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Weather or not...
By David Hall
Mar 29, 2021
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A subject most everybody talks about yet they can't do anything about is that of weather. In Texas, we all hear, "If you don't like the weather in Texas, just wait because it will change." I enjoy many of the changes, except for the very severe ones like that very frigid weather we had in mid February. For that reason I just don't want to live up north and especially in Alaska. Hawaii is beautiful but with very few weather changes so perhaps living there could get pretty monotonous. I looked up a seven-day weather forecast recently for Honolulu and the high temperature was going to be either 79 or 80 for all seven days and the low was only going to vary around three degrees for that same week.

I remember being interested in weather in grade school. My dad knew Warren Culbertson, who at the time was one of the top meteorologists in Dallas. Dad took me to the WFAA television studios to meet Warren and see him giving one of his forecasts on television. Warren was really nice and gave me a tour of the studio plus a book titled "Pilot's Weather Handbook," I still have that book today. Warren passed away on September 21, 2008. I know hindsight is always 20/20, but I wish I would've contacted Warren as I got older to tell him again how much I enjoyed meeting him and also how I appreciated him giving me that book.

I think in those days Warren was probably the number two weatherman in the DFW area. No one has, or probably ever will, surpass WBAP's (now KXAS) Harold Taft. Throughout the United States, Harold was known as "America's Greatest Weatherman." For many years Willard Scott was the weatherman on NBC's long-running Today Show and Willard also gave birthday announcements for many years on the show. l remember either on one of Harold's birthdays or right after Harold passed away Willard referring to him as "America's Greatest Weatherman." Harold was at WBAP for 41 years and 9 months before he passed away on August 31, 1991.

When I can, I try to think of an appropriate title for the column I am writing. It's kind of crazy but I've often heard people ask if we're going to have weather today. We have weather every day, it may not be just what they might want but we always have weather. Along the same lines people sometime comment that the sun is not out; well, we may not be able to see it but it's definitely out. 

That reminds me of the two less than intelligent want to be astronauts who were telling a friend that they we going to build a space ship that would take them to the Sun. When asked wouldn't that be too hot, one replied "We thought about that so we're going at night." People won't be going to the Sun in future years but there's a possibility that travel to Mars may become a reality.

Getting back to the title of this column I was thinking that throughout people's lives they can remember monumental events that happened to them but not exactly when. However, if they occurred during a period of extreme weather they can remember the events along with exactly when it happened much better. Losing my grandfather on my mom's side in September of 1962 was a monumental event for me; the fact that the graveside service was held during a terrific rainstorm made me remember exactly the month and year it happened.

Some weather trivia:

About 2,000 thunderstorms rain down on earth every minute.

Cold air is heavier than warm air.

Greatest rainfall in a day: 73.62 inches in the Indian Ocean on March 15, 1952.

Greatest rainfall in a year: 1,041 inches in Assam, India from August 1800 to August 1881. 

Hurricane John, also known as Typhoon John, was both the furthest traveling and the longest fasting tropical cyclone ever observed. Hurricane John lasted from August 11,1994 to September 13, 1994 and caused fifteen million dollars in damage. Hurricane John affected Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, Hawaiian islands, and Johnston Atoll southwest of Hawaii.

If you count the number of chirps a cricket makes in 15 seconds and add 37 to it you will get the approximate temperature, below 75 degrees the chirping slows and diminishes in intensity.

If you count the number of seconds between the first lightning you see and then sound of thunder and divide by 2 that should tell you how many miles away the lightning is.

Some frogs get noisier just before it rains, I have heard many of Granny's crazy weather predictions on "The Beverly Hillbillies" but never that one.

The difference in the highest and lowest temperatures ever recorded on earth is over 260 degrees Fahrenheit.

The greatest amount of rain in one minute was1.23 inches, this occurred in Unionville, Maryland on July 4, 1956.

The lowest world temperature was -128.6 F. in Vostok Station, Antarctica on July 21, 1983, that was without wind chill which makes our mid February low of 0 degrees seem pretty mild.

The only two states that have high temperatures no higher than 100 are Alaska and Hawaii.

Worms come up from underground when a flood is coming.

You probably haven't heard of a Derecho, a Firenado, a Gustnado, a Haboob, Sea Smoke, Swullocking, or Thundersnow -- those are all very strange weather events.

Yuma, Arizona has over 4,000 hours of sunshine every year making it the sunniest place on the planet, the south pole is the least sunny place with only 182 days a year of sunshine.

If you have any comments or questions my e-mail address is deh63shs@yahoo.com.