Sunday/ a little sunflower 🌻

It was a hazy, sunny Sunday (81°F / 27 °C), warm for this late in the year.
Our 10-day forecast still does not show any rain.

Sometimes called the ‘little sunflower’, genus Helianthella, catches the last rays of the day at the T.T. Minor Playground off Union Street today. Helianthella is a genus of North American plants in the family Asteraceae.

Wednesday/ the storm: an update 🌪

From the New York Times:
Millions of Florida residents faced a harrowing night as wind, rain and storm surge from Hurricane Ian pounded the southwestern coast and moved inland late Wednesday on a path toward Orlando, knocking out power to more than two million customers statewide.
The latest:
A storm surge of up to 12 feet submerged cars, knocked over houses and trapped residents near where the hurricane came ashore west of Fort Myers. Some places remained too dangerous for water rescues, officials said, adding that they were taking down addresses to deploy resources once it was safe.
Ian is among the most powerful storms to strike the United States in decades, and Gov. Ron DeSantis said it would go down as one of the strongest in Florida history. It was just shy of Category 5 status as it made landfall about 3 p.m., but had been downgraded to a Category 1 by Wednesday night.

The storm called Hurricane Ian approached the Florida Gulf Coast with maximum sustained winds of almost 155 miles per hour, and made landfall at Cayo Costa with Category 4 strength.

Here’s 1528 Broadway Circle in Fort Myers, Florida, captured on a sunny day in 2019
[Google Streetview, 2019]
The same place, in the hours after Ian came ashore. During this time, a weather station near Fort Myers, Fla., recorded a water level seven feet higher than the average height of the highest daily tides, according to the National Hurricane Center.
[Photo: Marco Bello/ Reuters]

Monday/ here comes Hurricane Ian 🌪

There’s trouble brewing in the Gulf of Mexico: a monster storm system that’s 500 miles wide and at this point just about certain to make landfall in Florida. The trouble with the  large natural harbor and shallow estuary that is called Tampa Bay, is that water being pushed into it, has nowhere to go. So the storm surge level could reach up to 10 feet in some places.

Hurricane Ian was over Western Cuba on Monday night and gaining strength. It is a Cat. 2 hurricane right now (max. sustained winds of 105 mph). It might strengthen into a Cat. 4 and make landfall directly over Tampa Bay.
Pinellas County in the Tampa area is under an evacuation order for mobile homes and Zone A (the red areas) as of Monday night.
[Map from Pinellas County Emergency Management at]

Thursday/ a very dry summer ☀️

So that’s it: astronomical summer here in the North is over.
It turned out to be the driest one ever recorded at the Sea-Tac rain gauge.
Only 0.5 in. of rain fell for all of summer (usually more than 3 inches).
Rainfall is still well above normal for the calendar year, though.

Ah yes .. chilling on the fence, and catching a little of the dwindling afternoon sun.
There was a lot of activity around my house earlier in the day: it was pressure-washed all around, to prepare it for a new coat of paint next week.

Friday/ haze

The skies around Puget Sound have been clear for most of summer this year.
There was some smoke haze in the air today, though— with a warm weekend in the forecast:
Saturday 89 °F/ 32 °C
Sunday 83°F / 28 °C

I found myself on the 5th floor of an apartment building in Ravenna at sunset (near Roosevelt light rail station), attending a Seattle Tennis Alliance board meeting. That’s Green Lake on the right edge of the picture.

Saturday/ the last days of summer

It felt like fall this morning (high for the day only 71 °F /22 °C), with a spritz of rain on the ground.
This year’s summer brought stretches of hot weather, but no smoky skies from wild fires.

Gladiolus (sword lilies) making their last stand here on Capitol Hill. The gardens are dry and lawns are yellowed, but they will come back, of course.

Wednesday/ the last of the heat? 🔥

We had 87 °F (31 °C) today and it may get to 90 °F (32 °C) tomorrow .. but the days are getting shorter and the weather will start turning soon.

