Wednesday, July 02, 2008

High Summer

We suffer, here in Seattle, the curse of meteorological amnesia.

We forget, every year, that our springs are grey and cool and rainy. We forget we sometimes get snow and ice in winter, particularly in the foothills. And we forget about high summer.

High summer is that time after the last chill patch of spring, usually starting sometime in June and lasting to mid-August. It is a time of clear days and dry weather, when the non-corporate lawns start to turn brown and the rain barrels start to empty.

This past June was particularly cold and rainy - two inches of rain up on Grubb Street, with the bulk of that in the first week, a time of sub-normal temperatures that made the natives clutch at their fleece and the local nutters to write in to the local papers, decrying global warming. But suddenly all that falls away, the sky turns blue, the nights are clear, with the occasional hot patch stirring up thunderstorms in the foothills.

Now is the time when you will not be able to get across town on the weekends, what with all the parades, festivals, marathons and street-closing car shows and art fairs that are all squeezed into this temporal window. Now you get a mountain day (when can see Rainier or Baker) before the ground haze of modern living cloaks the peaks, keeping them shrouded until the next rain (usually in the evening). Now is when people honestly stop wearing jackets all the time.

And we forgot this was coming. We do it every year. And now instead of muttering about the cold and rain, we as a city will start pouting about the heat and the effect that it will have on the snow pack and the water table. It is an annual thing, but it always catches us by surprise.

And so it will go to late August, when the rains will roll in and the skies will grow overcast, and we will go back to complaining how bad the weather is out here.

More later,