Scary Hot

For weeks here on the bluff we’ve had very warm days and glory sunsets. Some days (while we were away) the air didn’t move and the temperatures rose to unfamiliar heights – hard on our Pacific Northwest shade-craving house sitter.

And now wind from the north bears smoke from scores of forest fires raging on Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia. Alaskans here recognize the yellow-tinged clouds, smoky air, and gray cloud cover – a common Alaska summer phenomena, but usually not this dire until August. A fire even burns in the Washington rain forest.

The drought in Western Washington is unprecedented. Record warm winter left scant snow pack, and reservoir levels are far lower than normal for early July. Winter rains are far away.

My niece, home briefly from the East Coast to a sweltering Seattle, wondered aloud if her generation would survive. They will enjoy recent joyful improvements to life – reluctantly provided by a divided Supreme Court – but suffer our degradation of the natural world. Although the respected Washington weather guru, Cliff Mass, writes that the heat wave is an anomaly and not explained by gradual climate change, it’s hard to think it isn’t a taste of what’s predicted later in the century.

And now, after the fire clouds cooled the air and land, familiar moisture from fog and mist drips from trees and buildings. Denial and hope descend again.







7 thoughts on “Scary Hot

  1. Katy, I am writing this from my daughter Penny’s house in Berkeley, and I’m enjoying a respite from the heat on Bainbridge with the East Bay’s comfortable climate. I am hoping to return home today and find it back to normal temps and some rain! A neighbor is babysitting my roof garden, where I’m hoping to have beautiful white marigolds which I planted from seeds. – Jane Sent from my iPhone


  2. Denial and hope are a good way of putting the way I often think about weather and climate. I know Alaska seems much warmer than it used to – and we have so many more bugs. Right now it’s pouring here, which seems so welcome after the dry summer we’ve been having. Sunsets always seem like a sign of hope. Your painted one is such a lovely example.

  3. We went to Scappoose, Oregon over the 4th of July hoping to escape the heat of Tucson. While the days were hot, the nights were cool, a welcome relief. We enjoyed several trips to the coast through beautiful green forests something we don’t see in Southern Arizona. We are waiting for the Monsoons to bring us an abundance of water so quickly that the ground can not absorb it. The instant 20 degree drop in temperature however is most welcome.

    Loved your picture!

  4. We are having heat and intermittent drought here — not nearly so bad as many other places but worrying . .Your sunset painting is glorious!

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