Weather Eye: For lack of summer, state needs a slogan



Keeping track of weather records can be at times rather mundane and also very interesting, as well. I came across this set of statistics from the National Weather Service for Seattle. So far this year through Tuesday, they have had daily high temperatures above normal for 37 days. Normal highs have occurred on 19 days, and the remainder 144 days have had below-average high temperatures.

Nothing really new here as it has been cooler than average most everywhere in the Pacific Northwest this year. Needless to say, another round of clouds and showers are on tap for Western Washington today and then a brief respite Friday and Saturday. There may be increasing clouds Sunday as another trough of low pressure heads our way Monday. At least we shall see a little more sunshine and warmer temperatures for a couple days.

There are so many jokes, comments and otherwise crazy statements about our “lack” of summer. Many are thankful for what we have compared with the rest of the country where record temperatures and humidity are present.

I would expect someone in the Washington tourism department picking up on this and doing some quick advertising in some of the major cities to visit Washington to cool off. Like maybe, “How do you spell relief? W-A-S-H-I-N-G-T-O-N.” Or maybe, “Tired of the Heat Index? Come to Washington state and enjoy the wind chill index.”

For the entrepreneurs out there, I am surprised someone is not marketing a sweatshirt maybe that reads, “I Survived the Great American Heat Wave of July 2011. I stayed in Washington state.”

The heat wave in the midsection of our country, which is now shifting eastward, is nothing short of phenomenal. The combination of temperatures at or above 100 degrees along with very high humidity has produced heat index values of 130 degrees.

There may be some indications that the long-wave weather pattern of highs and lows around the globe may be shifting. This means that our unseasonal trough off our coast would retrograde westward enough to give us a ridge of high pressure and a return to our “normal” summer weather. This may happen by the end of the month.

Perhaps we will enjoy a very pleasant August, so stay tuned. Meanwhile enjoy the relief from the heat wave that we never had.

Pat Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at