather than everyone else.  Most people I know, especially my mom, prefer the temperature outside to be around 72ยบ with a cloudless sky and little wind.  If you’re wondering why I’m from Southern California, it’s because of the presence of good weather coupled with the fact that my mom usually gets what she wants.

When people see a diversion from this weather scenario (or essentially what the indoors are like with A/C, heat, and lights) they may complain about it or let it dampen their mood.  I’m not really sure why, seeing as quite a few of those people live in environments where they can simply walk inside to obtain the ideal weather experience.

I am the complete opposite.  When I discover “poor” weather, such as snow, heat waves, thunderstorms, rain, and hail, I get excited.  I can’t wait to go outside and experience the different sounds, smells, temperatures, and sights associated with these changes.

I attribute this greatly to my sheltering from weather experiences.  Since the year 1999 I have lived in a small suburban town with weather so mild you could comfortably live outside year round.  We have two seasons: spring and fall.  Our deciduous trees are also evergreens.  It rains less than ten days out of the year.  Extreme temperatures and high winds are nonexistent.

Sounds like the place to live, right?  I disagree.  Despite the fact that all of this weather is nice, it is also incredibly boring.

So boring, that when I hear thunder, I get excited.  When it rains, I make excuses to go outside and walk around.  If it hailed or snowed, I’d take a video of it happening.

I thought some of this would go away once I moved to Provo.  Apparently not.  This past year we’ve had what I’m sure is the mildest winter Utah has experienced in a while. It probably snowed on a little more than fifteen different days.  Most of this snow either didn’t stick or melted within a few hours.  It was rather cold, but not as bad as I expected.  Initially I had prepared to come home missing California weather, but in fact I’m disappointed.  I wish we had more snow, more storms, and colder temperatures.  Then I could actually use my snow pants and marshmallow jacket or build a snowman that wouldn’t have melted the next time you walked by.  I only remember once where having a warm winter made me happier – someone had pranked us by piling enough wet snow just outside the door to our fire escape (which we use for access on a daily basis) so that after it froze during the night, we weren’t able to open the door.  This was a problem at eight in the morning, but by the afternoon it had all melted.

Perhaps my feelings would change after I actually experience my desire, but right now I would like to live somewhere with lots of precipitation.  I think Florida might be interesting.  I actually stayed overnight in Fort Lauderdale a few months ago and remember a particular event that I enjoyed.  Because we stayed at a hotel near a bunch of docks, I went outside in the afternoon to look at the boats.  After walking around a while, I heard a strange noise in the distance and looked up to see what it was.  I couldn’t discern anything at first, but eventually realized that the noise and haze getting closer and closer to me was a giant sheet of rain.  And then I got soaked.  I ran inside where it was dry (it seemed very far away with all the rain), all the while marveling at what had just happened.  I had never experienced anything like it.

I also remember staying awake at night as a kid just to listen to thunderstorms.  If possible, I would watch for lightning.  I was sure to do so especially on trips and vacations my family took, because the places we visited often had harsher weather than my perfect hometown.

Storms fascinate me.  They make me feel vulnerable and excited, whether it be the lightning tearing the sky apart, the thunder rippling through the air, the cold wind threatening to sweep me away, or the scents of damp vegetation.  There are few things I like more than sitting outside and living through a particularly rough display of nature’s fury.  To the extent that I actually know what that’s like.

Sure this could change if I actually lived in a place where I was actually inconvenienced by weather.  So far the “worst” weather I’ve experienced was on a trip to Lake Tahoe in November, where we had more than three feet of snow.  We had to put chains on our tires and sometimes the car wouldn’t start.  But other than that, it was awesome!  We built snow forts and snowmen, had snowball fights, went sledding, and my cousin even practiced doing backflips using the snow as padding.  I only lived in this weather for a matter of days, however, and it is possible that I would tire of it after living in it for months.  But right now, I long for more.

Only the future can tell how my tastes will change.

–Brandon

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