May 13, 2009


Well, even the weather-hardened crowd that follow this blog are complaining. Take a look at the last two weeks...generally much cooler than normal, with the last few days being way (10-15 F) below the norm ( and blue lines are average max and min temps). The mountains are getting substantial new snow...for example, heavy snow at Stampede Pass today at 4000 ft. Plenty of snow for skiing. The snowpack in the central Cascades is roughly 150% of normal. There won't be early hiking this year. And my tomato plants are dying.

Take a look at the same type of figure for the last six months...generally cooler than normal...but with a few warmer than usual periods. The December cold spell really stands out, and there are many more days our temps dropped below normal than climbed above normal.

The good news..the weekend looks warmer than normal. By the way, no one commented on the mother's day forecast...which did not work out well...things worsened far more rapidly than it looked on Friday.

PS: If any of you live in Bellingham and want to help stop the use of the absolutely worst elementary math text book (Terc Investigations)....please attend the Bellingham School Board meeting at 7:30 PM, Board Room, 1306 Dupont where this issue will be discussed. There was a nice editorial in the Seattle Times today excoriating the Seattle School Board for picking the fuzzy/reform math series Discovering Geometry and Algebra...which were rated unsound by the State Board of Education. It is source of continous amazement to me how poor a job these districts are doing in selecting educational material for our children.


  1. We have certainly noticed the extra heating days (does the term "heating degree days" get used in your circle?) because of the cooler weather. Little solar gain through the south windows because of the clouds along with the cool. Usually you can get some help from the sun on the colder days, but not lately. Today's rainfall was not welcomed here! Sitting in the hot tub with the calm bay enshrouded with clouds at dusk was pretty pleasant, though.

  2. I am not so surprised to see cool rainy weather in May. Here in Bellingham it has been interspersed with some glorious sunny days and warm sunbreaks almost daily but especially on the weekends. No complaints! I've given up on the dry, tropical plants like peppers and tomatoes. The lettuce is going wild, as is kale, mustard greens, spinach and broccoli with the "automatic watering system" from heaven... An old Forest Ranger colleague used to say "Summer doesn't begin here til July 5th." I take that almost literally and am blessed with those rare few 8o degree days in late May or heat in "Junuary". :) Looking forward to another break this weekend if the forecast holds up!

  3. Cliff: Thanks for caring about math education and speaking up about it!

  4. 7:30 tonight the 14th. better to be early, so 7:00

  5. Cliff et al --

    Subjectively, I agree; it sure feels like a cool spring. And there are some impressive low spikes on the graph, for sure.

    Don't the data contradict this a bit, though? Last weekend's cumulative growing degree days numbers show Seattle at normal and Bellingham a bit above on the year.

    Cumulative heating degree days are definitely higher, but I bet this incorporates the winter cold snaps more than anything recent.


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