Tuesday/ no rain

It has been 22 days since we had any rain, and there is none really, in the forecast for the next 7 days (‘chance of drizzle’ for tomorrow morning).
July is the driest month on the Seattle weather calendar, but even so, its average is about 1 in. of rain.

My clematis with its purple flowers survived the heat wave. It’s in a shady spot underneath the young Persian spire tree (trunk on the left of the picture). I do have to water my plants regularly this time of year in the dry months.

Thursday/ much cooler, much better

The brutal heat of Monday had given way to cooler weather on Tuesday & Wednesday.
Here in the city we had 73 °F (23 °C) for a high today— perfect for going out and playing a little tennis.

At the Lower Woodland Park tennis courts tonight, at 8.45 pm, as I was leaving.
That’s a new white Model Y, to the right of my Model 3. My car got its first software update last night, over my home wi-fi network as it sat in the garage. The update took about 25 minutes.
.. and here’s a matt black Model S sitting on the other side of the parking lot. I think I like shiny black better than matt black— but dirt and dust shows so quickly on shiny black.

Monday/ the climax of the heat wave

A visualization of the heat dome over Pacific Northwest on Monday. The thin white lines are isobars at 250 hPa (isobars are lines that connect points of equal atmospheric pressure). The warm colors represent carbon dioxide surface concentration.
[Image generated with earth.nullschool.net]
‘The most severe heat wave in the history of the Pacific Northwest is near its climax. The National Weather Service had predicted it would be “historic, dangerous, prolonged and unprecedented,” and it is living up to its billing as it rewrites the record books.

On Monday, Portland, Ore., soared to at least 115 degrees (46 °C), the highest temperature in more than 80 years of record-keeping. It marked the third straight day the city had climbed to an all-time high. On Sunday, it hit 112 (44 °C) Sunday after reaching 108 (42 °C) Saturday, both of which broke the previous all-time record of 107 (41.6 °C) .

Seattle was up to at least 107 degrees (41.6 °C) on Monday afternoon, surpassing the all-time record of 104 degrees (40 °C) set Sunday, which had topped the previous mark of 103 (39.4 °C)’.
– Jason Samenow and Ian Livingston, reporting for the online Washington Post on June 28, 2021 at 5:50 p.m. PDT

Day of the Sun/ 104 °F | 40 °C in Seattle

Sunday comes from Old English Sunnandæg, which is derived from a Germanic interpretation of the Latin dies solis (“sun’s day”). Germanic and Norse mythology personify the sun as a goddess named Sunna or Sól.
– From livescience.com

Today’s high of 104 °F | 40 °C at 5.29 pm was the highest ever recorded for Seattle.
Monday will bring an even higher temperature.

Earth’s sun is an ordinary star, one among hundreds of billions of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. It is, however, the only star we can observe ‘up close’. This image of the sun was taken in 2015, captured with NASA’s space-based telescope, the Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Saturday/ the heat is on

We got to 101 °F (38°C) here in the city today, and it will be even hotter tomorrow and Monday.
Four of us played tennis in the morning until noon or so, by which time it was  already 90 °F (32°C). A good time to call it quits.

Here’s the new blue car getting its first wash at Uncle Ike’s Carwash. It was really a quick rinse only, with the water sprayer. (Driving in the dusty parking lot by the upper tennis courts at Amy Yee Tennis Center had coated it with fine dust). As soon as I started to drive away, the automatic windshield wipers sprung into action, wiping away the water beads. Rain-sensing wipers typically use a sensor mounted behind the windshield. It sends out a beam of infrared light that, with water droplets on the windshield, is reflected back at different angles. Tesla cars use its autopilot cameras to feed its computer vision neural network to determine the need, and the speed for the wipers.

Tuesday/ the heat is coming

This weekend is going to be a scorcher for the Pacific Northwest.
I am among the 40% of Seattle households that do not have air conditioning installed. I do have a unit on wheels, that I will set up again in my bedroom.

Let’s see: that 76 is 24 °C, 79 is 26 °C, 86 is 30 °C, 96 & 97 are 36 °C and 94 is 34 °C. It’s weird how I know how hot a Fahrenheit temperature is, and also, a Celsius temperature*— but I still cannot switch from one to the other in my head, after all these years in the US.
*South Africa switched to the decimal system and to SI Units of measure when I was in elementary school.
[Graphic by the National Weather Service]

Monday/ and now it’s summer

It was the first full day of the astronomical summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
We are just shy of 16 hours of daylight here in Seattle (sunset at 9.11 pm).
It was warm today (89 °F/ 32 °C), but there will be a little respite tomorrow & Wednesday, before the day temperatures go up again.

