Weather is all we’ve got

Check out the heat map on any weather broadcast and you’ll find Nebraska somewhere in the red zone.  In spite of significant irrigation systems around the state the corn and soybean crops remain in a threatened state.  Fortunately for us the recent 100+ temperature days have broken a bit.

The question is whether this is just a tease or not.  I went out yesterday to continue working with my new lens and found the sky at sunset was filled with clouds, many different types showing off their designs in the late light.

ISO 100, 30mm, 1/80 sec., f/4.5

ISO 100, 47mm, 1/200 sec., f/4.5

But no rain, at least not around me.  Here is all this water hanging in the atmosphere but none finds a way to release and come to earth.  Instead it rides along the wind, sailing over the landscape to bring some shade and nice compositions but no rain.

Technology of today enables us to know about conditions across the country every day, down to the county or town level.  We can see trends of ongoing weather and watch how they affect our daily lives and the lives of people all around the US.  Imagine the days of the Dust Bowl, when your knowledge of the weather was what you saw outside every day, or maybe heard on the radio from some local station.  When did they realize the weather wasn’t going to change?  That the conditions they saw every day – dust storms, eroding soils, dried up crops – were going to remain for a long time?  What key learning started the great western migration of people?  Was it meteorological or economic?

And have we learned anything since then?  What do the skies tell us about our near future?

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