July 26, 8:45 PM
Unusually Rainy Day
Our "best" week of the calendar year, the last week of July (and let's stretch that into the first week of August, typically) has been anything BUT our best week so far. Wow, what a rainy morning we had here!
Woke to the sound of falling rain before dawn and it kept going for a few hours, again. Since it is "summer", the raindrops are small, so it is hard to rack up too much total, but in spite of that, we still managed to receive .28" rain today, under very dreary and dark misty skies. Only the leafy trees jolted our minds back to reality, realizing that it truly is not February. The clouds did slowly dry and drift apart a little by afternoon, and the hiding, but strong midsummer sun zipped the high temperature up to 74. I guess that works for this afternoon, but it was only in the high 50's for a long stretch of morning.
We had an outdoor potluck this evening to wrap up the summer swim team, and fittingly for most of the swim season, the sky was mostly overcast with a cool little breeze sending everyone into coats and blankets, and watching the sky for what looked like probable rain clouds moving closer. Well, we did manage to stay dry for the whole affair, thankfully, but just now there are some new sprinkles starting to fall.
The forecast is looking a bit more promising as the week progresses. The NWS is thinking that each day this week may slowly provide more sunshine and less clouds and this coming Saturday is looking quite a bit better than recently expected. Hooray! As I wrote last night, I cannot remember the last time it rained during the last week of July. By the week after next, the chances start to slowly increase again for rain. Fall is starting to sound a lot closer than we wish right about now.
July 25, 7:00 AM
Delightful Summer Weekend is Past
The best days of our hit-or-miss summer have just ended. As a bit of nice timing luck, this past weekend was a sweet taste of what summer should be about around here. Wonderful sunshine and finally some warmth! In fact, quite a bit of it! Our high on Saturday was 80, which is really just about perfect, in my view anyway, and Sunday topped that with a high of 87! Both days felt truly wonderful.
On Sunday two-thirds of my family made a road trek into the Cascades. We drove up toward Stevens Pass and then headed onto Forest Service roads up higher into the mountains and explored. The rough dirt/rock roads lead into beautiful country: rivers, waterfalls, snowcapped peaks, small hidden lakes, and terrific flower displays; all made more glorious with the hot, sunshiny weather!
Now on this Monday morning, the forecast change has set in. A marine push has brought the clouds back in with another trough approaching. Light showers are possible today, and even thunderstorms don't look impossible, by the view I have out the window. It is much cooler (although maybe not so bad as I expected so far), and this week will have a much different look and feel than the weekend. Well, it was great while it was here!
UPDATE, 9:00 pm:
The clouds never did break today. Such a change from yesterday, especially. Our high today was only 66. It did rain - .07" - and we did have a couple of mild rounds of thunder this morning, which provided a little extra interest factor to the day. I can't remember the last time we had any rain during the last week of July; typically about our most reliably dry week of the year.
July 22, 7:50 AM
Improving Weekend Ahead
After a dreary and wet day yesterday (high of 69, rain total .09"- heavy misty rain lasting most of the morning), followed by some nicer afternoon sunbreaks, our weather is going to take an upswing for the coming weekend. The cycle is moving onto the weak ridge phase moving in today and Saturday, but already by Sunday it will be on the wane. However, we will see brief improvement - more sunshine and warmer temps - maybe even into the 80's! In fact we are supposed to run above normal over the weekend, which would be a real nice change from the perpetual below normal thus far into July, for the most part.
We are just on a 180 out-of-phase cycle from all of the folks not too far east from us. Looking at the national temperature map is always crazy. The entire nation is just shades of red, then you see that tiny little extreme NW corner (and it is only a small sliver of the corner) - hard to spot unless you look for it - that remains forever a tiny green speck. That is us. And each group seems to wish to be the other, even if briefly.
July 21, 7:45 AM
In opposition to just about all of the rest of the country, there is no heat wave here in the Pacific Northwest. A cold front is working its way down from the British Columbia coast and across our region. As I write, the sky is heavily laden with solid gray clouds, a southerly breeze is blowing, and misty rain is moving through at times. The current temperature is 57, which is about all that distinguishes this as still "summer". Otherwise it would be 47 probably, or lower. A pretty gloomy day is underway. The pattern is still not showing any real sign of change. As fronts and troughs pass over, a weak ridge takes their place, giving a little more sunshine for a day or two, then the ridge will move east, followed by another trough and onshore pushes that roll the clouds and cooler temps back in. Later Friday and Saturday will be the short-lived break for this cycle, with more sunshine, but the pattern will repeat itself by Sunday and next week, with the clouds taking over again. It is looking like this is just what we are to expect this year.
I have to say that yesterday turned out better than expected - I think what we are seeing today was really just delayed from yesterday. My family went on an outing to the Pt. Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, and previously I had been expecting today's weather to hit yesterday, but by a little surprise, it turned out quite fine. Nice sunbreaks and comfortable shirt-sleeve, dry, calm, weather! The animals were great fun too! Including a ride on a camel, which was a first for the whole family. The high temperature at home yesterday was 78, reached shortly after noon, but I think mainly it was in the lower 70's for much of the afternoon, then dropping into the upper 60's by early evening.
Sunrise: 5:32 AM --- Sunset: 8:57 PM (PDT)
(losing 2 minutes, 12 seconds tomorrow)
Updated: 3:49 AM GMT on July 27, 2011
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