Friday, May 13, 2011

APB: We Need Some Sun!

The Seattle Times reported today that we have gone 191 days without hitting 70 degrees. We already have the coldest spring on record this year and some of the coldest highs. A low pressure system up in Alaska is headed our way and is expected to hang around for awhile. It makes me want to move to Maryland where temps have already hit the 80s this year.

I love Seattle weather most years. But this is the second year in a row that we've been denied a warm spring. Last June, my daughter and I drove to a family event in Colorado via the Grand Canyon just so we could thaw out some. I currently have a trip to Maryland planned for next month. I look forward to ditching my wool, if only for a week.

So why do I love Seattle weather so much? Let me explain what a normal year looks like. In the winter, we get rain most days and temps in the 40s. It's dreary and bleak, but we rarely get snow or ice. Our roads are very steep and ice can shut us down. Mornings are often foggy and clear up just in time for us to witness the sunset around 4 pm. If we want snow, we can drive to one of the ski areas as close as 45 minutes away.

All of that winter rain usually provides us with a lush spring that sends allergy sufferers heading indoors. I, however, am not such a sufferer. I relish being surrounded by the sights and smells of plants in bloom. My mood gets a much-needed boost, and everyone benefits from that!

In the summer, our highs are in the 80s (only rarely in the 90s) with low humidity. Our lows are usually in the 50s. We rarely get rain between July 4 and Labor Day or later. The view of the Olympics and Cascades can't be beat because they are to our west and our east. Looking south, Mount Rainier looms over us like a protective sovereign. To the north, we can see Mount Baker near the Canadian Border. And driving south along I-5, even Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams give impressive views. The sun sets at 9:10 pm with a twilight lasting well past 10 pm. Of course, that means that dawn begins around 4 am with birds chirping their little hearts out.

In the fall, we don't have the breath-stopping colors of Virginia, but we do okay. We have so many evergreens that the oranges, yellows, and reds don't get lost in the background. They really stand out. We also don't have to spend hours raking our yards.

But these last 18 or so months have been a let down. It's been cooler and wetter than normal. The globe may be warmer elsewhere, but the climate change here isn't in the hotter and drier direction. Maryland, by contrast, does appear to be getting hotter and drier. That may not bode well in the long run for the grape crop, but it will do wonders for my psyche.

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