WOW Word-Of-the-Week #337: Anomaly

January 10, 2011 by  

Anomaly – an occurrence that is strange, unusual or unique.

Would you say you have experienced an anomaly? Is this a word you have ever used? I have heard the word but never really knew what it meant.

Over the Holidays in San Diego and other parts of the world, we experienced severe weather. If you were one of those people that had travel plans, my heart goes out to you. Did you hear about the people sleeping in Heathrow for more than 5 days because of all the snow in England?

Our storm was dubbed the Pineapple Express, because it came in from the Pacific. It started in the Gulf of Alaska at the same time there was moisture developing approximately 500 miles southwest of Hawaii. It had a vacuum effect that created a plume 3,000 miles long and 400 miles wide.

It dumped massive amounts of snow (which was good for the ski resorts) and of course rain at the lower elevations.  I was born and raised here and personally never remember seeing so much rain falling for so long over so many days. It broke records all over the county and one city got 3.36 inches.

What is so ironic is, Bill Patzert a climatologist said, “The storms were an anomaly. I still think we’ll end the rainy season with below-average precipitation.” We normally get just less than 10 inches per year. I sure hope he is wrong.

And this week I sure hope you don’t experience your own weather anomaly. Do you have to drive or fly for your job? May all your journeys be safe!

Reader Responses

“I had to chuckle and send you a note because I experienced two of your recent words last week, including one of my favorites: lollygag.  I was supposed to fly out last Monday morning for a speaking engagement in Connecticut w/ a connecting flight via ATL.  But, because of the weather anomaly in Atlanta my flight was canceled.  The result was a re-route on another airline which resulted in my having to lollygag in DFW for 6 hours!  :)Hope you 2011 is off to a great start!” – Sarita

“I never use the word anomaly, but it has gained frequency in the media over the last couple of years. The weather anomalies are really something, as you noted. I’m sure we have all experienced anomalies in business and with other humans. We get used to certain behaviors in certain situations, or things that we expect. And when we don’t see or experience them, I think we are quick to point out that they are anomalies. I guess you could ascribe what has happened to our global economy as an anomaly, with all of the so-called businesses and banks that were too large to fail and then did. That through the entire world for a loop. What is it that we can depend on anymore? I guess that we should just get used to anomalies and learn how to adapt. It is survival of the fittest these days. Thanks, Susan. Take care. “Warrior” Joe Moran. P.S. We are getting ready for the mini-Super Bowl this weekend when the Green Bay Packers come to Soldier Field to play the Chicago Bears. The rivalry between the teams is the oldest in professional football, yet the teams have only met once before in the playoffs: seven days after Pearl Harbor on Dec. 14, 1941, at Wrigley Field. The Bears won that playoff in 16 degree weather. The fact that the teams are playing in the playoffs 70 years later, I guess you could say it is an anomaly!” – “Warrior” Joe