Meteorologists have gotten lazy lately. It used to be, not too long ago, that the rule for determining when the monsoon started here in the Valley of the Sun was when the relative humidity had reached 55 for 5 days in a row. Now, it has changed to the 15th of June. So what happened to cause the change, you ask. Well, here’s what I think.
Tom, Dick and Mary, all esteemed meteorologists, were gathered around the office water cooler one scorching hot June day, discussing various and sundry meteorological matters when their boss came along and reminded them that it would soon be time for the annual monsoon decision. Their conversation went along these lines:
Tom: Oh rats, now we’ve got to get out our charts and start keeping track of the relative humidity.
Dick: Yeah, it sure does louse up the day to have to go outside with those dumb equipment things.
Mary: You mean the humidity measurer doohickeys?
Dick: Yeah. I can never remember from one year to the next how to work the dumb things, let alone where we stored them.
Tom: And we never can get anyone else to go out and do the measuring for us. There’s got to be an easier way.
Mary: Maybe we can somehow come up with a better formula, like after it rains two days in a row. That would make it easier. We wouldn’t have to use those dumb charts for such a long time.
Tom: We wouldn’t even have to go out, we could just watch out the window for the rain.
Dick: I’ve got it! Remember how those guys over at Stonehenge figured out the solstices were all tied to calendar dates, like December 21st and June 21st and, um, those others. Why can’t we tie the monsoon to the calendar?
Tom and Mary, in unison: Great, Dick, you’ve hit on the solution.
Dick: Okay, now what date should we use?
Mary: Well, today is the 15th of June, it’s right in the middle of the month, easy to remember, why not use it? And besides, it usually rains sometime around now, according the local paper.
Tom and Dick, in unison: Right! Let’s go tell the boss how we’ve managed to make the work around here simpler for everyone.
And that’s the way it was one day at the meteorological office water cooler.