Weather hypochondriacs

MaxPower March 29th, 2007

This has been bugging me.

The latest and greatest issue I have noticed is people fretting about the weather. Not severe weather per se (as in a big storm to come, so I am stocking up on rations), but fretting about pretty normal weather.

Take for instance this anecdote: I’m riding home on the subway couple days ago, enjoying a nice spring day. It was 13 degrees in Toronto and the sun was shining. A nice end of March day. I overhear a conversation from a twentysomething couple sitting beside me which basically went like this “Warm weather today eh?”, “Yeah, too warm, it’s scary with all this global warming”. Seriously. That was the statement. Like we need to be “scared” about a 13 degree day at the end of March.

Now, for those who are interested – the day time average high for this time of year in Toronto is a bit less than 9. So that day was about 4 degrees above normal. As a counterpoint – I am looking out at the forecast for next Friday here in Toronto – forecasted day time high is -2 or 7 degrees below normal. Time to wrap up the dog honey, there’s a new ice age coming!!!

There are deviations from “normal” – ignoring the fact that “normal” in Toronto is really the average temperature for the past 60 years (weather recording started at Pearson in 1937), and thus not really a long term average at all. It is NORMAL to have deviations from normal. If it was normal all the time, then we’d know something was wrong when there was a deviation from normal. But is isn’t. So buck up.

Then I saw the term in the Globe today: Weather hypocondriacs, and I thought, you know that fits. Sometime you may feel a bit “off” like you’re kind of maybe potentially getting sick, but most people just ignore it and whatever it was goes away. But those who go to the doctor everyday likely have an “excessive preoccupation or worry about having a serious illness”. Weather hypochondriacs – a neuroses for the 21st century.

Enjoy a nice end of March day. It doesn’t mean the world is ending.