Home Commentary It’s Always Sunny in Pensacola

It’s Always Sunny in Pensacola

Y’all, I really feel like we need to take a moment and recognize some unsung heroes of Florida.

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A place called the Sunshine State, but it rains all the time.

Yesterday, it was certainly the end of days. 

I woke up and somebody had just flicked a switch on ole Mr. Sun. I know bills are high, but when it’s so expensive we have to turn the sun off…I’m just sayin’ Florida Person over the Light. We see you.

It was so concerning I kept my eye trained on the window waitin’ for the frogs and locusts or the second coming. 

And now look. This morning? It’s Always Sunny in Pensacola. 

I don’t even look at the weather forecast anymore. I can tell you right now, it’s wrong anyway. Before you even look at it. 

Florida does not care about your weather forecast. Because Florida is gonna Florida. Florida gets to feelin’ some kind of way and it does what it wants. 

A torrential, terrifying flood of the earth at 10 a.m. and a beautiful day for baseball by 2. 

After I posted the Weekend Top 10, I started seeing friends online discuss plans for the Crawfish Festival and which day to go, which got me thinking about the accuracy of the weather reports and what it means to be a weather person in Florida. 

I asked my bestie, Google, “How accurate are weathermen?” Don’t come at me, this was a private Google. Well, guess what? That little ten-day forecast button at the bottom of a certain website? Useless. A ten-day or longer forecast is accurate about HALF of the time. 

Five-day forecasts are better with a 90 percent accuracy. I can’t predict my favorite sports team with that level of accuracy.

But what really caught my eye was the search results underneath, “Why do weathermen exaggerate?” And honey, there’s a term for it! It’s called Wet Bias. Did y’all know that before now? I did not. 

It is the phenomenon of overestimating and exaggerating the probability of rain to increase the actionability of the forecast. A certain large weather station even admitted to doing this, because in cases where there is originally little or no chance of rain, viewers become irate if the 5% chance comes true.

At first, I was like, “Say what?” If it’s 5%, just say it’s 5%. 

But y’all, the more I thought of it, the more I empathize with the meteorologists. Why? Because people are crazier than the weather. And these forecasters are in a no-win situation. 

Can y’all imagine trying to predict the weather in Florida? That’s gonna be a hard pass for me. 

People are always watching and never satisfied? You better love you some Cumulus Congestus to persevere under those circumstances. 

I know this, I sure am thankful for the weather stations come hurricane season, which is only thirty-four more days, by the way. 

We listen 24-7 then. Even so, the weather and the earth is a dynamic place. Especially Florida, which is 1/3 wetlands. Pensacola averages 27” more rain than the national average, too.  

Here’s what I CAN predict, Florida days are like a box of chocolates. To soften the days you pick orange creme:

  1. Keep an umbrella in the car, but make sure you put it in the back, so when it suddenly starts raining, you have to exit the car, get drenched, and fiddle with the back hatch only to discover you left it at home. 
  2. Plan beach, sports, wedding, and exit-the-house days with a sense of humor and the flexibility of Gumby. 
  3. Own one thing that floats. Raft. Boat. Paddleboard. Kayak. Canoe. Maybe one day I’ll write about the man floating in his pool float down Romana Street and you’ll understand why.
  4. Prepare your house, your yard, and your person for anything. Florida is really not playin’. 

And last, until I fully understand the science of atmospheric pressure, I’m gonna leave the millibars to somebody else. And if 27 more inches of rain gives me the photo above? I’ll take the rain. 

Hug a Florida meteorologist, y’all. They’re doing the best they can under the unpredictable circumstances. 

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Dana is an Arkansas native and a seasonal resident of the Gulf Coast since childhood. She was a Pensacola resident for 13 years, before moving to Gulf Breeze. Dana attributes her Mayberry-esque childhood in Warren, Arkansas, as enormously influential in honing her definitely Southern style of storytelling. She earned a degree in Journalism, Advertising/Public Relations from the University of Arkansas (Woo Pig Sooie!). In addition to writing, she loves photography, art, adventures in the great outdoors, and spending time with her three children.