Friday, August 5, 2016
During the summer months, we typically sleep with the windows open and with fans running (we don't have air conditioning - just a whole-house fan and wonderful shade trees around the house). This morning I woke up cold - and a quick glance at the thermometer when I got out of bed revealed that the outside temperature was just 49 degrees Fahrenheit. When I left the house to head to the ranch, a cool breeze was rattling the leaves of the mulberry trees in the yard. And as I drove the 3 miles to I descended into a fog bank - unusual for early August, but entirely welcome! Between the heavy dew on the pasture grasses, the overspray of the sprinklers, and the cool wind, I was chilled by the time I finished my chores. I know we'll have more hot days before summer is over, but mornings like this give me hope!
This week, I read that 2015 set all kinds of climate records (see the Climate Central website for details). Mark Twain supposedly said, "Climate is what you expect; weather is what you get," although I can't find direct evidence that the quote is his. Regardless, I think it does illustrate the difference between climate and weather. All of the scientific evidence I've seen suggests that our climate is growing warmer, and yet the day-to-day weather doesn't feel much different (for example, it's always hot in late July). In some respects, I suppose we're like a frog in a pot of water on the stove - we won't realize it's getting hotter until we're fully cooked. Regardless, I always look forward to an August day like today - it gives me hope that cooler (and wetter) weather is on the horizon.