11 October 2007

All of a sudden, it's fall

It's cold outside. I mean, all of a sudden, fall showed up. I know it was quick, I was outside when it happened. It was Tuesday night, around 2000 (that's 8:00 for all you 12 hour people).

It was honestly just your typical Michigan cold front. Pretty warm all day Tuesday, but then the wind began to pick up, and at the airport, where every television screen and computer monitor seems to have a weather loop on it for some odd reason, we were watching the line of yellow and orange and green move across eastern Wisconsin.

We knew what was coming. It happens the same way every time. We watch the weather in Wisconsin.
Then we get the frantic calls from the airlines, telling us that their planes are coming here instead of Chicago or Milwaukee.
Then the planes actually get to GRR. About that same time is when the clouds begin wafting in over the lake. First the innocent wispy cirrus clouds that nobody thinks much of.

But there is always that subtle change in the wind. The wind picks up, ever so slightly, and at the same time, the setting sun, after filling the sky with brilliant fiery color, finally is obscured by the more threatening cumulus.

About the same time the crew that fuels the airlines are calling for the backup trucks, and the diverted aircraft are thirstily gulping the sweet petroleum concoction we've delivered to them, the wind picks up, definitively this time, so that everyone notices.

We knew already, so we've been prepared. But those who do not have to watch the weather like us are now wondering if they should break out their umbrellas. We're already in our rain gear, and the people that had derided us, we prophets of weather, are now beginning to heed our message.

It happens quickly from then on. The wind picks up even more, so that I hear in my hangar the ventilation fan clattering against it's housing on the roof. If I hadn't known, I would think my hangar walls were coming down for all the noise.

Five minutes later, the sky is greyed out by rain. Sometimes so bad I can't see across my ramp to the runway.

Usually fifteen minutes after that, it's over. We then get to come out and watch the line move further east, sometimes getting quite a light show from the embedded thunderstorms. We shed our rain gear as quickly as possible, because in all reality, we sweat so bad in it no matter what the temperature is that some of us don't even bother wearing it.

But this time, Tuesday, 2000(GMT-4), it was different: Obviously, with a cold front, you expect a drop in temperature.

But not one of twenty degrees. And not one that does not warm back up.

So fall has finally arrived in West Michigan. And now that the weather is cooling off, I am turning my mind towards spring. The next few months will be a battle of wills, as Generals Snow and Ice will combine their forces in an attempt to force me to wear regular shoes.


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