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Mt. ShastaSo I was reading the news the other day, and I came across the term “bomb cyclone,” which is what they’re calling the super cold weather expected to hit the Northern US this week. Which is kind of a problem for me.

Let me back up.

A few months ago, my older sister (you may remember her from our “Ask a Scientist” segment we did a while back) invited me out to her part of the country to run a 10k with her. “It’ll be fun,” she said. “You get a cool hat,” she said. I still wasn’t convinced. “There’s a chocolate buffet at the end…”

And just like that, I was in.

And where is her part of the country, you may ask? Detroit, Michigan. Yes, that’s right, I am going to be leaving California to go to Detroit and run on one of the coldest weeks of the year. What was I thinking? I don’t even own any cold-weather clothes! “Who decides to do a destination run in Michigan in the middle of November?” my husband wondered. He hasn’t been particularly sympathetic to my plight. I just hope that chocolate buffet is worth it! 😉

This made me think about writing, and how much weather can really play a role in a story. I feel like in my own writing, I often forget about the weather, but it can be as much a character as the people, and is a potential source of all sorts of conflict. Some authors use it really well, developing it into a key aspect of their story. Brandon Sanderson’s “The Way of Kings” comes immediately to mind, where storms are regular, terrifying, and a major plot component.

How about you? What books have you read where the weather is truly a major part of the plot? Was it effective? And do you use weather often in your own stories?