Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The Current Drought and Warmth Ahead
There have been a number of complaints in the media and among some locals about our "year without a summer", "Junuary", "Julember" and other griping about our current weather.
OK, we have generally been somewhat cooler than normal, with persistent low clouds in the morning. But one aspect of this summer has been BETTER THAN NORMAL: we have been unusually dry. Your barbecues might have required a sweater but few have been rained on.
Don't believe me? Here are plots of normal (blue line) and actual (red line) for the past four weeks at Seattle, Stampede Pass, Yakima, and Spokane. Each location has had far less precipitation than normal and virtually nothing the past ten days.
Or take a look at the official National Weather Service precipitation plots for the last 30 days. The whole West Coast has been far drier than normal (25-50%).
My garden is wilting fast, my grass is turning yellow, and my soil is like dust.
So lets stop complaining about the cool weather. And besides, on most of the cloudy mornings west of the Cascade crest you could easily escape it by hiking in the mountains or exploring eastern Washington.
Talking of dry weather, keep in mind that the climatologically driest period is still ahead: the last week of July and first week of August. The driest day in the west? Well in Seattle it is July 29th, my favorite day for a "dry sky barbecue."
Still want you heat? NO PROBLEM. We will have a little cool down tomorrow, with persistent low clouds, but on Friday we move into a warming trend, with the weekend and much of next week warm and sunny...certainly above normal.
So hopefully all the complaining will fade away during the next few weeks---it should be spectacular if you like dry conditions and sun. If you don't, just wait a few months.
Posted by Cliff Mass at 8:51 PM