Washington Post local reporter Martin Weil has always had an eye for the odd beauty one can find in local news. But he’s found a special muse in the rain that has slowly eroded almost every soul in the Washington region over the past 12 days.
Here’s how Weil’s May 6 item began:
That noted rain of biblical times, the flood-producer from Genesis, lasted 40 days and 40 nights. Well, we are not there yet, but Friday was the 10th consecutive day of rain in Washington.
The number of consecutive days of rain in Washington grew Saturday to surpass the level where the count could be kept on fingers alone. Early-morning droplets and drizzle made Saturday the 11th consecutive day of rain here.
The 0.04 inch of rain that fell as bars closed Sunday morning extended Washington’s newly set record for consecutive days of measurable rain to 12.
Note the subtle “as bars closed,” which ties together two identifiable experiences. Weil has also found the rain useful for coloring his crime reports, such as this May 7 item about stolen downspouts.
Weil’s weather writing recently drew praise from Washington City Paper as well as from Post reader Mike Kiernan, who wrote in to praise the reporter’s “special gifts”: His stories “remind us of the days when you could pick up a local daily paper and read an accurate account of the small events of the day in the reporter’s own special (if sometimes peculiar) voice.” Kiernan was especially taken with an April 16 item that began: “The ancients told of four elements: earth, air, fire and water.”
Weil works nights, a few of his colleagues tell me, so it makes sense that I haven’t yet heard back from him about how he writes so beautifully about precipitation. But it rained Monday morning, and this whole week is looking cloudy with a strong chance of more delightful Martin Weil items.