Wednesday/ rain aplenty

Looks like we’re going to spill over into the new year with rain every day here in Seattle (with a little break on Thursday morning). The yearly precipitation total stands at 40.71″ ( yearly normal 37.49″ ).

Does the New Year’s Eve rain matter? No. The annual fireworks display at the Space Needle, and gatherings at Gas Works Park had been cancelled a long time ago.

There will be a ‘virtual’ Space Needle celebration/ ‘fireworks’ display instead, on the local TV station channel.  One could argue it’s more or less the same as watching real fireworks on TV — or is it not?

There was a break in the rain just before sunset today. Here’s Olympic Pizza & Spaghetti House III (left) on 15th Ave. A few customers can sit outside, and they have carry out, of course. Governor Jay Inslee has extended the ban on indoor dining to Jan 11. Washington State is doing OK to contain community spread of Covid-19, but I cannot see that the ban will be lifted anytime soon.

Monday night/ snow report

Here’s my ‘snow report’ from last night.
There was just an inch or so on the ground, not enough to stick to the streets and pavements for too long.

This 7.40 pm, as big, soft snowflakes were coming down, at 15th Ave East and Republican St. That’s Uncle Ike’s entrance (pot shop) with its ‘electric trees’,  and the Hopvine pub next to it.
A little while later the snow had stopped. This is looking north, standing at the corner of 16th Ave East and Roy St.

Monday/ winter is here, and a little snow

It’s winter here in the North, officially.
The city has had plenty of rainy, windy weather yesterday and today (1.58 in. measured in 48 hrs at Seatac Airport’s gauge).
.. and hey! the snowflakes coming down in the mix tonight, formed a thin layer on my back deck.

There was a break in the rain this morning, and I spotted this Anna’s hummingbird (Calypte anna) outside, attracted by the budding yellow flowers on the mahonia behind it. The rain and wind picked up again soon, though, and the little bird was gone.

Thursday/ blue sky & dry tennis courts

Well,  the rain stopped long enough today for the sky to clear .. and for the tennis courts at Jefferson Park to dry out.
So when the text messages from my tennis group came in asking who could play, I jumped at it. We had 52 °F/ 11 °C, which is still OK to play in. Temperatures down to around 45 °F/ 7 °C are increasingly dicey, and 40 °F/ 4 °C is a hard no for me.

The tennis courts at Jefferson Park in the Beacon Hill neighborhood are in good shape, and have flood lights to boot. Look for the little piece of rainbow on the lower left of the picture.

Wednesday/ it’s December, so it rains

A major winter storm is bringing heavy snow into the Northeast of the country. Here in the Pacific Northwest we just have rain. (There is snow in the mountains, of course, but it’s not cold enough for snow on the city streets, yet.) November’s total came to 5.6 in, somewhat below the average of 6.6 in.

Here’s the soggy corner of 15th Ave & Republican at 4.15 pm. The decorated trees are at the entrance of Uncle Ike’s, purveyor of marijuana products. There’s a speck in the middle of the picture, up in the blue-gray sky: a surveillance helicopter. Seattle Parks and Recreation agents have tried for most of the day to clear the homeless campers from Cal Anderson Park, and they have only met with limited success so far.

Thursday/ lots of rainy weather

There’s going to be rain every day the next week. It is November, our wettest month, after all. Rainy, breezy, showers. Low 43/ high 50 °F on Friday.. that’s 6 °C/ 10 °C! Not very warm, but not freezing. [Graphic from King5 Weather].

The pictures below are from Wednesday when it was still dry.
I walked down to the Capitol Hill public library — looking like a bank robber with my mask and woolen skull cap.
Only the lobby of the library is open right now, but that’s OK. It’s a hot spot for downloading electronic newspapers with the Pressreader app onto my iPad.

Friday/ it’s scarf time

It’s time to get out the woolen hats and scarves here in Western Washington. It was 48 °F (9 °C) as I headed out the door, while there was still a little gray daylight left.

I don’t know the name of this tree, but the yellows and oranges of its leaves are spectacular.
New construction on 15th Avenue. Looks like there are three condominium homes, judging from the three mailboxes on the sidewalk. Interesting rusty metal finish (iron oxide?). They would go for oh, $1 million or so, each. Great general location, BUT 15th Ave is busy and noisy in daytime.
Here’s the Walgreen pharmacy on the corner of 15th & Republican saying ‘COVID-19 VACCINE NOT YET AVAILABLE‘ on the door. (Wow. Can it be that people are beating the doors down, so to speak, inquiring about the vaccine every day?). We do need a vaccine. We’re hitting new daily record high numbers of cases here in the United States.

Sunday/ no sun today

The sun did not come out today, but the soft rain had cleared up by the afternoon so that I could go for a walk.
The high was 60 °F/ 15 °C.

The letter balloon display by this house was a little deflated — but it is still getting its message out.
And here is a new sign by the Biden campaign. Get it? Bi-den = Bye Don(ald Trump). It’s not a done deal, of course. The Washington Post reports of a Democratic voter that says ‘I am feeling anxious and trapped between a sense of unbridled optimism and sheer dread’. How can we not, remembering 2016?

Saturday/ foggy and mild

It’s been foggy in the morning here in the city all week.
The air quality has been decent, in spite of a number of fires still burning in Washington State and on the West Coast.

Tiny droplets stick to the spider webs in the morning and make them stand out sharply. Later, as the sun comes out, the drops will disappear, and Mr Spider will regain the stealthiness of his trap.

