The Seasons Switched

You know, I live in Houston all my life, and there are times when I still can’t figure out which days I need to wear a sweater or to just simply wear shorts and flipflops. The weather is usually unpredictable, because it doesn’t stay constant in one day.

It’s funny to think about it, because sometimes the weather reports from TV meteorologists are rendered useless the next two or even three days, and we feel deceived with the information we absorb from our evening news.

To solve this problem, I usually carry two things in my car: an umbrella and a hooded jacket that can also double up as a raincoat (or a blanket). (You know those wonderful all-purpose jackets that you can wear even if they’re turned inside-out? Walmart and Target are good places to shop for these practical things.) Now, it wouldn’t hurt to let the sweet pill of practicality kick in and make your day less grumpy. You would be able to pat yourself on the back at the end of the day instead of going home completely soaked in sweat or from the rain.

Anyway, I always resort to the “guess-timation” of the weather by feeling the temperature a little after sunset and again around six or seven in the morning. I would then note the presence of fog and the formation of clouds and assess my own weather forecast that way.

Here are just a few things I’ve compiled over the years:

– If there’s any presence of fog, expect the sun to be out all or most of the day. Light fog is a little sun. Heavy fog should be dreaded, because it would be really hot that day, and sunscreen is highly recommended. One of the basic myths about the Houston weather is that some people think you don’t need to wear sunscreen or sunblock on overcast days. Trust me, you do! Otherwise, you’ll have some unwanted sunburnt skin later.

– Clear blue skies with little clouds are usually a lukewarm weather, oftentimes with a light breeze to tease you.

– If you see the sun already burning a hole through the clouds (if there are any) at or a little after sunrise, then it will probably be a really hot and/or humid day. Wearing something light and not black is recommended.

Well, I could go on, but I’m no professional. Those little things above work for me just fine. Being a Houston-native, you develop an “instinct” for the weather if you’re tuned in to the changes.

This week, I’m just surprised at the strange switcharoo of the seasons. When I checked the calendar, spring has arrived! That explains the sudden chilly blast this whole week–the temperature hovering around the 30s-60s throughout the day. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I actually love this weather, but it just annoys me a little with how the Spring Equinox has arrived unexpectedly for me. Maybe I should blame it on my being a sleep-deprived college student with tons of papers to write and exams to study for to not really notice this at all.

I remember that the last winter of 2005, it was hot, humid, muggy, and at other times, it was just too dry. Burnt orange grass was our evidence of the dryness last summer and fall. I was hoping for a white Christmas this past winter (like it was on Xmas Eve in 2004), but it never happened. Instead, the hurricane season stretched on to include the hectic and tragic events of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. For better or for worse, though, I think we all got something out of these two experiences, and that the weather plays a big part in our lives besides politics, sports, and religion.

And to think that I was expecting the essence of summer leaking in last week, because it was a bit muggy and hot. Now with just this week, we are welcomed with a little autumn-like season, with yellow and brown leaves swirling about in the air. Well, we should all enjoy this weather while it lasts. After all, summer is around the bend with strings attached: higher prices on air conditioning for homes and buildings, higher gas prices, maybe drought, probably more wildfires spreading around Texas, and ironically, our cry of “a little rain” (or wishful thinking for winter) to relieve us from this oppressing, humid weather.

Overall, I think welcoming this weather change is a sensation of something new, something exciting and different… like me being a new author to Metroblogging Houston. (So howdy do to you all!)

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