It’s been a nutty winter for weather, even by Missouri standards. The day my parents left the temperature was 20 degrees below zero, when the wind chill was taken into account – and yes, that’s Fahrenheit, if you were wondering. Exactly a week later it was 60 degrees and brilliant sunshine.
With such unpredictable and extreme swings, it should feel good to have so much technology at my disposal. I have downloaded two weather-related apps to my iPhone, which can tell me what’s going to happen by the minute, hour, or day, up to two weeks into the future. With the sweep of a grubby finger I can summon up radar, maps, pretty little pictures, or streaming video of the latest local weather forecast. My laptop is forever whirring and beeping anxiously whenever clouds gather overhead. We even have a first-alarm weather-only radio in our bedroom which will erupt in warning whenever bad stuff is on the way so we can go out and rescue the sheep, if we had any sheep. Since we live in about the only house in the state without a basement, there’s actually not much we can do if we discover a tornado is heading our way, but at least I’ll have a chance to get some worrying in before we all get swept away.
Except that it’s all rubbish, of course. You’d think, given where we are, with hundreds of miles of flat land in every direction, it would be pretty easy to see what was coming our way. Apparently not. Weather forecasts in America are as unreliable as they are in England, and I’m fed up with trying to make plans on the basis of what my arsenal of whizzy gadgetry tells me. From hereon in I’m going to be using a new brand of hyper-connected, real-time multi-dimensional information transferral technology interface to get my weather news. It’s called a window.