29 July 2009

The Hottest Skies You've Ever Seen in Seattle…

Posted by Dan Satterfield

Seattle- Dan's pic

Seattle- Dan's pic

Back in the 1970’s there was a popular TV show called “Here Come the Brides”. I never watched it much, but I loved the theme song “Seattle” by Bobby Sherman. seattleclip

Seattle is one of my favourite places. I even went there on my honeymoon! (Yeah, I know, only a weather geek would go to a city renowned for rain and drizzle, on their honeymoon.  It’s a weather thing.)

Marian and I in Seattle Oct. 1983

Me and Marian in Seattle Oct. 1983

Today was anything but typical for Seattle. It was brutally hot. Now, everyone thinks that Seattle is a rainy place. They do have a lot of cloud and frequent drizzle, but there are plenty of places that get more rainfall each year. Like my house here in Huntsville Al. Yes, it’s cloudy a lot, but a clear summer day can really bring the bluest skies you’ve ever seen.

Today, however, it was different. Record highs anywhere are infrequent, but a record ALL TIME HIGH is very rare. Seattle hit 39.5C Smashing there old all time high by 1.5C. (39.5C is 103F on the old Fahrenheit scale, used only in the USA now)

Newscasts in Seattle showed people standing in long lines to buy air conditioners in the intense heat. Most people living around Puget Sound do not have them. It rarely gets above 30C in Seattle..much less 40C!

Mount Rainier August 2006  Dan's pic

Mount Rainier August 2006 Dan's pic

So, while Chicago has it’s coolest July in decades, the folks in the Pacific NW continue to bake. Mother nature tends to balance out the planet. When one part of the world is unusually hot, you can usually find somewhere else where it is unusually cold. When we get cool snaps, I will often get emails from people asking what happened to “Global Warming”??

The June temps. globally actually put this in perspective.

June 2009 was the 2nd warmest on record worldwide. From NOAA/NCDC

June 2009 was the 2nd warmest on record worldwide. From NOAA/NCDC

If you lived in Denver in June, you might think summer had disappeared. It was much different for almost all of the rest of the planet, with unusually warm conditions. Notice the warmth in the far north. This has been predicted to be a result of increasing greenhouse gases, for over two decades. It seems to be showing up very frequently these days.

Important to note here, that it’s very bad science to blame an unusually hot, or cold day on climate change. All you can say is, that if the high temp. is like a roll of the dice, the high numbers will keep coming up more often, in more places, than the cold ones.

The language of science is not proof. It’s probability!