The rest of the country, at least out West, is broiling with drought and wildfires – so why was I cold this morning?
After dropping off our dog Henry for one of his twice-weekly play dates at Furry Farms doggie daycare, I went down to Tacoma Narrows park to chase searun cutthroat trout.
As I got out of the car in the parking lot, I could feel what felt like a cold breeze from the southwest (I estimated the winds at 10 knots). The breeze only added to the gray morning, with a temperature in the mid fifties, that gave me the sense that I had skipped ahead to a late fall trip to the beach. Putting a windbreaker over my sun hoody was enough to keep me warm until the sun started to burn off the low clouds.
I only saw a few fish jumping far out beyond where I could cast, and I didn’t even get a tug.
I know the reason I felt cold – the cooling marine layer from the Pacific ocean pushed in overnight, which is is one of the factors that have kept our Northwest summers relatively mild – notwithstanding the increasing number of high-temperature days.
When I first came to the Seattle area in the early 80’s, summer typically started late (around July 7th – which was the strangest occurrence). But once summer arrived, this place was a paradise. No rain until late October. Daily temperatures were in the 70’s, with 80 being considered hot.
Like much else, those days are long gone.
I think that with climate change, the marine layer and its cooling effect may become a thing of the past as a high-pressure heat dome establishes itself for longer and longer periods of time, and our summer temperatures soar.
Hemingway had one of his characters in The Sun Also Rises asked about how he went broke. His response was, “Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”
I fear that answer would be the same if someone was asked about how quickly climate change is happening.