Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yes, I am a weather geek.

I saw a guy on the Weather Network who self identified as a ‘Weather Hobbyist’. I’m not sure where on the ladder that is, but I have a feeling it may be for those more dedicated to all things weather than we mere weather geeks. Technically we live in a temperate rainforest, but you wouldn’t get the rainforest thing right now. In fact, because we are in the shadow of the Olympic mountains, the Victoria area gets a lot less rain than areas near to us. And in the summer we get very little rain. The grass pretty much dries up and turns yellow, waiting for the fall rain. Our ‘city of gardens’ tends to look a wee bit ratty around the edges by mid-summer.

One thing we don’t usually have to deal with is heat and humidity. I say usually because – holy cow! We’re getting it this year. The jet stream has soared way up north, which is pulling hot air from places like Phoenix and sending it our way. At the same time there is a big strong high stalled off the west coast of the island, which is doing two things. All that hot air comes zooming in from the east and piles up against the high, piling heat on heat. The high also prevents lovely cool Pacific breezes from reaching us. And to add to the fun the prevailing wind is blowing from the east instead of the usual western flow.

We’re actually getting humidex readings, and temperature records are falling left right and centre. Last Saturday was when the humidity began to build. It built so much that we actually had a thunderstorm. And probably the most magnificent sunset I’ve ever seen. The storm blew in from the east, and as the sky filled with clouds (and smoke haze from forest fires in the interior) the setting sun filled the entire sky with amazing colours, reflecting back to the east. All while the rain came down. It was quite a sight, changing minute by minute.

The apricot to orange phase:


Followed by the violet phase:


Every day since has been hotter and hotter. In normal weather we can count on cool night breezes and an nice outflow of cool air from the forest behind us. We’re not seeing big drops in night time temps, which means the house isn’t cooling off. By late afternoon it is 33 or more degrees C outside, and at least that inside. Because our our renovation we’re sleeping downstairs, where it is slightly cooler, which helps.

In honour of all this hot weather we did something the other day. It was a first in our nine years of living on the coast. We actually entered the ocean. Oh yes we did! We drove over to Chalet Beach on the Saanich Inlet. We figured after two weeks of above normal temps and several days of over 30C temps that the water would have warmed up. And sure enough it had.


Wilf is battling a cold, so he just waded a bit and took pictures. I actually did duck in for a swim, but it was a blink and you’ll miss it kind of thing!


That was Monday, now its Wednesday and I’m thinking a return visit might be in order for a little cooling off!

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