Tea with “Two-Delta” – Talking about The Weather

In the everyday culture I grew up in, the weather is something almost frowned upon when brought up in a conversation. According to what I experienced in social situations, somebody who uses the weather as a subject for a chat is quickly labeled someone who hasn´t anything interesting to say, desperate to pick the next-best topic they can find. Even if quite newsworthy, the weather is hardly ever being used even to fill an awkward gap of silence or to get a conversation started out of the blue. It´s okay to mention it, it´s okay to become emotional about it for a second or two due to all of last week´s rain / sun / snow, but that´s about it.

I have learned not to talk about the weather too much any more. There was a time when I did. The weather is among the most interesting topics I know of. You´ll hardly find anything else that´s so omnipresent but yet not trivial, so complex but yet logical, so beautiful but yet so merciless as the weather.

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I love the weather, every kind of it. I concentrate on it a lot even when I have much more important things to do. Part of my life depends on it. I make many decisions according to the weather, I can only tell if I have time to hang out with you after having sincerely checked on all kinds of forecasts and diagrams, and large part of the mood I am in is directly proportional to it. I know nothing more beautiful and spectacular than the mere face of the weather, and I can try to name any cloud I come across, eager to understand the coherency of their cause and effect. Everytime I look into the sky, I try to draw drifts and currents in my head according to what I see. I keep walking into lamp poles and I am in permanent danger of being overrun at crossroads. I love the weather, and I like to talk about what I love.

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With my attitude I had no idea why talking about the weather would be a taboo, something of very little interest for the majority of everyone else.

After getting used to my peculiarity, people started to politely ask me what the weather would be like tomorrow. They only meant well. Normally I had no idea. I could tell them everything about how the wind and pressure were going to change during the night hours and what caused it to do so, I had no trouble elucidating the next cold front´s moving pattern and how long we had until it might influence us. The local sounding and the properties of tomorrow´s airmass were crystal clear to me, as well as the chances for convection to develop, probability of OD´s, the best direction you could fly towards and what time you´d better be back in the afternoon. "But... will it rain tomorrow?" - "Well, it might."

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I don´t know enough to really seriously say something about the weather. I only know too much about it to think I could possibly tell if it would rain or not. Issuing tangible statements about the weather is reserved for the Unfearful and Wise, neither of which I am. I keep talking about the weather, but nowadays I do it very carefully. Thinking within the limits of the terms "Sun", "Cloud", "Rain" and "Degrees" is pretty awkward and very complex, and it took me a while to understand that that´s what it´s really about. Nobody on the street cares about airmass stability, pressure changes and the wind-over-altitude profile, and of course that´s fair enough. Now, coming to think about it, I finally began to understand why my beloved talking about the weather is being considered so shallow and unmeaning: Because it just is.

While talking about the weather isn´t that sophisticated and serious at all, really saying something about it would be indeed.

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- But who can tell if there will be rain tomorrow? I love the weather because it will always be one step ahead of us.

Benjamin Bachmaier

Benjamin Bachmaier is an engineering student from Munich, Germany, besides being a gliding enthusiast, instructor, cross-country / alpine soaring coach and competition pilot.Soaring is the central element of his life and he spends a lot of time learning, thinking, reading and writing about it.Benjamin started gliding in 2005 when he was only fourteen years old.He has since collected more than 1500 hours of cockpit time and has been on cross-country tasks over a dozen different countries.