This time of year you can’t help but think about the weather. Seems all craziness is loose out there with massive cold-fronts and blizzards sweeping down on the North both here and in Europe. I write this, of course, from the sunny warmth of my RV sitting in my flip flops…and that got me thinking. One line of my convoluted brain went on a tangent of footwear ending up somewhere with ultra-plush-faux-fur-covered flip-flops (I would buy ‘em!) whilst the other more scientific penchant of my brain started analyzing the practical side of things. After all, one of the many beauties of RVing is that you can travel with the weather, and that means flip-flops all year around (with occasional sock-in-flops on chillier days -> it’s a fashion statement don’t you know). As the self-proclaimed original discoverer of this phenomenon I nick-named it the flip-flop barometer of RVing, and decided it was worth a post.
Scientifically speaking the ideal flip-flop weather is between 60 and 80 degrees fahrenheit (16-27 degrees centigrade) with a soothing breeze and complete lack of bugs. You should be able to sit comfortably, not bothered by excessive temperature or bugs sipping a drink (with mini-umbrella as occasion demands) in the sun. Got it?
Now, I really must admit I’m not the first person to think of this. Snowbirds are well-known for fleeing the North in the winter to go South for warmth. Although not so-named (as far as I know) summerbirds do the same in reverse running like mad chickens from the heat and bugs of the summer into the North for relative cool.
Through our RVing we will attempt to perfect this travel with 365 days of perfect flip-flop accuracy. We failed this year, travelling South way too soon and thus spending way more time with bugs than we should have liked. Next year we will aim to do better and there’s a couple of spots that are helping us to plan the ultimate trip:
1/ US Weather Maps - The NCDC (National Climate Data Center) keeps a record of historical temperatures, visually mapped and color-coded as to whether they are above or below norm. It’s a very cool reference.
2/ Local Data - Once you’ve got the big picture Weather Underground is a great resource for getting into details. For historical info, just plug in your city and date and the site will spit out details and maps of daily, weekly or monthly data on temperature, barometric pressure, precipitation and wind speed.
3/ Bug Activity - There are limited resources for bug activity, but if you’re a natural-born-mosquito-magnet such as myself you’ll take anything you can get. Turns out the Weather Channel has a resource called the Mosquito Activity Forecast. Here you can get up-to-date info on how the little beasts are biting all around the US.
4/ Weather Alerts - Although these won’t affect your long-term planning, having access to severe weather alerts can definitely make a difference to your immediate safety. The NOAA issues the alerts and you can buy various weather radios to receive them as you travel cross-country. Certain media also offer cell-phone and e-mail alerts, but they’re usually limited to a given location.
Between these resources we’re going to re-try for the perfect flip-flop trip in 2011. Planning is in progress and will be revealed in due time. In the meantime here’s hoping your feet are free and footloose in the perfect flip-flop pose.