Saturday, July 22, 2006


Moenui's long-time weather forecaster Harold Fogg will forecast no more. The quietly spoken Fogg, who has been keeping weather records and predicting the elements for 32 years, made the surprise announcement to a packed Masonic Hotel crowd last night with the words "Forecast your own friggin' weather." He then left the bar and returned to his home where it is reported he then destroyed all of his forecasting equipment.
Some locals believe that Mr Fogg's sudden announcement should have been predicted. Frank Lush who has known Fogg for many years told the Kiwi Herald, "I think Harold's been feeling the pressure for some time now. It's been one hell of a year for him constantly announcing to locals that the weather is going to be crap." Lush said that he had noticed the forecaster had become even quieter than usual.
"It was like he was carrying his own dark cloud around with him and he was kind of apologetic when people asked about the weather. He was actually apologising that there was going to be more cold and wet. Then last night when he walked in and ordered his scotch and dry someone called, 'Oy Foggie when are you going to organise us some sunshine?' Well he just snapped."
Everyone spoken to by the Herald was shocked by Fogg's outburst. According to barmaid Eve Roipata, "The pokies went quiet for a few seconds and nobody said a word until Foggie left the bar. All you could hear was the rain on the roof. It was pretty spooky."
Lush meanwhile is keen that locals remember Harold Fogg's good times. "Some of us remember when he loved reading his instruments. He'd watch his anemometer for hours, almost in a trance. He enjoyed telling you about what was coming tomorrow."
"The 'Indian Summer of 76' was Harold's best time. Those warm, golden days seemed to go on for ever and Foggie took to walking around town in a full Sioux headdress. The kids loved him not just because he played dead when they shot him with their clothes-peg guns but because they knew that he had forecast the great weather."
Today in Moenui there is concern about where forecasting will come from in future. Some have suggested that as a temporary measure an approach be made to Catholic Priest Father John Paul, while a delegation lead by neighbour Martha Harris may try and prize Harold Fogg from his locked shed where he is apparently listening to his stereo.
"Someone has to do something," said Harris. "Ever since last night the mad bugger's had 'It Never Rains In Southern California' on repeat play."

Harold Fogg in 1976

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