Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Deciphering the Weather

We have a funny local newspaper. Or at least, a funny writer for said newspaper.

Each morning, I look forward to the little weather blip for the day on the bottom right. The past few days have said:

The Usual (Light rain)-61/48

Letdown (Rain/showers)-59/43

Noncommittal (Partly Sunny/Showers)-58/43

Those of you living in Washington know exactly how “normal” it is forDriving%20in%20Rain our weather to be classified as such. Only in WA do we have several different names for what basically amounts to rain. For example, we have…

  • Partly cloudy (Gray)
  • Partly sunny (Gray and blue)
  • Scattered clouds, partly sunny (The rain’s making a comeback…)
  • Rain mixed with showers (The difference between a full shower and an intermittent “spritz”.)
  • Showers changing to rain (This means you’ll be soaked by lunch time.)
  • 50 % chance of rain (Either it will or it won’t *shrugs*)
  • Light drizzle (Not enough for an umbrella but just enough to be annoying.)
  • Morning showers changing to light rain (On the way home from work, wipers will be optional.)
  • Scattered showers with partial clearing (One side of the street has rain, the other is clear.)
  • Mostly sunny (or) sunny and warm (Loosely translated: anytime after the 4th of July until just after Labor Day.)
  • Hot with scattered afternoon sprinkles (This happens in late July-August every other year. Hot, humid, gross. Not to be confused with a Baskin-Robbins concoction.)
  • Gusty winds, showers (Which gives us our famous “sideways” rain. And power outages.)
  • Breezy, light rain (Slightly uncomfortable for dog-walking but not too terrible.)
  • Cold, showers (November-February)
  • Storm showers (Wave to Noah and kiss your power goodbye!)

seattle-rain While that sounds like it rains all the time here, it’s simply not true. In fact, I’ve been told that it rains more in places like Kentucky and New York than it does in Washington. Yet for some reason, we’re world-famous for our precipitation.

Perhaps its the myriad of classifications that helps perpetuate this misguided notion? If that’s the case, I propose we invent new ways of saying “sunny” vs. rainy. 

Now there’s some food for thought! :)

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