Weather Eye: Find a dark spot tonight to count the showering 'shooting stars'

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The weekend weather is good for viewing the annual Perseid meteor shower, which will peak tonight. Even the moon is cooperating, showing up for the star party as a waning crescent moon.

According to Jim Todd of OMSI, there should be up to 60 meteors per hour in the darkest rural locations, with 10 to 20 per hour visible here in the city. I have good memories of warm Augusts gone by with my kids lying in chaise lounge chairs in the backyard well into the wee hours.

And following this event I begin to listen for the annual choruses of the crickets, counting their chirps to see if they really are telling me the ambient air temperature. Oh such fun, the little things in life. It is reassuring that Nature keeps on with its festivities all year long.

We didn't feel it west of the Cascades, but the experts tell us it was the hottest July on record since 1895 for the United States, nudging out July 1936. It was also the warmest January through July period and the warmest 12 months from August through July.

Much of western Washington had below average temperatures in June and July.

Summer weather will continue to have its ups and downs with the warm weekend, then a downturn early in the week with more marine air filtering inland. Then forecasts say we go back into the very warm -- OK, very hot -- zone as the week ends.

You may have noticed the smoky skies and pretty sunsets, another burst of smoke from the massive Asian fires, visible crossing the ocean in satellite pictures.

Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at http://weathersystems.com.