Daisies that I found on 12th Ave, here on Capitol Hill.

Thursday/ tennis weather

Here in Seattle it was a very pleasant 76 °F (24 °C) today, perfect for our social tennis group’s Thursday night at Lower Woodland Park.

Mild weather was not the case for the southwest of the US, though.
There’s a high-pressure heat dome hovering over southern California, Nevada and Arizona— with scorching day temperatures as a consequence:
125 °F (52 °C) for Death Valley, CA,
114 °F (46 °C) for Las Vegas, NV, and
117 °F (47 °C) for Phoenix, AZ.

The white hot sun of our solar system and the Space Needle, seen from my seat on the RapidRide E Line bus today at 6.00 pm. The bus is on 7th Ave North, and about to merge onto northbound State Route 99 that run by the Woodland Park tennis courts.
The yellow chimneys in the first picture are part of a ventilation structure that allows exhaust fumes from traffic in the SR-99 tunnel to escape high above ground. (Fumes that are no longer in the tunnel, but still polluting the atmosphere, of course). The tunnel opened to traffic on Feb. 4, 2019.

Saturday/ daisies & their little look-alikes

There was a half inch of rain yesterday in the city, and there will be a little more rain tonight.  The flowers are from my walk after dinner last night.

White daisies (genus is Bellis or Chrysanthemum) with their yellow centers, a spiral matrix of stamens.
The daisy flower does not just bud, blossom, and die like most other flowers. Rather it performs a daily routine of “sleeping” at night by closing and “waking” in the morning by opening up again. Because of this unusual trait and the whorled appearance of the flower, the daisy was given the Old English name ‘dægeseage’, meaning literally “day’s eye.” [From Merriam-Webster dictionary].
Some of these pretty little flowers look like daisies, but they are not: they are chamomile. Chamomile is a herb plant with relaxing benefits and a pleasant scent, used to make chamomile tea which can promote relaxation and help with getting a sound night’s sleep.

Wednesday/ toasty weather

We had 85 °F (29.5 °C) here in the city today— very warm for early June.
Cooler weather is moving in from the coast, though.

A little artwork across from the sports bar Rookies in Columbia City, where we had our beers tonight. I had to look up who Lindy West. She is a Seattle-born writer, comedian and activist, perhaps best known for her essay collection ‘Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman’ (2016).  She advocates for women to ignore the unrealistic burdens that society can place on them (criticizing their bodies, their appearances, and telling them what to do).

Thursday/ jackal marries wolf’s wife

Jakkals trou met wolf se vrou.
– ‘Jackal marries wolf’s wife’, said in Afrikaans, when it rains while the sun is shining.

There was rain today— and sun, and wind, all at the same time.
My Thursday night tennis was cancelled, but that’s OK. We need a little rain.

Tuesday/ tennis at Woodland Park

The Tuesday & Thursday social tennis sessions for spring / summer at the lower Woodland Park tennis courts, has started.
I was the only one of the 12 in our group playing that wore a mask on the court, and it did not bother me one bit.
It’s impossible to consistently stay 6 feet away from your doubles partner, and we brush by the others as we change sides, or courts. Why be careless, now that I am so close to get my second shot of the vaccine?

There was blue skies and a high of 61 °F (16 °C) this afternoon. This is lower Woodland Park by Green Lake in its namesake neighborhood, with the soccer field on the left, with a dirt track around it, and several little league baseball diamonds to the right. The tennis courts are behind me. The shadows are getting longer, but this is only 6.18 pm. Sunset is still more than two hours away, at 8.26 pm.

Wednesday/ July weather, in April

From the National Weather Service Seattle @NWSSeattle on Twitter:
Average high temp. in Seattle, April 15-21, 2021: 75.7 °F (24.3 °C)
Normal average high temp in Seattle, July 11-17: 75.7 °F (24.3 °C)

Our little Indian summer has come to a close today (temperatures will drop back to the 60s tomorrow), which is a good thing.
It’s way too early on the calendar to have mid-70s highs.
Firefighters from the Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources have responded to 91 wildfires this last week.

