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Merri Travels

Weather Or Not

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Monday December 10 2007

The weather forecast on a certain website for this corner of Owyhee County in Idaho is a source of never-ending amusement for me. It will predict "60% chance of rain/snow" and it will be sunny, not a cloud in the sky. It will predict 80% chance of rain/snow" and it will be cloudy, but never rain in this little drainage - a little rain shadow of the Owyhee Mountains. It will predict "sunny" while it's raining. It will say "blustery" and it will be still as the eye of a hurricane. Only if it says 100% chance of rain/snow, might it really precipitate here. The biggest chuckle is how the forecast changes after the fact.

To really determine the weather, I just look out the window, at the mountains to the southwest, or the horses. The mountains will tell you everything. If there's a 'tablecloth' hanging over them, buckle things down because it's going to get windy. If I can't see the mountains at all, it will get wet here. If there's low clouds and the mountains are getting rain or snow, but I can see them, it probably won't do anything here. Or, the horses will tell me what it's going to do. If they are up close to the house, huddled together in a little dip behind some sagebrush, all facing the same direction, it's going to get wet and breezy. If the horses are in the open, broadsides to the sun in the mornings, it's cold but it's going to be sunny for a while.

This morning was overcast, "Sunny" was the internet forecast. I couldn't see the mountains. The horses were in the dip with butts to the northwest. It was definitely going to snow. It started snowing, hard. The forecast changed to "40% chance of snow." The snowstorm passed in an hour, and cleared to a bright sunny sky, the white mountains appeared and the horses went back to eating at the hay bales. The forecast subsequently changed back to "Sunny" for the next few days.

The current forecast? I say: sunny and cold and beautiful the next few days: low teens at night, 20's during the day. And if I'm lucky, the snow will melt slowly and 'dry-ly' - so my two penned horses (the Chubby Boy and the Model Patient - leg is finally looking better) won't be drowning in mud.

The internet forecast agrees with me.


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