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Twenty-first century meteorology utilizes all kinds of sensitive equipment to measure temperature, barometric pressure, wind speed, and humidity in attempts to accurately predict what weather we can expect five to ten days in advance.
To impress us non-weather expert types, meteorologists name their equipment things like “radiosondes, “anemometers” and “hygrometers,” according to wikipedia.com. And these new tools are impressive, particularly for those of us who remember the early days of television weather forecasting, which could sometimes degenerate into comedy routines.
Today, weather forecasting is a humorless and more enlightened affair, thanks to electronically generated data from weather buoys, remote sensing, radar, and satellites.
That’s all well and good, but our internal weather lady here at the newspaper, a person I have learned to never argue with when it comes to weather-related matters, has put me onto another weather predictor about which I have spent my first six decades ignorant.
It is the lowly persimmon, or more accurately, its seed.
The technique is to cut a persimmon seed in half and discern whether the shape revealed is that of a spoon, a knife or a fork. A spoon shape is a sure sign of an impending snowy season. A knife promises an icy winter. A fork means the world will end in six days.
Just kidding. According to my source, whom I never question when it comes to weather-related matters, a fork foretells a regular winter, the definition of which is apparently in the eye (not to mention wardrobe) of the beholder.
And according to our internal weather lady, whom I never question when it comes to weather related matters, persimmon seeds this year all agree — spoons it is. Therefore we must prepare ourselves for snow, snow and more snow.
The reason it has proven unwise to argue with our internal weather lady about what the weather is going to do is because years ago we (and by we, I mean I) made merciless fun of her prediction of an impending blizzard. Any child of three could tell on the day her prediction was made, it was more likely for Crazy Corner to get sane than for an ice storm to occur. The sun was shining, and it was 65 degrees outside. The next day produced a personal vow never to question her again after being forced to abandon my car and walk to work in driving snow courtesy of a 30-mile-per-hour, sleet-enhanced, headwind out of the north. It was the stuff of which memories are made and, conversely, not easily forgotten.
When the persimmon theory was advanced, we (and by we, I mean I) didn’t even think about casting aspersions. Sure enough, she brought a persimmon to work the next day, and inside its severed seed was a spoon announcing a snowy winter.
You may not want to take my word for it, but in my humble experience, Crazy Corner would more likely seek psychotherapy than for her to be wrong.