Back to Cool Weather

June 21, 2011

I’ve been a bit negligent in keeping track of our weather the past few days.  First the weather was just downright boring late last week, then depressing (Saturday), then a family issue yesterday into today.  Now I’m sitting in the Denver Airport, finally taking a look at the maps…ouch, looks like the cool pattern is going to continue through the end of the month.  Once again, we seem to be able to only squeeze out one 80 degree day at a time this month; a very pleasant 83 degree high at PDX today.  The marine influence returns a bit more tomorrow and really comes in Thursday and Friday, so the morning clouds likely become afternoon clouds for some of us along with high temps back a bit below average.  That would be around 74 this time of year.

Here’s a travel nightmare for you.  I’m on the way to the yearly AMS Broadcast Conference, this year it’s in Oklahoma City.  I change planes in Denver, board a new flight, and everyone is ready to go with baggage on etc…  Then they (United Airlines) announces they can’t find the captain.  We wait another 10 minutes because the “spare” captain was supposed to be ready to go.  After about 15-20 minutes they announce “we’re sorry, but the captain doesn’t begin his shift until 10pm (2 hours from that moment), so you’re free to leave the plane and mill about the concourse”.  So everyone gets OFF the plane and is waiting for 2 hours; of course the silver lining in that cloud is the free wi-fi and thus the blog post. 

Looking at the long range, it appears that the calendar may have switched to summer, but we can look forward to more spring-like weather.  Another upper-level trough swings towards us later Sunday and Monday, which could lead to rainfall again.  Details still a bit sketchy since models have been having issues resolving the movement of the  low.  Note the graphic above is the 6-10 day upper level height outlook plus the dashed lines are the anomaly (compared to average).  The upper-level trough wants to continue hanging on over the West Coast.  Meanwhile the eastern part of the USA will continue to bake, especially the southern Plains.  I have about 1/2 of my garden under plastic, which really warms up the daytime temps, the pathetic little corn shoots are maybe 2″ tall.  Whoever made up the saying “shoulder high by the 4th of July” clearly didn’t live in the maritime Pacific Northwest climate!

Since I have PLENTY of spare time right now…

I’ve been thinking about all the back and forth arguments (the pro Sunny & Warm vs. the Cool & Cloudy types) recently.  It truly depends on what you want to do.  If you want to work outside, hike, ride a bike, or grow lots of green grass, cool weather is definitely best.  It  sure has been nice to work in the yard and garden and not sweat to death.  BUT, if you want to do normal summer activities such as swimming either in a pool, river, lake, or relax in the warm sunshine, 75+ is definitely far better.  So the arguing is probably a bit pointless, although I think a large part of it is also the gloom, not the actual temperature.  I’m always amazed at how my mood goes through the roof when I see sun right away in the morning (today).  I  totally agree with some of you though that would wear off after just a few months.  The constant sunshine beating down in a desert area or parts of S. California would become annoying quickly. 

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen