Seattle is indeed the admiration of a globe afflicted by a severe water shortage. Everyone in this area is aware of the chilly months of June through January and the fact that the official start of summer is on July 5.
However, this year is just rainy and chilly. We’ve apparently passed through spring completely. Long underwear during Little League games or a down jacket in the backyard are obvious targets for grouses. However, given the alternative, it may be appropriate to show some appreciation.
Excessive heat and a lingering drought are wreaking havoc throughout the globe, including in parts of California. Franklin County, for example, is located in southeast Washington.
There is now a severe drought that affects all inhabitants, 62,999 acres of wheat, and 34,623 livestock in the area. This has resulted in stunted crops, more wildfires, and greater difficulty feeding cattle. According to the United States Census Bureau, Franklin County has a population of 98,000.
Even in the worst-case scenario of drought, no one in King County will be affected. Actually, it’s been a great season for skiers. To put this into perspective, in King County there are only 14 acres of wheat compared to 11,000 cattle.
Heat isn’t an issue in the Seattle region, at least not just yet. We’ve already absorbed more rain than is average for the month of May, and it’s still raining. On the 13th of April, Olympia had its lowest temperature ever recorded: 28 degrees.
Others are envious of our ability to get rain. Drought conditions have gripped large swaths of California and the Southwest. Hydropower production is at risk as reservoir levels fall to unprecedented lows. People with backyards are being urged to turn off their sprinklers by water regulators. This isn’t a big deal in Seattle, where yellow lawns seem to be a staple of summer for decades.
Although summer officially begins on June 21, parts of the southern Plains and the Midwest are already seeing temperatures that are approaching record highs. Much of the Western United States is on fire. This was a year without spring for both India and Pakistan.
While May and June are often the hottest months of the year, this year saw record-breaking temperatures in March and April. Recognizing the atmospheric dangers of the rest of the globe will not make it easier around here to ruin your BBQ or damp outdoor wedding.
For the second time in as many years, we’re experiencing a La Nina year. It’s hard to say what the weather might be like following this chilly period. On June 28 of last year, the temperature reached an all-time high of 108 degrees. According to the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group, human activity has caused the area to continue to warm.
The heat won’t be an issue for long. Now, let’s be grateful for the cool weather and rain. It is a blessing to be working and living in Seattle at this time of the year.