Thursday, July 3, 2008

Tomorrow's Forecast.

The heat's back. You can see it, actually, see that we're not as clear as we have been. The air Tuesday night was like October air, like glass. The air this morning is sleepier, like things might improve if you blinked a few times, washed your face. It may seem like this is a conversation about humidity, but it's not. It's about July.

The ten-day looks good again—it looks hot, but starting Saturday it wants to give us fair shots at rain for the better part of a week. No rain's forecast for Friday, though I'll tell you this much: Every Fourth of July since I've lived in GSO, JLC has grilled ribs on Carr Street. You can see the smoke when you turn the corner at the top of the street. Twenty or thirty people turn up, drink beer all evening, eat ribs and grilled corn and greens and beans off the hoods of cars. One year we played baseball with the leftover corn ears. It seems like JLC's 4th cookout, which sometimes falls on the Fourth, and sometimes does not—he pegs it to the day the city intends to shoot fireworks off from the high school down in the park—is the day that tends to ring in the miserable summer heat, and tends also, regardless of forecast, to bring with it one of the first classic GSO pop-up afternoon summertime thunderstorms. There can be absolutely nothing in the forecast, nothing on the radar, nothing anywhere, and at about 5:30 there will be a little storm directly over the college and Carr Street and thirty drunk grad students huddled on porches and JLC cooking away under some makeshift tarp he's rigged in the side yard, eyes bloodshot from a day's worth of charcoal smoke, barbecue sauce in his eyebrows and beard and all down the front of some t-shirt he's pulled out of his menagerie of a house. More, perhaps, on this rite of summer tomorrow. All I'm saying is that there is no rain in the forecast for tomorrow, but that based on the historical precedent of the past ten years, I have to hang our chances at about 40% for about a half-inch of rain.

It should be said that there's no need at all for JLC's ribs to bring with them the stultifying heat of midsummer. We got that for the entirety, or thereabouts, of early summer. We've also seen those summer storms already, though if you're me, and today I am, you can never see enough summer storms. Not ever.

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