Weather is destructive. There are all manner of storms gathering, waiting to wreak havoc on the world at large. There are other physical phenomenon such as volcanoes and earthquakes as well.

Weather symbols

The hemispheres are on different seasons. So while the US is seeing unprecedented snowfall and blizzards, Australia is trying to merge with the ocean. The devastating flooding going on in the Land Down Under is incredible.

Since I belong to a couple different worldwide enterprises, specifically MWC and Facebook, I have friends in Oz. None are close to the flooding but all Australians are concerned about the horrible events in Queensland.  My friend in New South Wales is a firefighter and went last year to help with the devastating wild fires. This year, all roads from New South Wales to Queensland are now impassable and she is unable to help the victims of the weather.

I have friends in other parts of the US, amazingly enough. I have friends in all four corners of the country, it seems. I have friends in the Pacific Northwest and in “beautiful downtown Connecticut” as well as family from east to west and north to south.

There is bad weather just about everywhere except Arizona and Florida (at least for my family members). Arizona is currently having its own problems and really doesn’t need more interference from bad weather. Florida is so notorious for loony news, it has its own tag on Fark.

Since the dawn of time, we have tried to get a handle on the weather. After a raging storm, some person decided whomever it was that controlled the Universe must be appeased and perhaps the bad weather would cease. There are myriad pagan gods dedicated to weather phenomenon. They were routinely prayed to and sacrifices made to them, in the hopes of fewer storms. Probably didn’t work any better then than it does now.

Today, we have televangelists preaching their god’s displeasure with some group or portion of society and thereby bringing weather destruction. So I guess before we make fun of ancient Greeks or Norsemen, we might want to see how “educated” we are in our own society.

Weather patterns are a bit more predictable today because we have been gathering so much information about them. We know that if this, this, and that happens – then some particular weather manifests at least a portion of the time. Meteorologists watch fronts or air systems as they spin around the globe and predict with ever greater accuracy (and still missing the mark with regularity) what weather is likely to follow. It does often make us better prepared.

This is especially true of large storm patterns. Hurricanes and cyclones are now easy to follow. We have satellites and reconnaissance planes able to gather data. A century ago, this was not even a dream. These storms hit without warning and ravaged coastal areas with what must have seems demented malice.

We aren’t yet able to predict earthquakes or volcanoes. We are in the same boat as our ancestors on this one. Just as they had no idea when or where a hurricane would hit, we have no idea which fault line is under too much pressure, where the earth will quake or a volcano will erupt. We also have no way to know in advance how severe any of these events will be.

Tornadoes are still not as easily predicted, but they are much better followed or tracked. We can give advance warning when these storm cells form and we have the technology to disseminate the information quickly. This was not always the case and while tornadoes can still be fatal, they are far less deadly than in times gone by.

Since we can’t control the weather and since it still mystifies us with the ever changing patterns, we always have a great conversational opening gambit.

“How’s the weather where you are?” or maybe “Hot enough (cold enough) for ya?”

Yes, we can always talk about this still mystical event. The ever unpredictable weather.