This column ran first in The Cambrian on Oct. 27, 2005, but after this especially foggy summer in Cambria, it seemed appropriate to repeat it now.
I hate to kvetch, but I'm running out of five-word descriptions for fog.
Central Coast-siders have had an exceptionally foggy summer this year. But,week after week in The Cambrian's weather box, I get to define it.
"High clouds," "low clouds," "patchy fog with clearing later," "sun peekingthrough the fog>" ... even a few more lyrical descriptions tossed in to keepmyself from nodding off.
Filling in the weather report each week is one of those newspapering choresthat makes me shake my head to reaffirm that there's still some functioninggray matter between my ears.
Imagine the movie "Groundhog Day" for weathercasters.
Sure, we've had some glorious afternoons this summer, sun-drenched, withlight breezes carrying the rich smell of warm pines, sand and kelp.
But then the fog was back. Sometime within minutes.
And there I'd be again, a wordsmith without new definitions for the wetblanket of mist that keeps draping itself over Cambria's lumpy bed of hills,trees and shoreline.
I know it's getting to me when, in conversation with one of the guys at theCambria Community Services District's sewer department (from whom I get theweekly temperature and rain data), I find myself saying such scintillatingthings as exclaim "Wow! 72 degrees! That really was a warm one."
The fog's also been an emotional drag. We don't yet have webs growingbetween our toes or moss dripping from our eyebrows, but two friends saidrecently that this year's foggy pattern is why they're moving out of town,one to the hills above Atascadero and another to San Luis Obispo.
However, in the "be careful what you wish for, or you might get it"department, I don't think I'll mention any options for breaking our foggyweather trend, not even to keep our friends in town.
Not this year. Not with winter just around the corner. Not with all theextreme weather almost everywhere else in the world.
I'm really not superstitious, but I'm not dumb. I know a potential hex whenI see one.
Husband Richard says Mother Nature's weather is broken.
I say she's gone past that stage and is now doggone vindictive.
Whatever message she's trying to convey, we've got it, Mom. You can quit nowand go back to normal, whatever that is. If it even exists any more.
With all that in mind, I called the National Weather Service's Oxnardweather center to find out just what prognosticators see in their crystalballs for our area this winter.
I suspect that, if I could have seen the meteorologist face to face when Iasked that question, I'd have seen him extend his hands out sideways at neckheight, palms up, and then shrug his shoulders.
Surprise, surprise. They don't know either.
To fill in the blanks, he consulted the Climate Prediction Center'slong-term outlook --- otherwise known as the weather-casting Ouija board.
Swell. They can't define it either.
And the fog?
"We're kind of in a rut right now," the weathercaster said, with ascientist's knack for stating the obvious. "But that's how it is alongsidethe cooler waters of the Pacific ... and not just in June."
So, I'll hit the Thesaurus again, folks. Pea-soup fog? Snow bank?Whipped-cream cloud? Nope, doggone it. I've already used them.
If you have some nicely descriptive foggy phrases, I'd be embarrassinglygrateful for them. A girl's got to stay awake somehow.