Itís the main topic of conversation these days in Seattle. Not just the heat but the sun. It's always there. Weíre not used to that.
Iíve lived in Seattle since 1991 and I donít remember a calendar year in which weíve had as many nice, sunny days as this oneóand weíre just halfway through it. And the majority of nice days, traditionally, donít begin until now. July 5th is traditionally the beginning of the Seattle summer. This year it came earlier. Way†earlier.†Because weíre Seattleites we kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. If itís nice in April, we thought, it'll be awful in May. If itís nice in May, we thought, it'll be horrible in June. If itís nice in June ...
The other shoe we kept waiting to drop may simply be this: the perpetual sunshine, with the Evergreen City baking to a dry, brittle yellow, and forest fires to the east and west.
These past months, I've assumed the cloudless skies and high temps were caused by some aspect of global warming, but according to Tim Egan in the Times, quoting various scientists, including Prof. Cliff Mass (great scientist name), our current unrelenting weather niceness has less to do with climate change than ďa huge dome of high pressure to the west and warm ocean temperatures."
At the same time, Egan says the perpetual sunshine is indicative of what we'll get when the world warms by a few degrees. He bemoans the possibility:
I love my little patch of the planet. Love the glaciers in August, the rivers at full flush, carpets of evergreen trees and a predominant breeze from Puget Sound that provides natural air-conditioning for more than three million people in the Seattle metro area.
Iím with him. If I wanted this much sun I wouldíve moved to Arizona.