These red tulips seem to like the warm weather. Red tulips are given when love or romance is involved, much like red roses are. I found them on 17th Ave. here on Capitol Hill.

Wednesday/ a temperature shock

Lljubeljana, Slovenia, had its hottest March day (+25.3 °C/ 77.5 °F) on record, and now its coldest April night on record (-20.6 °C/ -5 °F).

There is going to be harsh frost damage to crops. Plants and insects (also fauna that thrive on both) would be hit incredibly hard, notes Scottish meteorologist Scott Duncan on Twitter.

This flaming orange tulip is from yesterday, when it was sunny.
It was ‘cold’ again today, 46 °F (8 °C), some 10 °F (5.5 °C) under the mean temperature for this time of year.

Wednesday/ fair weather & a ferry

We got to 61 °F (16 °C) here in the city today.
Late afternoon I braved the rush-hour traffic on I-5, to get to West Seattle for a little doubles tennis.

It’s now optional to play with a mask — outside or indoors (at Amy Yee Tennis Center). I decided to keep mine on until I get vaccinated.
The governor announced today, that here in Washington State, from April 15th on, everyone 16 & older will qualify for the vaccine.

I had a little time on my hands before the tennis, and stopped at the Fauntleroy ferry terminal to check out the action there. Here is the 5.15 pm ferry (the Issaquah), just departing for Vashon Island.

Monday/ spring cleaning on SR20 to start

The spring cleaning of the snow on State Route 20 in the North Cascades will start next week. So it’s still going to be a number of weeks before SR20 can be opened to the public.

Tweet from WSDOT East: ‘The great SR 20/North Cascades spring clearing begins April 5! Our crew will clear the highway of snow, then make any necessary repairs prior to reopening, which usually takes 4 to 6 weeks’. (My note: there is some 8 feet of snow on the road surface here!). 
[Picture from WSDOT East @WSDOT_East on Twitter]
Top: I found the GPS coordinates of the snowy picture at the summit of Washington pass, elev. 5, 477 ft. Then I looked up the summer version of the scene on Google Streetview.
Bottom: The yellow pin on the Google Earth picture marks the spot. Driving north, one would have just left a hairpin bend on State Route 20. The town of Winthrop WA would be about 30 miles back on SR20, to the southeast.

Saturday/ spring blossoms

It was a lovely day (56 °F/ 13 °C), and I chased myself out of the house this afternoon, to go look at the tree blossoms & spring flowers outside.
Tomorrow will be stormy and rainy.

Top to bottom: cherry tree blossoms, wild primrose, asters, magnolia tree blossoms.  I hope I have it right! I’m not a flower expert.

Saturday/ spring is here, very early

Spring arrived this morning at 2:37 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, the earliest on the calendar in 124 years. (Reason: the leap year of 2000,  and the observation of daylight saving time in the United States).

Here in the Emerald City it was cold (46 °F / 7 °C) and rainy.

Monday/ the many meanings of corona


From the Latin word corona, mid-16th century, meaning ‘wreath, crown’.
Architecture: a circular chandelier in a church, or a part of a cornice having a broad vertical face.
Astronomy: the rarefied gaseous envelope of the sun and other stars.
Biology: the cup-shaped or trumpet-shaped outgrowth at the center of a daffodil or narcissus flower.
Medical: coronavirus is any of a family (Coronaviridae) of large single-stranded RNA viruses that have a lipid envelope studded with club-shaped spike proteins.
Physics: the glow around a conductor at high potential.
Smoking: a long, straight-sided cigar.

It was only 45 °F (7 °C) for my late-afternoon stroll around the block today, but hey, now there is an hour more of sunshine.

Daffodils (genus Narcissus) at the corner of 18th Avenue & Republican St. The cup-shaped structure at the center of the flower is called the corona. Yes, the term has come to have decidedly negative connotations, I guess. Maybe it’s best to just shrug it off. We even have apartment buildings in the city called Corona Apartments and Corona Lofts.

Saturday/ saving the daylight

We had sunny afternoons all week and the high touched 60 (15.5 °C) today.

Daylight Saving Time starts tonight in the United States. (‘Saving’ means shifting the day’s hour markers forward, so that the sun ‘rises’ an hour later, and ‘sets’ an hour later).
Pacific Daylight Time = Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) minus 7 hrs.

The bright sunlight (electromagnetic radiation visible to the human eye) propels the vanes of the radiometer on my kitchen counter top.