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Taming the Weather with Intrepid Wigglers

by Joel Pomerantz

December 15th, 2010

Take a look at this luck!

As always, I held off on canceling the tour on Tuesday. I hoped there would be a gap in the rain. I was right, but more than right, I was using a weather prediction system for local San Francisco short-term planning that I’ve now tested enough to share around. Feel free to pass the link along.

The tour ended at 2pm. At 2:20, this is how the oncoming rain looked, sweeping in from the west. Good timing!

The tour only had six people, but they all came with a can-do attitude, knowing there was a continuing chance of wet. Just as the tour began, a short drizzle gave us a moment to wonder, but then it quietly made way for a dry tour. Then, exactly as the tour ended, the drizzle started up again, this time leading into a serious rain for hours. You can see the serious rain heading into SF on this snapshot, taken from the radar website that I used, among other tools, to predict. You can also see the storm that spritzed SF just prior to the tour, drifting out past Modesto.

Often Walk the Wiggle tours attract large crowds, but being in the middle of a weekday, fewer folks were available. This can be a real treat, as it was on this occasion. Smaller groups tend to be more excitable, especially when they’re as curious and locally knowledgeable as these guys were. (I try to keep crowd size fairly low on all tours, but it can be difficult when people forget to RSVP!)

Thinkwalks, especially Wiggle walks, cover material in no particular order, because that makes it possible to keep things interesting for everyone, especially me. If I followed a sequence from an outline, it would become blah for me, which would make it blah for you. So it’s especially nice to have a very small tour like this one, where the agenda is set by something more like conversation, and less by a presentation. Often more material gets covered, but even when less gets covered (tangents, ya know), I’ve found that the knowledge retention is better.

For those of you on this tour, this blog post can act as an ongoing virtual space where you can post tour follow-up discussion using the comment reply form, below.

For everyone else, this post is an announcement of the new Thinkwalks resource page on local weather prediction!

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3 Comments to “Taming the Weather with Intrepid Wigglers”

  1. Erika says:

    I’m glad this wasn’t a prepackaged tour with an instant just-add-water tour guide. That would be blah, certainly. (Tangents are our friends.)

    Excitable? Hey man, I’m not the one using “and other means” to predict weather. (insert visions of a gypsy-clad Joel peering into a crystal here)

    This tour was an awesome combination of information on history, city planning and of course, my favourite topic, STUFF.

    • Joel Pomerantz says:

      (insert visions of a gypsy-clad Joel peering into a crystal here)

      You mean like this? Annoying bubbles in the crystal ball

      Too bad my crystal ball has those annoying bubbles. Can’t see much beyond the next storm!

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  2. karin mcclune says:

    Did you know I was a pilot? I too checked the radar and it said, “go for it!”. I loved the tour because it was a bunch of this and that and we dilettantes don’t always know what we want to know. Everything said led to another question- which means these tours can be done again and again. (The tours are also great for the senior citizens who can’t remember from one day to the next.)

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