There are cities in the world where the weather is superb throughout the year. Among them are Sao Paulo, Brazil; Loja, Ecuador; Mombasa, Kenya; Sydney, Australia; and Nice, France.
Unfortunately, I have no plans to visit any of these cities, and even if I did, it would be for a very short time. I would not be able to afford to stay for more than a week or two, and even if I could, the immigration authorities would send me on my way soon – back to a place with terrible weather.
Actually, most places in the world do not have terrible weather – they have less-than-ideal weather. In many cases, it’s far-from-ideal weather, at least for a few months a year. During those months, it might be too hot or too cold, too wet or too dry. In extreme circumstances, we may have to endure a tornado, hurricane or flood, perhaps even animals raining down on us.
Thankfully, it never actually rains cats and dogs, but it does rain fish and frogs. Sometimes it even rains birds. This rare weather phenomenon occurs when frogs or fish are swept up in tornadic waterspouts or when flocks of birds are killed during storms, causing them to rain down on unsuspecting people.
In December 2021, for example, the city of Texarkana, Texas, experienced a shower of fish – they were falling everywhere. Unfortunately, my wife, Malathi, who loves to cook fish, was nowhere near Texarkana. We could have had fish for weeks. Fried fish, baked fish, grilled fish, blackened fish. (Here’s my wife’s simple recipe for blackened fish: 1. Put fish on stove. 2. Put Netflix on TV.)
I’m not as fond of fish as my wife, but isn’t that what a husband is supposed to say? I certainly prefer fish to frogs. I’m glad I wasn’t in the town of Odzaci, Serbia, in June 2005, when thousands of tiny frogs fell from the sky. I would have thought the world was coming to an end. But that’s partly because I don’t eat frogs – or any other amphibian, for that matter. Frog legs are a delicacy in at least a dozen countries, but not in Serbia. Residents of Odzaci were not quick enough to ship the frogs to France and give a boost to Serbia’s GDP.
They would have had to catch the frogs first. According to a report from the Belgrade newspaper Blic, “the frogs, different from those usually seen in the area, survived the fall and hopped around in search of water.” This is how new species are sometimes introduced to foreign lands and may explain the recent kangaroo sightings in India.
Climate change is affecting the Earth’s weather patterns, so don’t be surprised if animal rain becomes more common. If it does, I’d probably get used to it, as long as I can rely on meteorologists to give me accurate forecasts. I would stay indoors if they said something like this: “Carry an extra-strong umbrella with you tomorrow, as we expect a deluge of toads and frogs.” And I would be outdoors with a large bucket if they said this: “It will be cloudy tomorrow, with intermittent showers of fish.”
I would expect them to eventually get better at their forecasts, telling me exactly what kind of fish to expect: “Tomorrow we’ll have a downpour of trout and on Friday we’ll have a sprinkle of sardines. Better stay indoors on Saturday, as we expect several showers of piranha.”
But if animal rain becomes more common, most people would consider it far-from-ideal weather. If you have trouble driving on foggy mornings, just imagine driving during froggy weather. The windshield wipers of most cars are not designed to handle animals. And just imagine trying to play football during a downpour of frogs. Kick a hopping frog and animal activists will be hopping mad.
So perhaps we shouldn’t complain too much about less-than-ideal weather. I’d rather feel too hot than feel a frog on my head.