Press Box

Ever the Silver Lining: The Weather Poet Returns

The New York Times’ Weather Poet, whom this column paid tribute to last week, peeped out from behind the cloud of news again today, heralding a “brighter” day here in the nation’s capital. On the national scene, limned the Times’ unheralded scribe, “breezes from the North” will favor the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, and after a “cool start, abundant sun will boost readings …”

As for the Pacific states, they will enjoy “ample” sun (ample, at least to salve their normally sodden souls), though “patchy clouds will shroud the immediate coastline,” an appropriately sepulchral note.

Meanwhile, a heat wave from the Plains to the Rockies will be “tempered” in some areas by afternoon thunderstorms. These will not simply happen, but “erupt.” To this last bit of climatological lyricism the poet adds a touch of historical perspective:

While this region has been hot, there have been much hotter periods. In the days of the Dust Bowl, the temperature met or exceeded 90 in Topeka for 29 straight days in July of 1937 and 1939, while a 17-day stretch of 100-degree heat occurred in 1936.

Cold comfort, perhaps, for sweltering Midwesterners, but instructive for the rest of us.

The Weather Poet, it turns out, has at least a few other fans among the readers of the Times. But one wonders: Is the Times itself aware of the Bard toiling in the bowels of its bureaucracy?