LIFE IN OUR MOUNTAIN TOWN: Being married to a weather hound | SierraSun.com
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LIFE IN OUR MOUNTAIN TOWN: Being married to a weather hound

Katie Shaffer, Sierra Sun

My husband is so well informed about incoming weather that you might think he is very on the ball.

And while he is smart and prudent and handsome, I have come to believe that his craving for weather information is a kind of neurotic affliction. He almost always knows what the weather is going to be, on any given day, including expected snow levels and totals.

I really don’t find it necessary to pay much attention to weather forecasts on television, because instead, I can always just ask my husband.

I used to think it was valid that my husband should watch every weather report from here to Timbuktu since he owns businesses that are affected by the weather. What both my husband and I have come to learn about his behavior is that he has a need to try to control his circumstances. Imagine, however, trying to control something as unpredictable as the weather.

In his defense, my husband likes to point out that by knowing what weather to expect, he can be as ready as possible, which helps to eliminate a certain amount of worry. I suppose this includes having gas in his truck so that he can get to his loader, or having the loader ready to go with repairs done and chains on stuff like that. This is comforting to him.

Thank goodness, he also has read a number of helpful books about his troublesome need to control things, and his need to learn to let go of his worries.

Still, this doesn’t keep him from being extremely well informed about any incoming weather.

Since moving to Truckee, my knowledge about weather has become quite extensive. I’ve learned all about jet streams and what it means when the jet stream is headed directly our way.

Because I am married to a weather hound, my knowledge about the Weather Channel is equally wide.

If I weren’t married to my husband, I doubt I would know that “Your Local Forecast” comes on at eight minutes past every hour, and every subsequent 10 minutes thereafter.

I also happen to know that the guy delivering the national forecast is always standing in front of California on the map. Sometimes I will hear my husband yelling at the television “Move out of the way!” He just wants that instant gratification that the Weather Channel promises, and when you can’t see the West Coast graphics because the guy is standing in the way, well, look out. In my household, this causes some frustration.

I’ve never understood why the Weather Channel includes Truckee in their Latest Observations listings, because it often says No Report. And I usually notice when the Weather Channel changes their background music, because this doesn’t happen very often. For instance, they will play the Charlie Brown Christmas music well into February.

My husband is not only familiar with all the different weather forecasters on the various television stations, he also knows what time to tune in to catch Mark Finan or Angela Buckman on Sacramento’s KCRA or Brian Sussman on San Francisco’s KPIX or Pete Giddings on Reno’s KOLO. He will switch around from one channel to the next comparing forecasts. Then he comes to his own conclusions, based on whoever’s forecast he agrees with or likes best.

There were a few winters when my husband spent a lot of time in a loader clearing snow, sometimes around the clock. He would call me on his radio and ask me to check and see if the Weather Channel was showing a big green blob over Sacramento on its Doppler radar screen. I would go check and then report back to him. Usually no green over Sacramento was a good thing, meaning the storm was coming to an end. Other times, whether the big green blob was over Sacramento or not had no bearing on what it was doing up here because storms would get hung up on the mountains.

So if you also have someone in your life who is very dear to you, and this someone is also very concerned with the weather – just know, you’re not alone.

Katie Shaffer has lived in Truckee since 1981.


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