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Posted 1/17/2014 3:14pm by Eugene Wyatt.

It looks like it will rain and snow plus be partially sunny on Saturday with a 50% chance of precipitation...hmm, 50% they say.

Saturday Union Square: "A chance of rain and snow before 1pm, then a slight chance of rain between 1pm and 4pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 43. Light and variable wind becoming west 12 to 17 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Little or no snow accumulation expected."

Issued by: National Weather Service New York, NY
Last Update: 12:58 pm EST Jan 17, 2014

I could do as well as the National Weather Service with the flip of a coin.

Now at 6:09 pm...

Saturday Union Square: "A chance of rain and snow showers before 10am, then a slight chance of rain showers between 10am and 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 42. Breezy, with a southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 40%."

Issued by: National Weather Service New York, NY
Last Update: 6:09 pm EST Jan 17, 2014

Saturday's forecast is getting better; yet tomorrow, I'm afraid, the damage has been already done by the previous forecasts...but ever and always, better pleasant damage than not.

Posted 1/16/2014 8:06am by Eugene Wyatt.

The forecast:

Saturday Union Square: "A chance of rain and snow before 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 40. West wind 9 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%." 

Issued by: National Weather Service New York, NY
Last Update: 6:01 am EST Jan 16, 2014

And 12 hours later,

Saturday Union Square: "A chance of rain and snow before noon, then a slight chance of snow between noon and 2pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 39. Breezy, with a south wind 6 to 11 mph becoming west 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Little or no snow accumulation expected."

Issued by: National Weather Service New York, NY
Last Update: 5:59 pm EST Jan 16, 2014

What has meaning is not only the rain, snow or wind on Saturday (that is a factor) but an unpleasant weather forecast will keep people from shopping the out-of-doors Greenmarket. Our business will diminish; people are planners. They will plan to do inside things on their Saturday free rather than brave the threatened inclement weather; they will call Fresh Direct or go to Whole Foods or arrange for a meal delivery from a take-out restaurant and let the delivery bicyclist, clad in plastic bags to protect his body from the rain, deal with the foul weather.

It's happening now, plans are being made; but Friday's forecast will be the final stroke and seal our indoor fate or, if favorable weather is predicted, free us to scurry out in the sun to buy produce from a smiling farmer at the Union Square Greenmarket.

Posted 1/15/2014 6:24pm by Eugene Wyatt.

Wednesday I'm driving to the tannery in Quakertown, Pennsylvania; it will take me about 2 hours one-way. I'm taking 16 Correidale/Saxon Merino sheep hides from the slaughterhouse that have been salted to dry them. There, I will pick up the 18 tanned sheepskins that I dropped off 3 weeks ago.

During the past year, during these multi-hour rides, I had been listening to Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu. But what will I listen to now that I've finished the 4500 page novel? I like the first-person narration of À la recherche...; the "I" seems more lifelike and to interfere less than in a story told by an omniscient—or not—third-person narrator of the protagonist being called a "he" or a "she". But it's the author speaking no matter his or her convention of narration. 

As valuable as it was, I want to read or listen to a book more modern than the 1913-1922 À la recherche... and I want it to be the story of an adult. I'll look to see what I have in my Audible.com library...

The sheepskins will be welcome at the stand; we'd sold the best ones over the holidays. We should sell several new ones this Saturday if the weather is dry; yet the forecast has been erratic: on Monday the forecast for Saturday was sunny, then it was to be rainy on Tuesday; but Wednesday's forecast for Saturday in New York is sun again.

A customer told me, "The percentage of rain forecast is really the probability that it will rain in that percentage of the forecast area."

Hmm...aces and eights.

Posted 9/10/2008 5:01am by Catskill Merino.
Hanna Part 3 
About 10 AM, New Yorkers slowly came down from their lofty rooms when they realized that the rain was holding off for them.  Occasionally the sun would peek out from behind clouds and this flickering cheer crowded the market with buyers who kept one grim eye on the threatening skies overhead.  One thought of hungry Cyclopes.  Surprisingly, the day finished well.

But it finished early. Light rain began to fall about 3 PM—this emptied the marketthe rain came down harder and soaked us as we loaded the truck.  Now it was a race to get out of town and through Jersey before Rte. 17 was deluged.  But when I got to Mahwah the rain was coming down in sheets, traffic crawled and made waves across the flooded roadway, the wipers were helpless, "cant you see the tears roll down the street."   Stevie Ray Vaughn was on my iPod, Hanna was here, I was halfway home.  Secretly, I like the rain, it soothes me.
 
Posted 9/9/2008 9:52pm by Catskill Merino.
Hanna Part 2 
The New York City forecast on Saturday was for Hanna to bring steady rain that would begin before dawn and continue through the day and into the evening hours. The “Chance of precipitation is 90%,” said the weatherman.

But contrary to the forecast—Hanna stalled—the rain stopped around 5:30 AM as I sped toward New York through the wealthiest bedroom communities of  New Jersey: Saddle River, where Richard Nixon slept after his White House years; and Ho-Ho-Kus where John McCain should doze instead of in the White House.  As far as I know George Washington never slept in New Jersey.

Zoe, Monica and I set the stand up, we put the yarn and lamb out, and we waited for the rain or for the people to come—usually it’s one or the other—but neither came.  It wasn't the weather that kept people home, it was the forecast.  I guess New Yorkers were sleeping-in and dreaming of pleasant indoor distractions to keep them out of the rain.

Bad weather forecasts are as bad as bad weather.  Everybody blames the weatherman for them, but a forecast with a chance of rain of 30% means that it will rain in 30% of the forecast area.  So if it rains on you, don't blame the weatherman, it might be sunny on the other side of town—you'll never know—you can’t be in two places at the same time. 
 
Posted 9/6/2008 1:32am by Catskill Merino.
Hanna Part 1 
Saturday, 2 AM.  I'm up early—I couldn't sleep—it's too humid in the house; tropical rain has begun falling outside as Hanna spirals up the coast from the Carolinas where she made landfall.  According to the forecast rain will continue for 24 hrs. and we can expect winds with gusts as high as 48 mph this evening.  Rain is inconvenient but wind is scary.  Even with the market canopy tied-down to the truck, wind gusts can destroy it like a cheap umbrella bought on the street.

There have been few really bad Saturdays days so far this year, but this looks to be a zero-sum day. Rain won't hurt the wool as it dries out and unsold lamb comes back frozen; but vegetable growers lose sales and their harvest too—vegetables are perishable—when they're ripe and ready, you pick'em or lose'em, raindrops to come or not.
 
When I grew vegetables rainy market days were great for the sheep; they ate crates of lettuce and kale that I brought back to the farm.  They ate everything except the alliums (onions & leeks) and the nightshade fruits (tomatoes & peppers).  They loved leafy greens best, but they ate the soft summer squash too; and when all the easy eats were gone, they would eat the beets, turnips and other root crops which they wedged into the corner of the feeder and gnawed on, a feat for sheep who only have lower teeth.  
 
I hope I can take the day as it comes—take it as the sheep do—and do it one better by smiling back at the rain.