Three Montana summers of recording sunlight on paper had me looking to the sky for the inevitable interruptions of the sun’s light. Waiting through the veiling effects of clouds I wondered if there was a way I could record that as well. Not being able to resist the urge to catalog, it occurred to me that there might be some specialized weather notation.
Robert Houze, a University of Washington professor, meteorologist and self proclaimed hurricane chaser, agreed to meet me for coffee. When I got over being shy about chatting with a scientist (and he got over wondering what to say to an artist) I asked him if there were any weather symbols. He looked at me for just a moment with what might have been pity for my lack of knowledge, and then responded. “There are the 100 weather symbols.” I asked him to show me and rummaged around for pen and paper. The first thing he drew was two beautiful dots arranged just like the brand my town in Montana is named after. As it turns out these two dots mean light continuous rain. I was hooked.
With a kindergartener’s knowledge, weather notation became a daily habit. By documenting the particulars of a given moment on a particular day through weather, I located myself in time and place. These notations are collected in three books: weather over coffee 9.15.10-11.18.10, with weather notations taken every day as I drank my morning coffee, meteorologically correct: storm 11.21.10 – 11.28.10 with notations taken over the course of a week long storm, and weather twice: two dot 7.27.10 – 8.21.10 with weather notations taken twice a day in Two Dot.
observable weather was part of Forecast: Communicating Weather and Climate, January – April 2011 in Seattle, WA. The exhibition was sponsored by The American Meteorological Society and EcoArts Connections.