Nearly every region of the country has some version of the “If you don’t like the weather now, wait five minutes” line. I’ve heard it said in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and New York, and I’ve heard it said about New England, North Carolina, Florida, Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas, Colorado, and even California. Countless other locations undoubtedly say it. The only variation seems to be the amount of time–it ranges from a minute to a few minutes to five minutes to 20 minutes to a day.
The weather is dramatic and variable enough to make the statement equally accurate (and equally trite) in all areas, but one recent use of the statement surprised me. It was by one of the truckers on Ice Road Truckers, a History Channel reality show about truckers who drive over frozen roads, both over frozen bodies of water and roads paved with ice. (I watch the show for the same reason that I watch Deadliest Catch on the Discovery Channel–for the weather.)
Where I Hope It’s Not True
I suspect that the weather near the arctic (don’t forget to pronounce the first “c”) circle in the winter is fairly unchangeable——always cold. If it were to warm too suddently, then your road will melt, which might be a problem if you’re driving a 10-ton truck over an ocean. If the temperature were to drop too quickly, even if the temperature were below freezing to begin with, the ice will become much more likely to crack and break. Perhaps the other parts of the weather changes quickly, from dry to snow or from clear to cloudy, but the temperature part is fairly consistent.
But it’s proof that everyone–everywhere–thinks the statement If you don’t like the weather now, wait five minutes applies to him.