March 24, 2008

The Human Barometer and Errors in Forecasting

Alex coined the phrase "human barometer" to describe my ability to identify a coming weather change, at times more accurately than the forecasts, based on how my body is behaving.  I suspect most people who've lived with RA awhile can, and its practically a cliche that you can once you have joint damage, be it arthritis or an old war wound.

But, my forecasting abilities can be a bit off, too.  Yesterday was a gorgeous, hot day with a bright blue sky and just a smattering of dark clouds in with the puffy white.  But in the afternoon , my joints were aching and my skin hyper-sensitive, so I thought for sure the dark clouds were going to build and it was going to rain.  When there had been no noticeable change in the weather by bedtime but I was still uncomfortable, I was down right put out about it.  Where was the rain?  And if it wasn't going to rain why was I suddenly hurting?  

This morning, I woke up to find temperatures dropped significantly during the night.  We only expect to get up to 60 (instead of 80) today and outlying areas around us may drop to 30 tonight (winter temps for us).  Ahh - that explains it.  I forgot to account for the possibility of a slow moving front.

Sometimes the human barometer is a bit off, too.

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