I am a harbinger of the weather anomalies. This week’s double-whammy earthquake and Hurricane Irene invoked memories of past weather instances. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that dramatic changes in my life have been exemplified by dramatic weather.
The earliest coincidence dates back to 2008 when I took my first full-time reporting job with The Observer Newspaper, a group of weekly papers in northeast Harris County. No more than two weeks after I start at the paper, then Houston is hammered by Hurricane Ike. The category 4 hurricane made landfall at Galveston Island where a friend of mine was studying at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He evacuated the island and headed up to my casa in suburbia to weather out the storm. At about 2 a.m. the hurricane knocked out the power and it wouldn’t be restored until 12 days later. It’s the only time I’ve ever grilled a frozen pizza barbecue style and finished a game of Risk.
In 2009, I left Texas to pursue a master’s degree at Columbia University School of Journalism. The day I landed in New York City was the hottest day of the summer. And while I balked at the New York definition of “hot” I could not deny the thunderstorm that rocked the city a week later, downing hundred-year-old trees in Central Park and sending New Yorkers scrambling for cover.
I left New York City in August 2010 on a road trip to the west coast, with layovers in Austin and Tucson. Our arrival in Tucson was coincidentally the coolest day of the summer. It even rained on us as we were hiking among the Saguaro cacti, a rarity in a city referred to as the Sunshine Factory.
The one recent exception could my brief stint with the Local News Service, a defunct operation of the Star-Ledger. Although, when I left the state in December after I was laid-off, a massive snow storm proceeded to bury New Jersey. The garden state got off light.
I landed an internship with the Dallas Morning News in early January. Naturally, Snowpocalypse v2.0 shut down the city for a day. Fastfoward to the end of June when I visited my home in Austin. The day I arrived was the only day of measurable rain during what is set to be the hottest summer on record.
Lastly – and I realize this whole post has been grasping straws – is my arrival at my latest job, which I hope to have for at least a year or two, at The National Law Journal / Legal Times. Although I started almost two months ago, the hurricane/earthquake combo will hopefully be the last phenomenon for a while. Although, since things come in threes, I wonder what will complete the trifecta of natural disaster.