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    Whether you see today’s musing will be totally up to the weather. Yet another thunderstorm is rolling across our area as I type and that makes for unreliable internet.

    That’s not the only problem. In fact, it’s not even the biggest problem. My dogs get two walks a day to burn off their excess energy. With Siberian Huskies, dogs who are bred to run for hours without a break, that is a lot of pent-up demand that needs to be dealt with. Wrestling and playing with each other helps, but it isn’t the same thing.

    In order to get those walks in, I need to know when we leave the house that we will have at least an hour of acceptable weather. To accomplish that, I use a weather app that produces an extreme short-term forecast. When I say short-term, I mean the next hour or two. By the minute.

    I much prefer a well-trained meteorologist for any multi-day forecast, particularly one who doesn’t believe in the gloom, doom, and disaster predictions (I’m looking at those people who name winter storms) but rather explains all the possibilities and variances. I understand that a 10% chance of rain doesn’t guarantee it will not rain any more than a 90% chance of rain means it couldn’t be dry.

    For extreme short-term, however, an app can be useful since I don’t have a personal meteorologist giving me minute-by-minute forecasts for the spot I am standing in (but what a neat concept). When I lived down at the coast in Murrells Inlet, I found the app quite reliable. When it said rain would start in 17 minutes, it tended to start in 15-19 minutes.

    Back here in Asheville, however,… Let’s just say it’s not something I can trust. Our mountains and valleys skew the weather patterns in weird ways.

    The other day, for example, we struck out from the house for our afternoon walk with the dogs. I dutifully checked the weather app that promised no rain for the next four hours. A few clouds had built in the sky, but nothing that hinted rain was imminent.

    About 15 minutes in, the clouds thickened and the sun disappeared. Concerned, I checked the app. Clear skies for the next three hours and forty-five minutes. We continued walking.

    Another 15 minutes passed and we neared our turn-around point. A few light sprinkles—more mist than drizzle—hung in the air. The app assured me we had about three-and-a-half hours before some rain would approach. We opted to turnaround a bit early and cut our walk short by a few yards. The dogs protested—they know when they’ve been shortchanged—but we insisted.

    Ten minutes later. The sky grew pitch black. Thunder rumbled. The mist had evolved to a few threatening fat drops of water. The app assured us, however, that three hours and thirty-five minutes remained until precipitation arrived.

    Five minutes later. A steady rain was falling. The dogs were firing accusing looks in my direction. I pulled the phone from my pocket, asked for an update, wiped the accumulating water from the screen, and was once again assured we had three-and-a-half hours before rain would begin. Yes, in the rain, the app said it wasn’t raining.

    Five minutes more passed. The rain hammered us. My clothes clung to my body. The dogs looked like drowned rats. I opened the app, showed it to them, and shouted over the cacophony of falling water that the app assured us we had plenty of time to get home.

    Five more minutes. Lightning flashed. Trees bent in the wind. Rain blew sideways. Water dripped from the dogs. And my app? Oh, let me just do a screen capture:

    Heavy rain and thunderstorm ending in 24 minutes

    Yes, the very app who had repeatedly told me it wasn’t going to rain for hours was now telling me we were in the midst of heavy rain. Gee, thanks.

    For the record, it rained for quite a bit more than twenty-four minutes. Not that it mattered. We were all soaked to the bone. The dogs blamed me for it all.

    Once home and dry, they reminded me we cut the walk short. I owed them some extra distance. They don’t forget things like that.

    My Next Novel

    My story editor completed her review of my next novel and I am deep into revisions. As is my long-standing practice, I don’t read while handing re-writes because I don’t want it to influence my own work. Sorry, but that means no Books Read or Interesting Links section in today’s Musing.

    On the bright side, she enjoyed the story. At her suggestion, I am adding some details to one of the minor characters and removing a couple of pieces that I find entertaining but slow the story down. As always, her advice is spot on and I’m having fun with the changes. The revisions are due to my copy editor on August 11, so I’m putting in some solid days right now.

    The title of the book has been finalized and will be announced in the August 4 newsletter. The cover will be revealed in the September 1 newsletter (I don’t get to see it for a couple of more weeks yet, so I couldn’t tell you what it was even if I wanted to). If you want to be among the first to find out these details, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter. See the link below today’s Musing.

    Gratuitous Dog Picture

    Typhoon's opinion of rewrites.
    Typhoon’s opinion of rewrites.

    His Royal Highness Little Prince Typhoon Phooey shows his opinion of my time spent working on rewrites for my editor. Yes, somehow, he found a way to both sleep and be in the way at the same time since this is under my writing desk where I normally put my feet. He would wake up for a walk if I promise it won’t rain.

    Background title image courtesy Amadej Tauses

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    1. Jean Burkhardt on July 19, 2021 at 7:31 am

      Oh Hu-Dad-I bet you all were a site when you returned from your walk!! The Little Prince Typhoon Phooey has his place to sleep perfected! IF another walk is announced he will be RIGHT THERE!!!

    2. HokiePack on July 19, 2021 at 8:16 am

      Oh technology! The Herd evidently is not up to speed that when it works it’s wonderful and when it doesn’t – it’s all wet ?

    3. Debbie and Ruby on July 19, 2021 at 9:22 am

      Read the forecast, study the radar maps, drive to the park (10 mins away), and 5 minutes into the walk the sky opens up!! We can’t win this July in the East.
      Can’t wait for the new book!!

    4. chris on July 19, 2021 at 12:15 pm

      In the Midwest our app is the same way. Wrong all the time. My daughter wonders if it has something to do with where the weather reader station that is reporting it is located. We live in the country but it gives us the city forecast so not sure that has anything to do with it.

      Our dogs are german shepherds who also need the walks to wear off excess energy. Usually we can at least get one walk in when it is raining (and my dogs will walk in the rain) but the mosquitoes have moved in badly and so rain just makes them 2000% worse. And this year for some reason more thunder and lightning has also thrown a wrench into the walks.

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