I don’t deal well with warm weather. I have sometimes phrased this as, “I melt at 80 degrees or higher.” For most of the 43 years that I’ve lived in western Washington state, that hasn’t been a big problem, because we usually only get a week or so of weather in the high-80s and up most summers. The previous few years (as the average temperature of the atmosphere has been climbing), have been a different story. Last summer and the summer before we had several weeks of the high weather accompanied by smoke from wild fires in Eastern Washington and British Columbia. Smoke so severe that health officials weren’t just recommending that some people might want to wear masks, but urged everyone to wear particular masks for days on end.
It was awful! The sky was a sick yellow color, the sun was a hellish red color, everything stank of smoke, my sinuses were swollen as if the worst hay fever day was coinciding with a sinus infection, and it was so hot I just wanted to curl up in a deep freeze somewhere.
And the two things — higher average temperatures and smoke — were related. Because wild fires are both more likely and harder to contain because of the heat and how dry all the plantlike growing in the wilderness was.
This summer we had something that was more like the summers of old (which are going to continue to be less likely as we go). We had a week of really hot weather, then a few days of cool weather, a week or too of kinda hot weather, a few days of cool, and then another week of really hot weather, with a bit of a cool down to only sort-of hot weather, and so on.
Then, Saturday night, this happened: Hundreds of ‘insane’ lightning strikes bring chaos to Seatte. And while the actual storm was a bit disturbing, it was part of a big shift in the weather pattern, as we move out of the summer pattern and more toward fall. The long-term forecast is we won’t hit 80 degrees Fahrenheit
again this year, which has me cheering. And the short-term forecast is periods of occasional rain today and tomorrow, partly sunny Wednesday, and then back to rain.
I love the rain. Really. I like listening to it coming down. I like hearing the sound of tires on the wet roads. I like to go outside and stand in it for a while… I’m just really happy.
Another upside to the slightly closer to normal weather over the summer is that I didn’t have as many awful hay fever days. I still had a lot of bad hay fever days and I was taking extra meds a lot, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as the last several summers.
Of course, I’m not out of the woods there, yet. A lot of flowering plants, some trees, and many grasses will keep pollinated for the rest of this month and into October. And when the pollen starts to subside, all the ferns (which grow all over the place in our damp client) will start sporing. And then some time in November as the ferns stop filling the air with their spores we’ll have mushrooms and toadstools popping up everywhere and the air will be filled with fungal spores and molds until (if) we get a hard freeze.
But it’s a lot easier to deal with hay fever when I’m not also feeling like the air is baking my body as a walk around.
I much prefer to rain.