Pat Shingleton: "Pot Holes and Pig Spleens"
Those that have relocated from Western Pennsylvania to Baton Rouge often share their stories of the dismal wintry weather in the Pittsburgh area. Shakespeare referred to it as the winter of discontent. Not only is it the winter season up north but the “Pot-Hole Season” too. After heavy snow, freezing temperatures and the scrape of a snow plow, streets in the northern extremes resemble a lunar landscape. These holes cause nerve-wracking, bone jarring, wheel bending bumps and sometimes you need the experience of a NASCAR driver to avoid them. Because of the combination of freezing and thawing, roadways flex and crack, crumbling the pavement where cars do the rest. From potholes to pig spleens. I've discovered a variety of "unconventional" suggestions for predicting weather and the following, reported in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, may be one of the strangest. On the Canadian prairie, pig farmer, Gus Wickstrom has carried on a tradition handed down to him from his Swedish great-great-grandfather. Over the years, he has predicted the weather, by examining pig spleens. Wickstrom believes that the depressions and fatty deposits on a two-foot-long pig spleen can providde a forecast. Gus attests that 80% of the time, the forecast is accurate for a 200-mile radius from the point where the pig was slaughtered. Another pig spleen examiner, Ken Porter, predicts that mid February was the coldest time of the month with the end of March being variable. Comparing previous spleen forecasts with Environment Canada weather reports, both forecasters have gone "hog-wild" with amazing accuracies. I’m going to try this tonight on my broadcasts.