SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
Column: Humor

Sunny Days are becoming as frequent as Eclipses



August 26, 2017
Saturday PM

Ketchikan, Alaska -
Well, Our Fair Salmon City somehow managed to survive the galactic convergence of Eclipse-a-mania and Storm-aggedon!

jpg  Dave Kiffer

Both those events came together this past week and Ketchikan greeted them with a giganto-awesome "meh"!

The eclipse was always an iffy proposition anyway.

If it had been crystal clear out we might have seen a sixty percent eclipse which would have been kinda cool, except for the fact that the sun causes Ketchikan residents to sneeze when it comes out and we would have sneezed right through the "partial totality."

Seriously, I saw a news story this past week referring to "partial totality." How is that even partially (or totally) possible?

But, of course, it was not crystal or any type of clear. It was August in the First City. Also known as pre-winter. Also know as Augtober. So it wasn't going to be clear 'round here.

Our town motto remains: Ketchikan: Eclipsing Eclipses Since......Forever.

An interesting side note. Just about every indigenous civilization in the world has some sort of oral history about eclipses. Usually some cautionary tale in which the eclipse is a harbinger of doom. But I have never heard of one from the North Coast area. Coincidence? I think not.

Anyway, if there is one I would love to hear it. Of course we have "Raven Steals The Sun" but that is a story of light being brought INTO THE WORLD, as opposed to light being taken away. We could use a bit more of that in this neck of the woods.

I just want to know if there has EVER been an eclipse visible in these here parts. To quote the handy dandy Eight Ball that NOAA uses to predict the weather around here, "My sources say no."

And speaking of weather. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association predicted a "bigly" storm for Southern Southeast this past week..

Look, it is not hard to predict the weather around here. Just mention something about "a low pressure system" and add in 100 percent "chance" of rain and you've got it.

Unfortunately, in the last couple of years NOAA has been so afeard missing a big storm that it has taken to predicting big storms and potentially awful consequences (heavy rainfall!! Creek flooding!!! Check your boats!!!!) every chance it gets.

And, it would seem that whenever they do it there is a "100 percent chance" of it being wrong. I get that it is better to predict a storm and have it fizzle than to not predict one and have it show up.

But it's getting to be a bit "Chicken Little" or "Boy Who Cried Wolf." They have so oversold the recent storms that I fear that we aren't taking what they have to say seriously.

So we naturally sighed when the Weather Folks announced a significant meteorological "event" in which the remnants of Tropical Typhoon Banyan would bring up to 6.89 inches of rain to Ketchikan in a 24-hour period.

(Ha, ha, I just used the worlds "tropical" and "Ketchikan" in a sentence for the first time in the history of...... forever!!!!)

Speaking of which, Typhoon Banyan? When did they begin naming storms after fig trees?

What's next?

Typhoon Coconut Palm?

Typhoon Breadfruit?

Once again, they are missing a perfectly good opportunity to warn us of the severity of these storms.

Why not Typhoon "Shiva The Destroyer" or Typhoon "Kali Goddess of Destruction?" Those would inspire people to vacate the coastal lowlands.

It's hard to feel urgency when confronted with the possibility of Typhoon "Rose Bush."

But, as usual, I digress.

Well, in this case, NOAA wasn't all that far off, as the First City got about 10 inches of rain spread out over about two days. Not a millennial deluge, perhaps just an average rainfall in October, but certainly not your typical Augtober weather even as we continue to suffer through our endless "summer of discontent."

So fortunately the convergence provided enough "drizzle" and cloud cover to keep alive our centuries long undefeated record of eclipsing any and all eclipses.

Meanwhile. I'm sure NOAA is already churning out a variety of weather "event" warnings for October when it will really get ugly around here as we realize that summer as indeed August 5th, this year.

Heavy rainfall! Creek flooding!! For gosh sakes, check on your boats!!!


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Dave Kiffer is a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
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