Well, I didn’t expect to be able to get out for a walk this morning, and in fact I didn’t walk, though in truth I could have. When the radio came on at 6, I looked at the sliver of gray sky visible through the high windows in our bedroom and rolled over and went back to sleep. At 6:30 I did get up, and when I went out for the paper, it was obvious there had been rain in the night: water was standing in the dip at the end of our driveway, and the paper was double-bagged and tied, with water droplets on the outside. But it wasn’t actually raining, though the streets were wet and the overcast skies didn’t look encouraging, and in fact it didn’t start to rain till 8, so I could theoretically have fit in my 40-minute walk.
But I didn’t. Instead, I tucked into breakfast and the (dry) Press-Register, whose main headline, “Fickle Fay,” sums it up. Sure enough, T.S. Fay, now downgraded to a tropical depression, has veered north of us and is inundating central Alabama instead of the coast. It’s raining pretty hard here now (after 9:30), but the prediction is that we’ll probably get only an inch or so of rain, far less than the four inches being forecast last night, much less the 12-inch deluge that was earlier feared, causing the City of Mobile to open shelters and the University of Mobile to shut down for the weekend, sending resident students home (actions that both struck me as overreaction even at the time).
Elsewhere in the paper, Frances Coleman writes about the danger of becoming blasé about storms, but it does seem inevitable when every storm is blown out of proportion by wolf-crying media, not least of which is the Weather Channel, whose business model depends on severe weather. I worry, though, about the long-term effects of triggering everyone’s “fight or flight” response numerous times every summer. This kind of emotional stress can’t be good for us in the long run.