Ranger Kathryn's Arches

February 16, 2012

Weather report through the eyes of an interpretive ranger

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 12:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Morning inversion -- clouds surging up from Shafer Canyon, 8:15 a.m.

On the park radio channel each morning at 0930, after the daily weather report, the various districts in the area broadcast their weather information from the past 24 hours. This allows us to better direct visitors in their travels, as well as inform any staff working in the backcountry. You can imagine that normally it is a very businesslike script passing over the airwaves.

Yesterday I just couldn’t help myself. The breathtaking cloud inversion was begging for an interpretive shout-out. When it was my turn on the radio, I would normally have begun, “Good morning from the Island in the Sky. Yesterday’s high was…”   But there was nothing normal about what I was seeing outside my visitor center, so this is what all the districts (and headquarters!) heard: “Good morning from the Island in the Sky, where clouds are surging from the canyon depths and shrouding the mesa top in wispy splendor. Yesterday’s high was 45, low was 29…”

I felt like such a rebel. As far as I know, I didn’t get in trouble.

One other time I took a chance and reported in all seriousness that the forecast was brought to you by the adverbs ‘mostly’ and ‘partly,’ after which I read the three days of mostly sunny and partly cloudy NOAA forecast word for word as I usually do. I felt that that was grammatically interpretive and not too far out of line. My co-worker admitted he didn’t know those words were adverbs. I felt doubly useful.

Radio dispatchers abhor flippant or too-casual usage, so I am very careful. But just look at the accompanying photo and tell me that you wouldn’t have done the same.


  1. Being causally related to an occasional administrative, bureaucratic ‘Harumph’ or two is quite predictable given your ancestry – fun too! ;-?

    Comment by leroque — February 16, 2012 @ 6:56 am | Reply

  2. i would keep up with the rebel forecasts…. i’m sure the majority approve……

    Comment by john — February 16, 2012 @ 7:16 am | Reply

  3. Maybe you could be a Fox news weather anchor with some subversive NPS hype thrown in for good measure – national weather but referenced by parks.

    Comment by midsummerman — February 16, 2012 @ 10:10 am | Reply

  4. Can you share your radio frequency so we can all tune in when we visit? Sounds to me like it’s mostly just good fun…

    Comment by Ron Carroll — March 4, 2012 @ 8:15 am | Reply

    • You have to have a police or public safety scanner to pick up the park’s frequencies. The dial in your car THANKFULLY won’t do it!

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — March 4, 2012 @ 9:14 am | Reply

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