Thursday/ cleaner skies

The air quality around Seattle had improved enough by this afternoon for us to at least venture out for a walk around the block.

I watered my plants at the back and front of the house, and then went back inside. We have really had no rain in the city for September– 0.06 in (1.5 mm) at the National Weather Service’s gauge at the airport.

The delicate little flowers on my blue leadwood (Ceratostigma) are the last splotches of color that I have on my back deck, before fall sets in. The color of the leaves are already turning.

Wednesday/ still hiding away

Mr. Blue Sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?
– lyrics from Mr Blue Sky, by Electric Light Orchestra (1977)

Here’s a flock of pigeons – and yes, I’m looking directly at the sun – at 6.00 pm today.
The air quality here in Seattle has improved from ‘Hazardous’ to ‘Unhealthy’. There is a weather system moving in on Friday that should finally bring back blue skies.

Amazing satellite photo tweeted by Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (@pscleanair) on Wed. morning. All of Washington State is covered. I believe the white ridges are clouds and the flat gray lower down must be smoke.

Monday/ the smoke blanket stays

There was no good news in the weather forecast tonight.
A low-pressure system in the Pacific will continue to bring in smoke from the south, and the little bit of rain tonight is not going to clear the the foul air that is blanketing the city, either.
It’s going to be a few more days, at least.

Mr Squirrel, chewing on a little pine cone that had dropped from a Douglas fir in my yard. He didn’t seem to be bothered by the smoky air.

Saturday/ the air is orange – and poison

It’s 1.15 pm here in Seattle, and there is an eerie orange haze outside.
The sun has yet to break through the combination of marine layer fog and thick smoke from the west coast’s man-made fires. (Calling them wildfires seems like a cop-out, as if humans had no part in it).

Don’t go outside, they tell us – it’s hazardous for your health. Large swaths of Oregon have an air quality index reading of 500+ .. off the charts and beyond what is called ‘Hazardous’. [Map from].
Whoa .. hopefully some of this is marine layer fog. Picture from Saturday morning, I believe. [Picture Credit: Reuters/ Karen Ducey]

Tuesday/ the hellscapes of summer

There was a place in the greater Los Angeles area that hit 121°F last week. That’s 49.5 °C. And so many fires— the fires that get worse every summer— in California, in Oregon and in Washington State.

Mostly sunny & smoke haze (87 °F/ 30.5 °C) for the city of Seattle tomorrow.

476 027 acres is 743 sq miles. I asked Google how many acres get scorched by wildfires every year, in Washington State. It seems the average is around 1 million acres (1,500 sq miles). That’s 2% of Washington State (71,000 sq miles).

Wednesday/ Table Mountain’s table cloth

Table Mountain (elevation 3,563 ft/ 1 086 m) in Cape Town, South Africa, has an inch of snow on it.
Snow on the mountain is unusual, but not unheard of (there was snow in 2017).
The cable car up to the top has reopened (with masks required & a limited number of passengers).

A rock hyrax, also called the Cape hyrax, tries to catch a few rays of sun to warm up.  That’s Cape Town and Table Bay in the distance. [Photo Credit: Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company]

Saturday/ a dry August

We have only had 0.29 in of rain this August (average 0.75 in), and there is no precipitation in the forecast through the end of next week.

A glimpse of the sun from 18th Ave here on Capitol Hill. Monday marks the end of meteorological summer here in the north: June, July & August. (Meteorological seasons that use the exact calendar months make it much easier for meteorologists and climatologists to analyze seasonal statistics, which is crucial information for agriculture, commerce, and many other parts of the economy).

Wednesday/ hurricane Laura

Hurricane season has started, and hurricane Laura is bearing down on the Texas & Louisiana coastline.  The storm had sustained winds of about 140 miles per hour in the Gulf of Mexico, and will dump up to 10 inches of rain onto areas close to the coast.

City and county officials in Texas and Louisiana have issued evacuation orders affecting more than 500,000 residents, particularly those living in low-lying areas. The Covid-19 epidemic is and added complication, and many of these residents simply do not have the means to evacuate.
Laura is expected to make landfall late Wednesday night or early Thursday, most likely in the marshy plains near the Texas-Louisiana state line. [Graphic from the New York Times].

Sunday/ 98 and .01 in of rain

Well, we did get up to 98 °F (almost 37 °C) today.
As the sun was setting tonight, there was a startling burst of thunder from the clouds over the city. (Thunderstorms were not mentioned in the weather bulletins that I had followed).
Just a few drops of rain fell here in the city, though – the kind that gets recorded as 1/ 100th of an inch, I suspect.

The clouds that had moved in, and beautiful fiery colors in the distance:  the view from West Seattle as the sun was setting. [Picture posted by WestSeattleWx@WestSeaWx on Twitter].

Saturday/ the heat is here

The weatherman says we may see temperatures as high as 97 °F (36 °C) here in the city tomorrow. I wish I had a swimming pool.

These pictures are from May, taken by a homeowner in Ottawa, Canada. Police and conservation officials arrived to help, but the moose found her way out of the pool and went on her way.

Wednesday/ it’s still summer

We only got  72 °F (22 °C)  here in the city today, but it looks like Sunday will be warm: 90 °F (32 °C).

Here’s a set of whimsical forest fairytale items that I found next to the sidewalk in a garden here on Capitol Hill.