Sunday, May 14

Weather Payback Theory

Do you believe in it? You know, the principle that any nicer than normal weather must necessarily be followed by weather nastier than normal in order to even the weather score.

Yukoners tend to believe in weather payback. When the summer is hot and sunny, we dread the coming winter, sure that we'll have many weeks of miserable unbroken -40 temps just because we enjoyed the summer so much. It's an idea that the weatherman says is not completely unfounded, since the average temperature doesn't vary much from year to year, and over time, things tend to even out, weather-wise.

Unfortunately, last winter was relatively mild. Than means, of course, that this coming summer is doomed. Or does it?

What if the spring is lousy? Can our summer be saved after a mild winter if it snows 15 inches on Easter and rains all of the month of May? If so, I've been thinking, we may have a beautiful summer inked in on the calendar anyway, because this has been a really ugly spring. Three cheers, I've been saying, for the rotten spring weather.

It turns out, however, that I may have been a bit hasty in my optimistic outlook. While this spring has been rotten, to be sure, it has also been perfectly average. Or so says the weatherman. I've just been spoiled, he says, by a few years of better than average springs, and my perception of what spring in the Yukon should look like is warped.

My summer, it seems, is doomed after all, because according to weather payback theory, an average spring, no matter how ugly, can rescue nothing.
A few more recent posts with northern content:
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