You can’t always see it and you can’t always hear it, but the weather is around us all the time; regardless of where you are in the world. Not everyone has a great passion or conscious interest in the weather and its behaviour, but we all have our own experiences with it.
My passion started with the basic of basics – cloud watching. I believe that we all do this at some point in our lives, we look up at the sky and see the cloud formations and start to match them with familiar shapes. A nice childhood pastime. It is not until you get older and start to learn about the water cycle at school that you realise that these random shapes more than just puffs of white fluffy stuff. Water vapour suspended in the atmosphere right above us part of a much bigger scientific phenomena.
The beauty of clouds is their uniqueness. Once that cloud has passed or rained you will never see it again. Those rain drops that fell and created puddles or splatters on your window will never reunite to form a cloud with the same water vapour that it once lived in a cloud with. A new beginning for all.
In a similar sense, no two days are the same when it comes to the weather. Yes, you may be in autumn and every day is grey and gloomy when you first look out of your window in the morning, but let’s remember that there other factors that make up the weather for the day. Temperature, humidity, pressure, wind speed and direction – all factors that when put together make up the weather forecasts that we all watch, listen or glance at as we rush through the door. There are similar conditions each day, but they are never identical.
It’s not just the weather itself that can be interesting, it’s the way that we react to it. Think of those awful Monday mornings when you didn’t really want to get out of bed and on your journey to work or school it rained…You may have even forgotten to take your umbrella that day or (my pet hate) your umbrella blew inside out – making it’s whole existence completely useless. When you finally reach your destination without fail you will always comment on why your journey was so unbearable and for those few minutes you will have started a small conversation about the weather.
In literature there is something that we all probably wrote about in our essays – pathetic fallacy. The weather affects our mood and it has done for centuries. Bad weather makes us feel like we want to be inside inside, whereas good weather will make us wish we were outside sitting on the grass or lying on the beach. Although, this does depend on what you classify as good weather; some people prefer rain and snow to sunshine and heat.
Think of those old classics where the atmosphere of the plot is created through the character’s experience. Those moments where everything is already going wrong and then the weather comes along and makes it even worse. Or those old romantics where the weather is just a contrast to the happy ending that is on its way.
Even in art, and especially before photography was big, you will see the artist capture the weather at that given point. Bringing the surrounding environment to life. Similarly we get the same affect with the sound of music (not the film). In classical music often the orchestra represents features of the weather like rain, storms or sunshine to help tell the overall story of the piece.
In modern times life moves a lot quicker. We rely on our digital devices more frequently, and as with everything else the weather has moved with the times too. Once upon a time we used to wait for the traditional weather forecast after the news report at set times in the day – a time before 24 hour news channels. We had the radio but the radio was not as mobile as it is today. As mentioned before, having an interest in the weather is not a passion that everyone shares, so understandably there are some who do not care what the weather forecast is. Yet, the beauty of technology means that you can find out the weather whenever you want to. Now we have a number of weather apps to choose from that we can access on our mobile devices. Not just regional, local but your exact location with the help of good old GPS.
My interaction and understanding of the weather has developed with time. From starting with a simple interest, to learning the science behind it, weather is something that we will all continue to learn and talk about regardless of how old or young we are.