Editor’s note: This column is for the person who is moderately interested in the weather. If you are extremely interested in the weather – and you know who you are – stop reading. This column will only disappoint you.
Last year I bought one of those Columbia jackets with a rainproof outer shell and an inner puffer shell for $30 or $40, and I swear it didn’t rain at all that year. In fact, I don’t even think it got cold, because I had totally forgotten about that jacket.
I was on my way to buy one when I happened to reach my hand into the closet and pull it out. I was aiming for the hoodie my wife frowns upon me wearing in public. She also hates my second favorite cold-
weather staple: my old photographer’s jacket.
It has detachable sleeves and at least 26 pockets. That’s not an exaggeration. What more could you want from a coat? Every year I break it out, it’s like Christmas all over again. So many things get lost in those wonderful pockets.
But I digress, this column isn’t about my jackets. It’s about how our perception of the weather matches the actual weather.
Have you noticed that when it rains two days in a row, it’s tough to remember the last time it didn’t rain?
When that happens, you just default to thinking it’s been raining all week, month or year.
If you’re like me, you tend to take a more myopic view of the conditions around you. I think that’s natural.
So, let’s see what the numbers say.
I’m writing this on Feb. 7, and the last day with no recorded precipitation was Monday, Feb. 1.
In February (as of Feb. 7), it’s rained five out of seven days.
In January, it rained 15 days. The longest stretch we had without any precipitation in January was four days.
Since Jan. 1, we’ve gotten 10.65 inches of rain as of Feb. 6. That’s 4.74 inches more than our average rainfall. That’s more than last year’s 7.26 inches of rain.
If you look at the numbers since December, it’s even worse.
Since Dec. 1, there have been 18.38 inches of rain, which is 6.7 inches more than our average rainfall.
If you’ve been thinking it has rained a lot this year, you’re right, and it’s not just your imagination. The data backs you up, but as far as why I forgot I bought a coat, the numbers are not in my favor.
That’s because, this year, it’s only rained 1.32 inches more than a year before that.
That’s a pretty damp winter.
That would’ve been December 2018 going into January 2019, which means I had a brand-new jacket hanging in my closet.
You would think that I would’ve used the brand-new raincoat to help me stay dry during that time, but no.
That means one of two things happened.
One, I bought a jacket, stuck it in a closet, and immediately forgot about it.
Two, I wore the jacket and didn’t remember it. I didn’t find anything in the pockets when I pulled it out this winter. I know that’s not ironclad evidence I didn’t wear it, but I’m pretty consistent when it comes to not cleaning out pockets.
Maybe I’m just getting older, or maybe it’s just the weather.