Archives for category: Weather

Tornado warning over Manhattan, July 2010, by RM

This weekend, an epidemic of insomnia swept through the city. OK, so I can’t actually prove that, but in the highly unscientific survey I have conducted of the literal handful of people I’ve spoken to since Saturday, there are maybe four who, like me, have repeatedly woken up drenched in sweat every night since Thursday.

Tonight I finally realised the reason, and I’m at least 85 per cent sure it’s not the onset of early menopause: the Humidity has arrived. Read the rest of this entry »


While the UK gets itself all aflutter over the arrival of Google’s Street View, over on this side of the pond, that kind of surveillance is pretty near enshrined in the Constitution.

America being the land of the pioneer, they are hugely enthusiastic early adopters of any kind of technology (bar texting, which took a while to catch on here). And nowhere more so than with the neighbourhood blogs. (Yes, I know, pot, kettle.) Where people used to talk to their neighbours over the garden fence, now they comment on their neighbour’s blog. Or blog about it on their own.

The local supermarket has its own blog. Even our block has its own webpage and newsgroup. And believe me when I tell you there is never any news for the newsgroup, only people asking for babysitter recommendations.

In my neck of the woods, there are new blogs continually sprouting up, but I already have a favourite, even if it’s not exactly a blog, more the pet project of a very enthusiastic amateur meteorologist. The Current Weather In Park Slope features astoundingly complicated and up-to-the-minute data on an area that really, in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t need its own weather forecast. But even so, not only does it have the forecast, it also has a speeded-up, time-lapse video of the sky over the previous 34 hours. Perversely addictive, strangely reassuring…

From the sandwiches to the average waistline, Americans don’t do anything by halves. So when you get a windy day here, this is what happens:

Tree beats car

Tree beats car

I was walking up the other side of the road, as, fortunately, was everyone else left standing there open-mouthed. On the news today, a woman in New Jersey was killed when the exact same thing happened, only she was inside the car.

Note to self: must sort out some health insurance…

This is how cold the winters get in New York: today I burnt my fingers and thumbs on the wind. I actually have minor frost bite.

The funny thing about the weather in here is that it rarely feels as cold as it says on the news. Most of the time, it’s a dry cold – very different from the damp English chill that sinks into your bones.

This is what I was thinking when I got on my bike today to meet some new friends for lunch. Minus six degrees centigrade? Ah, it’ll be fine once I get going.

Big mistake. Huge.

Because newbie cyclist that I am, I didn’t account for the wind chill factor. I was out for 90 minutes, and it took 10 minutes to calm down and defrost once I got back inside.

How stupid do I feel? Very. Not least because I also can’t help feeling a tiny bit proud of myself for getting out of the house in this weather. It’s only going to get colder, after all…