Weather: Do You “Get” It?

September 18, 2013

in Travel Essays

  • SumoMe

(Ironically, this story was originally scheduled to run on Wednesday, September 11th, just as the Colorado Rockies were being hit by massive storms that caused flash floods along the Front Range of the mountains, inundating several towns, including Estes Park, which Tales Told From The Road publisher, Dick Jordan, is scheduled to visit later this month.)

With computers, its “WYSIWIG.”

With weather, it’s the same: What you see is what you get.

Weather Map

(born1945 Flickr Photo)

We don’t “get” weather in the San Francisco Bay Area where I live.

That isn’t to say that we don’t get weather, it’s that we just don’t “get it.”

And that’s because unlike other parts of America, “real weather” doesn’t really happen here.

For about six months, roughly from May through October, you needn’t listen to the radio or watch the TV news broadcasts to know what the weather will be like today, tomorrow, or next week. That’s because the forecast is the same, day in and day out:

“Low clouds and fog extending inland night and morning, becoming mostly sunny by midday. Highs: 60s to 70s along the coast, 70s to 80s around the bay, and 80s to 90s well inland.”

But if you are traveling east of the Rockies during that same six month period, you’d better keep a “weather eye” on the weather and the Weather Channel to keep from being blown away.

Photographer Jim Bailey “got” weather with this dramatic time-lapse video, “Nimbus, Part II: Turbulence,” filmed mainly in Arkansas, but also shot in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, states that “get” and get weather in a big, big way.

Be sure to watch Bailey’s video full-screen, and in HD, with the volume turned up. (Bailey recommends that you not watch it if you are susceptible to seizures caused by bright, flashing lights.)

Bailey says this of his much tamer “prequel,” entitled “Nimbus, Part I”:

“…there is no need for an umbrella or storm shelter, no need to run for the car, no reason not to have another glass of wine. Just lie there on the grass and enjoy watching the clouds as they scurry about their business.”

Will the final episode of the “Nimbus” trilogy feature the end of Planet Earth brought about by a catastrophic cumulonimbic event, or merely the serene and unseen reabsorption of water vapor back into the atmosphere as the the air above the land warms and skies slowly return to a cloudless state?

To find out, you’ll have to follow Jim Bailey on Vimeo.

(Here’s how you can use your iPhone or iPad to check local weather forecasts when traveling in the U.S. Try these apps when you’re in Canada.)

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