"... THIS CERTAINLY MAY CHANGE AS WE ARE DEALING WITH A CUTOFF LOW...THE BAIN (sic) OF THE WEATHERMAN."
Those are the words, here on friday, from the National Weather Service "Forecast Discussion"(NWS -Discussion) that I use to look past the basic forecast. This comes in handy during ski season, as well, I might add. The forecast for next week has 20% chances of rain for 4 days in a row but the discussion pulls that all apart, finishing with the above quote. A "cutoff low" means a low pressure area that isn't a well-formed front but, instead, a swirling mass of potential rain that can wander around or sit still for an inordinate period of time. I guess they are a little like hurricanes, in that sense, but without all the energy. Do you detect a slight note of cynicism in the quote? I love it when they get animated like that. It's like a little area where they don't have to follow "government-speak" so closely (or spelling, I guess).
Rain. The word strikes fear in almost everyone during harvest. Once the chardonnay and Pinot Noir come off, the worries lessen since most of the other prime varietals can withstand a little moisture due to their thicker skins. I have become more wary in recent years for even tough-old Cabernet Sauvignon. Late seasons like this one add a little bit of danger with every passing day since the days get shorter, cooler and less-apt to dry out any moisture that we may receive. Once the mold starts, there may be nothing to stop it. I saw some tiny flecks of mold develop last year right before some of our latest Cabernet was harvested. This was the first time I had ever seen that in Cabernet and it raised my anxiety level on the subject quite a bit. Ignorance WAS bliss, now I have these wiseacre weather people talking about their "bain." Their bane = grapegrower anxiety, big time.
P.S. shhhh.... don't mention this entry to my dad!