March 19, 2021

New Podcast: Why Does Western Washington and Oregon Have the Longest Springs in the Nation? Plus the Weekend Forecast

Yes, it is true.  

Here in the Northwest, west of the Cascade crest, we have the longest meteorological springs in the nation.

Something you can brag about if you live in or near Vancouver, CA, Seattle, and Portland.

And in my new podcast I explain why.



Astronomical and meteorological springs are not the same. 

The former is always three months from March 20/21 to June 20/21.   But meteorological spring, which I define as the period in which the average high temperatures range from 50 to 70F, varies wildly.

Seattle has a very long spring.  Chicago and New York have half the amount!

And in the podcast I provide guidance where western Washngton and Oregon residents can go to escape the endless spring with a short drive.

Here is my podcast:

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12 comments:

  1. FYI, Cliff - the current absence of local radar regarding the US pacific shores may shortly be solved:

    https://www.upi.com/Science_News/2021/03/18/ClimaCell-weather-radar-satellite/1621615581771/

    As we're seeing in the developments in space travel and new satellite technology via Elon Musk, private enterprise may be the answer.

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  2. I find our ultra-long seasonal changes the most difficult part of our climate to tolerate. By now, after months of cold rain, we desperately need some warm sunshine and for things to dry out.. but things don't change! I really miss 4 distinct, clearly defined seasons.

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  3. Let us see...March April May June--Spring...July August Sept--Summer...Oct Nov, and some of Dec--Fall?...Part of Dec January Feb--Winter...seems about right. But I insist, that 60 years ago, this area was a little colder in Winter, and warmed up by June--I used to go for a swim most every day in Green Lake during June, and the temps were in the 60s mostly...not so much anymore!

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    Replies
    1. I differ with you that summer is shorter- I think it might be getting longer. I swim as early as May sometimes, in Silver Lake (Everett). But I don't mess with Green Lake- and I suggest you don't either. I got sick swimming there once. It is full of duck manure.

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  4. As a Midwest person who did live in the Seattle area for 10 years. Sep, Oct, Nov, March, Apr, May - early fall or early spring feel. Dec, Jan, Feb, June, July, Aug - late fall or late spring feel. Maybe one week of true summer and one week of winter, To me it seemed like two seasons. A wet cool season which was longer than a warm dry season.

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  5. For those of us living at slightly elevations in valleys near the crest, the long springs present quite a challenge in respect to plant and yard maintenance. I recall your mentioning a couple of years ago that grass doesn't germinate until conditions warm - hold off. While some plants grown from seed may survive spring planting, if they're planted too soon they may never recover from exposure to cold nights (wait to plant those "starts" - and that may mean waiting till June).

    On the other hand, we generally haver very long fall seasons - probably longer than eastern Washington and the other places you mentioned. Do our "weather" summers end (September or October?) And so on... Elucidate :) [Mind you, I think we have TWO "western Washington" weather belts - "banana belt" and "uplands"]

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  6. Speaking as somebody who lived in Austin for 17 years, I can assure you that Spring is a season there. Warmer, yes, but clearly defined - if by nothing else the presence of Bluebonnets. The presence of wind there and the relative lack of it here makes a big difference. Here, 50 is jacket weather. In Austin, 50 degrees is very, very cold because of windchill and humidity it just bites right through a jacket. On the other hand, 95 degrees there can be pleasant, because of the same factors.

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  7. Per your definition, it's always spring in San Francisco?

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    Replies
    1. Quito, Ecuador, is supposed to be 55-56 degrees (daily average) all year long! It is right on the equator, but at over 9000 feet above Sea level, it is evenly cool all year. It has been described as permanent spring. But if you move there, expect a UV index of about 12!

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  8. Yes, our slowly progressing spring- crocuses in February, daffodils in March... but often still chilly in June. Though I think it might be getting warmer- slowly. Daily highs of 45+/- 3 degrees for five or six months gets old!

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  9. Interesting premise and map about spring / no spring with 50-70 average highs. Here in the SW especially New Mexico and far west Texas, I can assure you we have a definite spring, though it's often our driest or even rainless season, plus it warms rapidly some years to summer - like late April in 2020. I consider spring the time between the average last date of <28F lows (hard freeze) and the first average date of >90F highs. Which has its own limits in northern and extreme southern areas. Another meteorologist in Alaska uses another premise on his blog, relative to each place. Brian B: http://us-climate.blogspot.com/2017/12/defining-seasons.html

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