Opinion

OUR CORNER: Summer's here! Now it's not!

That was fantastic! It was so warm and sunny for a few days in late July. Last weekend was hard to beat. My friends and I took advantage and rolled out our little barbecue to roast up some corn ears and burgers, while we sat on the porch and played the guitar drinking Elk Head beer and iced tea.

What a great couple of hours; I can’t wait ‘til next year!

Regardless of the drowsiness of our lackluster hot season, I believe that our local residents should stay put and enjoy it here at home.

Here is the fact of the matter: we Washingtonians suffer through some of the crummiest weather in the entire nation. Now, when it’s finally warm enough to wear shorts – many of my friends and neighbors want to pack up and take a vacation somewhere else. What kind of sense does that make?

While I’m guilty of taking a few weekend jaunts myself, I say you should save your big vacations for the rest of the year. I’ve planned my southern hemisphere travel for next January, under our darkest skies.

A news report on KOMO said that by mid-July they had registered Seattle’s total time of 80-plus degrees this year at a bare 78 minutes. As our editor, Kevin Hanson, pointed out, if you took your afternoon naps on the wrong days, you might have missed the whole thing.

I’m still pretty new up here and this was my first “Western Washington Summer.” I’d thought it would be pretty close to the Oregon summers I’d grown accustomed to, but truly this is a new animal.

Some of my friends at Rotary seem surprised by my semi-regular habit of weekend visits to see my grandparents down in the Willamette Valley, where the average high temperature is always above the octo-line.

Other friends remind me that we should feel grateful to be the only green sliver on the national climate map, given the scorching heat and subsequent drought conditions affecting the rest of the country. While that makes sense to some degree, it’s scant consolation for feeling like we’re being deprived of something we deserve.

Truly, part of me feels like we’re being cheated. I can handle all the dark skies and being interviewed on the local TV news about my reaction to fresh-fallen snow in the month of May in exchange for a little summer heat.

But at this moment, I’m still waiting for it.

Summers past were undeniably more accommodating around here. This year’s average high for July of 72 degrees was bested by last year’s 75, and especially 2009’s smoking 82. Even 2008’s 75 and 2007’s 77 were noticeably better. I’m trying really hard to see a trend here. If there is one, it bodes well for next summer.

But as for this year, there’s one thing we do know from the record books: August is never significantly warmer than July – and July just ended. And along with it, I guess we can close the bill on that cute little statistical blip we call the western Washington Summer.

Hope you didn’t miss it!

By Brennan Purtzer, publisher

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