Weather a punt in spring ...

By Roger Moroney

It has often been said the most effective way to break a relentless drought and nurse the water tables back to health was not to embark on an expensive cloud-seeding venture - but to stage a one-day international cricket match.

Or any major outdoor event for that matter - although a couple of years back cricket did get a hammering from unseasonable weather patterns.

Picking a schedule for international events is the easy part.

It's trying to pick the weather that creates the real challenge.

When it's many months away, it is impossible.

There are, of course, the weather pickers who use the moon and tides and the alignment of Venus or whatever, but that's never going to come up with a hang-your-hat-on-it result.

Organisers and promoters can go back and look at weather patterns of previous seasons but, again, no guarantees there.

The Mission Concert got caught out one summer and was rained into cancellation and has been threatened on three other occasions by the weather but was luckily spared.

No guarantees even in mid-February.

Napier's Art Deco Weekend also got heavily rained upon one year, but a stoic spirit of the Blitz philosophy was adopted and it went on ... but was a shadow of what it should have been.

Several years ago, we came up with a date, many months out, for a daughter's wedding, which had an outdoors component.

I wasn't worried about hiring the suit and walking the aisle ... I was terrified of what Mother Nature would bring to the big day. Thankfully, it played ball.

The weather is a fickle thing.

It is also the most dominating factor of life, as the many thousands of folk who planned to fire up the mower this weekend to cull back the spring growth of their lawns will agree.

And those who planned something outdoors.

Meteorologically, this is a tough time of the year to predict.

The changing of the seasons adds to the fact that winter has not exactly been a chiller and we have become accustomed to blue horizons and bright shadows.

So the Hawke's Bay Racing folks put on the big free family raceday, complete with beer and sausage showcases, bouncy castle, pony rides, face painting and, of course, fine horse racing.

And, as if it were a one-dayer, the forecast is a dubious one after a couple of soggy days.

But while it's hard to pick a perfect day, it's not hard to pack a raincoat and make the best of things.

If need be, turn up the collar and turn the attention to the nags who thrive in the wet.

That'll put the spring in the step.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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