October 01, 2021

Northwest Extreme Rainshadows, The Whale Cloud Offshore, and the Weekend Forecast: All in My New Podcast

 A lot of material in my new podcast.

First, I note a remarkable cloud mass off our coast, one I am naming a whale cloud (see below for an image).

Really amazing.  Never saw anything like it.

And talking about amazing, in my podcast I tell you about the extreme rainshadows of our region.

 We are proud of our heavy rain, but we really should be bragging about our extreme rainshadows, such as the ones to the northeast of the Olympics and east of the Cascades.


And the podcast also includes the forecast for this weekend, which involves clouds, mainly cloudy skies, and a wet/cold future starting on Tuesday.

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7 comments:

  1. On the precipitation proving normal despite the dry "middle of the season," that is only if one includes the end of spring and the beginning of autumn. By my count, Seattle only got some 0.21 inches of rain from June 16 to September 15. I still wonder if there has ever been a three-month period, whether or not it exactly corresponds to some pre-formulated definition of "summer," or exactly fits three calendar months, that has been so dry. As with many questions, it seems to me this one is mostly about definition and framing.

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    1. If you grew up here, you'd not be questioning this. This is well known that we don't really start to dry out until July 4th and ends often around mid Sept, though this year we were a touch early on the rain. It's not quite the same each year, we have had years here where it dries out as early as mid May and by the 4th of July, it's dry and grass is brown, other years, not so much, but it averages out to be roughly July 4trh through mid Sept.

      I grew up here and this is always how I recall summers here. This also includes some cool springs whereby it's rainy up through June and cool before it dries out.

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    2. I grew up here, and pay very close attention to such things. (Though I have missed many years, living in Asia). Of course summers are dry. I asked a specific empirical question: your response is more subjective. The question is whether any three month period, regardless of calendar boundaries, has ever featured less than 0.21 inches of rainfall.

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  2. Another point made visually evident by the annual precipitation map:

    Seattle is in one of the driest locations of western Washington. Obviously, the NE tip of the Olympic Peninsula is itself quite a bit drier, but the actual amount of rain that falls in the lowland of western Washington is not very remarkable overall, and least of all in Seattle, despite it's reputation.

    But those grey clouds that drizzle lazily overhead for so much of the year sure bring a lot of precipitation to the mountains.

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  3. One could argue that the number of days with rain per year is a more human perceptible indication of a "rainy" area than just measuring the accumulated rainfall. Even in our local rain shadows, we have a lot of drippy days that don't accumulate much.

    Roughly half as many gloomy days in Sequim versus Seattle, based on studies, but there are still a LOT more gray, drippy days in Sequim than LA, which has the same annual rainfall, but seems very sunny.

    South Florida is another classic. Lots of rainfall by the numbers, but it almost always seems sunny.

    Which is why I live here. Other than during cold weather, I simply don't enjoy sunshine. Must be my part Scottish ancestry.

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    1. The Scots get far less sunshine that Seattlites, as do most northern European cities -- London, Berlin, Paris, etc. Seattle gained its reputation due to its location in relatively sunny North America, but even Vancouver seems to be far cloudier. (Though no doubt micro-climates count more between the two metros than whatever arbitrary spots are chosen for observation.)

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