P.S. ‘Heat’ is a relative term, of course. I read on Twitter of the Chinese city of Chongqing that recently had 113 °F (45 °C) for two days, with the night temperature at 93 °F (34 °C).

The air outside is around 60°F  (15 °C) early in the morning, and I like to open the front &  back door to get some cross-flow of cool air. Soon the morning sunlight blazes in as well, though⁠— and bounces off the kitchen floor onto the wall. Time to close the door!

Monday/ twilight

Here’s Seattle photographer Tim Durkin’s picture as night falls on the Emerald City.
Yes, The Mountain is out —and had been out for most of the day.

The high today was 83°F (28°C).
We’re on our way to another 90 °F (32 °C) high, on Thursday.
That might be the last one for this summer.

Picture Credit: Tim Durkan @timdurkan on Twitter

Sunday 🌞

Artwork from The Economist newsmagazine.

Today saw one more 95 °F/ 35°C high⁠— and made for a record stretch of 6 days with >90 °F highs.

Monday will be a little cooler, and we may even see rain on Thursday.
Fancy that.

Saturday/ good, better, butter 🧈

We logged another 95 °F (35 °C) for the day’s high here in Seattle.

Help! My butter is melting.
(I removed the lid of the butter dish for the picture .. and putting the butter in the fridge would be a last resort. I hate cold, hard butter).
Some time ago, a  car journalist remarked of the Ford Mustang Mach-E electric car, that  its acceleration is a little rough; not buttery smooth as is the case with Tesla’s cars.

Just for fun, here are some Afrikaans expressions and idioms that use ‘butter’.

Ek het met my gat in die botter geval.
Translation: I have stumbled, with my butt stuck in the butter.
Meaning: I lucked out, in a big way. 

My brood is aan altwee kante gebotter.
Translation: My bread is buttered both sides.
Meaning: I have the best of both worlds.

Dis botter tot die boom.
Translation: It is butter to the bottom.
Meaning: Said of a friendship that is thick as thieves.

Goed, beter, botter.
Translation: Good, better, butter.
Meaning: Slogan from a ’70s ad campaign for butter in South Africa. Butter is better than margarine, and is actually best of all.

Friday/ still steamy 😓

Our stretch of warm weather continues, with a high of 95 °F (35 °C) today.
The meteorologists assure us we will have much cooler weather on Monday⁠— something civilized like 79°F (26 °C).

My lawn is yellowed out (I don’t water it in summer), but the aster shrub in the flower bed is in bloom. I love the golden button and the color of the petals: a pinkish, purplish, lilac.
Greek mythology has it that the aster was created by the tears of the Greek goddess Astraea.

Tuesday/ a lot of heat🔥

The British media, never happier than when the weather goes awry, responded with barely concealed relish.
– British journalist Moya Lothian-McLean writing in the New York Times

So it did get to 40 °C (104 °F) in London, today. Here is a pair of front pages, reporting about the heat apocalypse.

Let’s see .. Hottest Day in History? Hottest day in recorded history, I guess. Earth’s surface temperature was an estimated 400 °F (200 °C) shortly after the planet had formed. And Britain is not really burning, of course— only 0.0000000001% of Britain.
The Hamburger Morning Post says ‘Heat Wave. Today was as hot as it had never been before’. 
Below the headline, it says: 38 °C (100 °F) forecast for Hamburg +++ This is how it is measured +++ Why some parts of the city are particularly affected +++ Fewer parking lots, more trees: governments want to change cities

Monday/ the wrong type of sun ☀

There’s so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones
-From the song ‘Brothers in Arms’ by Dire Straits (1985)

Well, so I had to check the ‘Met’ home page (short for the Meteorological Office, the United Kingdom’s national weather service), for an official reading of the high temperatures there today.

Looks like the high was 37 °C (99 °F) at 15:00.
So: extremely warm, but not quite 40 °C.

