All year long I keep tabs on the weather. I check the forecast, usually on multiple sites on the internet, both morning and evening. If something bad looks like it is brewing (bad for me are temperatures below 30 degrees F, which will start freezing all my more delicate plants, and, more worryingly, all the cuttings I have started) I will check several times through the day, in order to move plants inside before they get killed. I most commonly use a site that provides daily high and low averages for the date, as well as a 15-day forecast. I get a lot of valuable information from comparing current conditions with past norms, and it gives me clues about how plants should weather the weather they are experiencing.
Now, in the Pacific Northwest a forecast 15 days out is in no way reliable. At this time of year we can be pretty sure that we will not be getting any more snow, but determining whether a day, 15 days hence, will be sunny, cloudy, or rainy, well, it just cannot be done. However, it is now 15 days until our big annual plant sale, so I checked out the weather for 15 days from now as though it actually meant something. What this actually means is that I am beginning my own annual 15-day psych-out. I have no control over the weather. The date for the plant sale was set months ago, we are certainly not changing it at this point. I have no real means of addressing the weather. While the plant sale has been held at the same time of year, early May, for seven years now, we have had temperatures ranging from the high forties up to a wilting 96 degrees. We have had pouring rain, a couple of really good windstorms, and relentless sun. I have almost no tools at my disposal to address any of it. We have an umbrella and a couple of very small marquee-type tents. These do not come close to mitigating the weather in any serious way so, other than wearing a sun hat, or thermal underwear, we will all be simply experiencing whatever the weather is doing on the day. However, none of this will change the fact that, for the next 15 days, I will obsessively check the forecast for May 12 first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I may be irrational, but at least I am consistent.
So, this morning’s forecast for Saturday, May 12? Cloudy, no precipitation, and a high of 61 degrees. After the downpours of last year this sounds divine. If there were any way to lock this in, like the price on a plane ticket, or the Buy It Now feature on eBay, I most certainly would. I can’t however; I am still at the mercy of the flutter of a butterfly’s wing in Brazil, the exhalation of an orca in the Juan de Fuca strait. So I just keep watching the computer, hoping that the six hours we have selected will be warm, dry and salubrious, and that the customers will come in droves.