The weather is a notoriously fickle creature. Its unpredictability has plagued humanity since the dawn of time. But Katie Tutrone ’17 has finally put an end to all that chaos. She runs an Instagram account, “Cirrusly Yesterday,” that covers the weather with pinpoint accuracy.
Except that it’s not tomorrow’s weather. It’s yesterday’s.
“My philosophy in life is that the sky is one giant cinema for the world,” Tutrone says. “We’re all watching it. It’s one thing you can’t control.”
As we sit in the Harvard Community Garden on an unusually warm November afternoon, a pack of Tutrone’s friends wanders out of Lowell, where she lives, and passes us by.
“Katie! What was the weather like yesterday?” they yell.
“Kinda like this!” she replies. “Weather is relative!”
"My dream thing would be to be a weatherwoman for yesterday’s weather,” Tutrone says. “Some type of satirical weather job, even though that’s not an industry. I want to make that. The weather is the one thing in life that constantly lets you down. So why not let them down from the start?”
To pursue her faux meteorological ambitions, Tutrone is taking online courses at Mississippi State University to get a broadcast meteorology degree in geosciences. She has interned at MTV, CNN, and Comedy Central. Her favorite meteorologist? Jennifer Gray. Her backup plan? A Kickstarter-funded cheese shop called “Cheesus of Nazarus.”
Despite her focus on the recent past, Tutrone is a master of prediction; she’s a “self-proclaimed psychic.” She credits her psychic abilities with her acceptance to Harvard—she panicked during her interview four years ago and blurted out that she was a psychic. “I’m better at predicting the future than reading minds,” she clarifies.
Today, in the Community Garden, I ask her to read my palms. She points out my marriage line and my life line, then instructs me to look for an “M” shape, which indicates success. My “M” is fractured in the middle. “You’re gonna have a midlife crisis,” she tells me cheerfully. “But you’re going to get through it. Exercise your hand wrinkles to get that ‘M.’ You need to clamp this together. Control your future through that clamp.”
To hone her skills, she goes undercover. “I visit a lot of psychics. An absurd amount. I always go to scrutinize their strategies. It’s like you’re reading me, but I’m reading you,” Tutrone says. “My future is... mmm... not so bright.”
At Harvard, Tutrone concentrates in psychology with a secondary in Theater, Dance, and Media. “A lot of theater is about performativity. The psychological aspect of it. Taking on different characters. I consider my life a musical. I perform so many different characters,” she explains.
I ask her to name one of the characters she plays in her life. She thinks for a moment. “A middle-aged Jamaican woman,” she says at last. “Always. Always.”
Her other interests include traveling (she went to Cabo three times in one year and only once got salmonella after being pooped on by an iguana), varsity squash (“I was that kid that couldn’t sit still, so squash was perfect for me”), beekeeping (she has about 20,000 bees at home), and, most of all, indulging in Lowell Brain Break.
“It’s my social scene,” she explains. “I like to just frolic around and meet people and troll at night. It’s the most inclusive social space.”
Her favorite Brain Break recipe consists of peanut butter, Cracklin Oats, and hot chocolate. Her record for soloing a jar of peanut butter is 40 minutes. “Some people keep their empty alcohol bottles,” she says. “If I kept my peanut butter jars? Oof.”
Tutrone closes with sage advice for those who wish to follow in her footsteps. “Don’t be scared to read people’s minds,” she counsels. “Don’t think that there are any limits. You know everything. But at the same time you know nothing. You have to accept that. You have to accept that uncertainty.”