All-time record highs were reached in many other locations in the UK and in Europe, though.

Cartoon by Christian Adams (Instagram @adamstoon) in today’s Evening Standard newspaper, a commentary on the extremely warm temperatures in London today.
Best I can tell, the ‘CLOSED’ sign is a reference to train operator Southeastern Rail explaining (this is some years ago) that delays in the trains in south London were due to ‘the wrong kind of sunlight’⁠—the angle of the winter sunlight on the dispatch monitors in the trains.
There are also reports just appearing online now of an unexpected solar flare that had erupted on the sun, and that a solar storm (magnetic field disruptions) is expected on Wednesday July 20.

Sunday/ clear skies

It was a lovely day here in the Pacific Northwest, and not too warm: 77 °F (25°C).
The 6 o’clock Nightmare Show (NBC’s Nightly News) reported that the Yosemite wildfire threatens a grove of giant sequoias.
We have been blessed with clear skies here so far.

The sun is setting as I stroll by Jamjuree’s, the Thai restaurant on 15th Avenue. Four young people had just crowded into Liberty Bar behind me, and Hopvine Pub ahead is hopping as well. The street block up ahead is still in rough shape with Coastal Kitchen still closed. The empty building in the distance on the left (old QFC store) is clean again after the latest round of graffiti had been scrubbed from it.
That little white blob in the sky is the moon, on its way to becoming 2022’s largest supermoon, this Wednesday July 13th (it will be at its closest point to Earth for the year).

Saturday/ the heat is here 🌟

We are having a little heat wave here in the city.
(Heat wave for us, anyway). It feels as if we went from early spring weather to the summer highs in three days flat.
The highs look like this:
Saturday 88°F 31°C
Sunday 87°F 31°C
Monday 91°F 33°C
Tuesday 68°F 20°C

A few panels from my Adventures of Tintin book called Der Geheimnisvolle Stern/ Eng. The Shooting Star*/ Fr. L’Étoile Mystérieuse.
*The English-language publisher’s translation from the French is scandalously inaccurate: it should have been The Mysterious Star.
Anyway: part of the plot of the book is that a giant meteoroid appears in the sky, and heats up the surface of Earth in a big way. (Kind of like the ‘Don’t Look Up’ movie on Netflix). 
Translation of the text in the bottom panels:
Poor Snowy! He is perishing of thirst .. and the plants also look pitiful.
The end of the world, Snowy! The end of the world- do you understand that, Snowy? (Evidently not, he is only too happy to have some water).

Tuesday/ hello summer ☀

It’s summer solstice here in the North, with the North pole at its maximum tilt towards the sun for the year.

It was a lovely day outside. We had 75°F (24°C) which makes it the warmest day of the year for Seattle, so far.

These lovely cosmos plants (Cosmos bipinnatus) and their flowers are from City People’s Garden Store on Madison Avenue.
The Imperfect Foods truck swing by on Tuesdays in my neighborhood; their mission is reduce food waste by saving (selling) ‘ugly’ produce and surplus items from local farmers, and delivering it to buyers.

Sunday/ hello 70 °F

The highs made it into the 70’s here in the city today (72 °F/ 22 °C),  but it will be cooler again this week.
The French Open (tennis tournament) in Paris has started, and it will be interesting to see how it unfolds.

Mr Squirrel sits on my garage roof, eating peanuts 🥜 out of the shell, that he had found somewhere. (Then I have to pick up the discarded shells I find below on my paving .. but that’s OK, I don’t mind).

Saturday/ a hail storm

Here’s another gorgeous picture by Tim Durkan, of tonight’s hail storm. It was fine hail, but it went on for much longer than usual.

Photographer Tim Durkan says he sat in his car as he watched it come in from the north: from Edmonds, then over Discovery Park, and then over the city of Seattle.

Picture by Tim Durkan (@timdurkan on Twitter), ‘Seattle-based photographer capturing moments that help define our city and times’. More pictures at