Illustration (Image credit: Wix)
Global warming or not, I haven't found anyone yet who can remember it being so warm in early February. Of course, we're just at the beginning of a week of unusually warm temperatures.
A ridge of high pressure (or warmer temperatures) with a clockwise flow of winds will continue to build northward over our area. This is bringing warm springtime air from over Africa into our area. That means warm temperatures in the 20s C (70s F), dry air, and increasing amounts of dust. It also means some high clouds as well, as there is a moisture stream from off the Atlantic Ocean and then northeastward across Africa.
The very warm temperatures will create a lot of confusion. People will have to stop and think about what to wear, dogs may soon stray from their yards, the trees may start to bud, and some insects may buzz.
Yet, the forecast for the end of the week is indicating a return to cooler temperatures, if not a bit of a winter chill. However, it might just as well stay on the warm side. Other than an increase in clouds, we can't really say if late this week or early next week will bring a return to rainy weather or not.
I can understand if my female readers find this a bit perturbing, and I appreciate if those of the male persuasion find this a bit annoying, but I must say don't blame me -- blame the technology. While we might hope that we can see with any real accuracy what the weather will be more than a week from now, for the most part it really isn't so.
For instance, about a week plus in the past I was told that the Climate Forecast Systems model was indicating that this week would be very, very cold (if not snowy), and it wasn't alone among the medium range forecast models. One could argue, though, that if the long range forecast indicates a lack of uncertainty just a week in advance that it would be unlikely for certainty to suddenly rain down from the skies (others might disagree). In fact, the only time I can remember being able to accurately forecast about ten days in advance was prior to the giant snowstorm of December 2013. In that case, though, the atmospheric signal or forcing must have been so large that other uncertainties in the forecast were overwhelmed. This, though, is very rare.
Image credit: The Jerusalem Herald
What is less rare is my inability to communicate with my cat. My relationship with my cat improved after a visit from my mother who, when noticing my annoyance with the cat, reminded me that my cat is …. just a cat. Since then, I have expressed greater understanding for the things she does, my annoyance level is down, and we are actually enjoying our relationship.
Still, the most important reason our relationship has improved is because of this device. It is a translation device. I used it at a recent conference
regarding the establishment of a new center for studying ways to improve our civil defense.
For the first time, I was really able to follow what was being said, and the voice in the device was just as pleasant, if not more, than the one that guides me on my way with Waze.
I obtained permission to take it home and I and my cat have been using it ever since. Actually, really my cat is the one who benefits because I can now
understand if "Meow" means food, scratch, or open the door.
Of course, who really cares about cats, and I have to admit that when my wife heard about this her first response was: "This is neat!" Her second response was: "Where can I get one of these?"
I saved her the trouble and now we have a lot less trouble. Here are some key phrases (and explanations where needed) that women say and men need to understand:
"The garbage is full" --> the machine warbles: "Take out the garbage."
“The house is a mess" --> the machine warbles: "Straighten up the living room."
"So and so needs to come home an hour from now" --> "You go pick her up."
These are pretty simple things to understand, and sometimes I catch them myself. The main problem for men is that we expect the wife to follow each statement with a solution (for instance, "you will go..."); when they don't, we think the problem is already solved (that is, she will go).
Here's another that most men miss. Wife says: "I am really tired." Man wants to say: "Perhaps you will go to bed early," but the Machine answers: "You look really tired." She doesn't want a solution to being tired, she needs sympathy. Or the wife says: "I had to change three diapers just this past hour." Man wants to say: "I changed four diapers last evening and two the previous Tuesday," but Machine says: "That must have been really hard."
Now for the men. The husband says: "I really worked hard today." Wife wants to say: "I am also tired," but the Machine says: "You do work hard. I can really appreciate why you are so tired." Man says: "I didn't work today, but I painted the house." Wife wants to say: "You must be really tired, but what about what I needed done?" Machine suggests: "That's great. You worked really hard. The house looks great. Thank you!"
The problem here is that the wife expresses her emotions (in our last example, she is worried about all the things the husband didn't do) and the husband is simply trying to solve problems. When he finds an obvious one, he jumps on it. It's even more of a problem when the wife expects the man to answer like any other good (wife) would do, while the man expects the wife to answer him like any other (good) husband would. This can create a lot of friction, and it did create a lot of friction between my wife and myself until I read the book Men Are from Mars, and Women Are from Venus by John Gray. Of course, we're not really from different planets, but we are from different worlds.
Lastly, the wives need to understand that when a man is given a task, he won't do it the way she would. Rather, he will do it, but he will need to rest. In setting the table, for example, he'll take a few forks and knives over, and a plate or two, but then sit down to read. He does this because…. because he is a man and it's hard for him to do this kind of work, especially after a hard day of sitting at a computer. He's lucky if he gets back up to take another step towards completing the job before his wife sees him resting.
The wife, on the other hand, works during the day, works after work, and works in the evening. It's just part of her running her constant marathon, and she's in shape to do it because she does it all the time. So she can't understand why he needs to rest. But he does (it's just his nature and it goes back to the days of hunting mastodon so it is not going to change).
This reminds me: if men were wives nothing much of consequence would get done. So tell your wife she's terrific and get her something nice to show that she's appreciated. She may not appreciate it, but at least she'll understand you love her.
Dr. Lynn is a lecturer at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Earth Sciences Department. He is also CEO of Weather It Is, LTD, a company that specializes in reducing weather risk.