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weather observation blog, revisited

Good morning. Today is another installment of the untitled essay series. It’s possible I am casually falling into the ‘new writer on this platform’ trope, but who cares.

The first of this series began yesterday. At the risk of being yet another writer writing about writing as they write, let’s begin.

It is Tuesday morning, and while there was a fair amount of snow yesterday, it seems today will be a warmer afternoon, as it is already 40 degrees F at 9am at the 42nd parallel north somewhere in between Lakes Michigan and Erie.

Years ago, I joined a weather observation citizen science program where you report daily precipitation amounts. In the beginning, I was quite diligent about reporting my daily numbers around 7am. It was a morning ritual I insisted on for its own intrinsic value, but also as a mechanism to build a routine around writing.

Over the years, however, I became accustomed to writing down my daily numbers with a very nice pencil in a very nice faux leather bound book and skipping the part where I add the data to the database. Unfortunately, it became a habit to skip that part. I have months and years worth of data that I still intend to upload to the system. I have every intention of doing so, it’s just that the data entry page does not lend well to slackers like me who need to enter multiple data points in one session. In other words, it takes forever.

a picture of a weather observation log with multiple data points and notation written in pencil.
My weather observation log. The arrows indicate multi-day precipitation accumulation. Photo by author.

So every now and again I look at my collection of daily observations and wonder what I might do with all that information as a matter of personal interest. Sometimes I add the specific weather details to essays, which is a nice detailed flourish of what the day was actually like outside (I didn’t make it up, that really was the weather for the day). I even created a whole blog to talk about the weather and the water, which lead me to be consistently distracted by the beauty of the natural world. It is a nice distraction, after all.

Overall, I write down the daily observations as a labor of love. I like to note the notable events, such as when it snows extremely large snowflakes in early April (the snow yesterday was possibly the largest snowflakes I have ever seen, at least 2 to 4 inches across).

I have the added benefit of living in the same place for ten years, and the same region my whole life, so it is also an act of observing significant changes in seasonal weather patterns that might be attributed to climate change over time. This is probably the sole reason I adore the fact I have not yet moved anywhere else. When I do, I will continue this labor of love there as well.

© Dawn Nelson, 2022



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