In Which a Complaint is Lodged with Zeus, Jupiter, Thor, Ukko, Tezcatlipoca, Yu Shi, Chaac, Indra, and any other Gods and Goddesses of Weather or Associated Departments
by Kourtney Jai

Las Vegas, NV
KnowBeforeYouGo™ Workweek Weather Forecast

I learned to stop trusting weather forecasts that one time the local news station forecasted 2” of snow on Valentine’s Day. All the schools closed as soon as the first flakes fell (because this is Vegas: “salt” refers to a garnish for margaritas, not something used to de-ice the roads), but the storm system ended up being a bust — a cherry, a blank, and a bell when you’re praying for three 7s. After approximately 20 dubiously wet flakes fell, the “snow” turned to rain and everyone’s carefully curled and coiffed and crimped hair was ruined.

But 90% is 90% — surely even the weathermen can’t flub 90%.

Because I swear that 90% chance of rain on Friday is the only thing getting me through the week. The weather has been viciously hot. Despite liberal air conditioning, I go to bed sweating, I toss and turn, and I wake up somewhere around sunrise and check the weather, deciding whether it is too hot to go for a run. It is. Even though the sun is barely up, it is already hovering near 100°. Always.

And then I berate myself for another morning without exercising, and that is how I start my day.

Every morning. All summer.

And the days. The days are worse than the mornings, with the same vindictive sun, the same taunting blue skies, the same so-hot-you-can’t-touch-your-steering-wheel temperature.

I am sick of it.

But this week, my morning routine has taken a sharp turn towards the optimistic thanks to the tiny rain cloud symbol that appeared in Friday’s weather rectangle. Each day I watch in embarrassing glee as the percentage chance of rain ticks upward: 50%, then 60%, then 90%. Ninety percent is nearly unheard of here.

Like a bookie watching the lines at the sportsbook, I watch the weather. I check my weather app while in line at the bank, while filling up my water bottle, while bent over the sink tending a bloody nose (thank you, near-0% humidity). I check the weather app so much that my phone rushes to recalibrate its understanding of me, and I start getting targeted ads for meteorology-related books, which is, honestly, a welcome respite from what it was giving me before (engagement rings. WHY.).

And now here we are: Friday. I sleep with the blinds open so that I can check the skies and I end up oversleeping, the leaden skies tricking my brain into thinking I am still in the gloomy grey predawn. I rush out of bed, Christmas-morning-levels of excitement bubbling up in my chest and I see the first few droplets of rain have begun falling. I open the window as wide as I can, breathing in the fresh, spicy-earth scent of sagebrush and wet concrete.

I dress for work quickly, deciding on a breakfast bar instead of my usual cereal. I am late, but I don’t really care; I rush so that I can linger outside in the rain.

I skitter out the door, lock it, turn, and I can’t see anything. The sun is so bright, so blinding, that I momentarily see nothing but white. Blinking, I look around. There is nothing in the insultingly blue sky to indicate that rain was falling, that it was forecasted to fall, or indeed that it will ever fall again. I fumble for my phone, frenziedly checking the weather app.

Las Vegas, NV
KnowBeforeYouGo™ MakeTodayYours™ Forecast

  Sunny and hot. High of 100°.
  0% Chance of Rain.

  Clear, fair skies. Temperature dropping to 96° overnight.
  0% Chance of Rain.

My commute to work takes twice as long as usual. The trace amount of rain has loosened oil and dirt and who-knows-what from the roads, making the highways slippery and dangerous for the unwary, of which there are apparently many. Accidents appear every few miles, even more numerous than the billboards advertising strip clubs. No one is happy.

And the sun is in my eyes the entire drive.

Kourtney Jai is a lawyer, writer, and yogi currently living in the Bay Area, California. She has an MA in English Literature from the University of Connecticut and she can usually be found staring out the window, wishing for rain.

Image by jplenio from Pixabay.

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