To say my blog post discovering that Seattle has had only 78 minutes of summer struck a nerve might be an understatement.
The blog column itself had over 100 comments, plus we had well over 100 comments on our Facebook page chiming in about what they thought of the summer so far.
Now, to the untrained observer who doesn't live in the Pacific Northwest, you'd probably have thought for sure it was 200-plus comments of groans, complaints, and otherwise much gnashing of teeth over the fact that it takes longer for the Mariners to get to the 7th inning stretch than our cumulative time spent over 80 this summer.
But lo and behold, the usually quiet, reserved rain fans made their voices heard. There are a lot of people who live in the greater Seattle area that are loving the rain and cold summer -- a number far higher than I think many people would have ever thought.
Maybe we stay quiet because we know we'd be ridiculed if we brought it up that you can always dress warmer and rain keeps the air clear as your picnic host scrambles to keep the barbecue dry. But for many, including me, it's just something we grow up with and acclimate to.
After noticing a large number of rain fans in the comments, I took an informal, very unscientific survey. Of the 156 comments that I deemed stated a strong preference either way (like "DISLIKE!!" or "This summer is the worst ever"), and tossing out the nebulous "I normally like it cold and rainy but it'd be nice to have some more sunshine and warmth," the comments broke down like this:
52.2% of you said this weather stinks
47.8% of you said you're loving this summer weather
(And one comment still upset at Sunday's weather. Yeah, that didn’t go to plan. Sorry about that...)
It broke down the nearly the same way whether the comments were on my blog (54% where's the heat?) or on Facebook (about 51.7% say down with gray.)
But think about that -- 47.8%, while a minority, is quite a large minority. And likely much, much higher than any other city would say, I would gather.
I think it goes to show that a lot of people live here because of the rain, not in spite of it. Not everyone, sure, but that number says a lot. Or that a lot of people have just grown used to it, much like how umbrellas are shunned by locals.
To the 47.8% of you who said "more of the same" please, you'll be happy with the forecast over the next week or so, but to the 52.2% of you who are growing (or have already grown) impatient, at least early indications are for some warmer weather toward the end of the month.
Who knows? Maybe we'll even add a few minutes to our 78 of summer so far.
Here are some of my favorite comments left on my original story. Feel free to chime in below.
- "I would much rather live in The Pacific Northwest and have a "weird" weather year than live in the mid-west or on the east coast where it is not only hot, but so humid you have a hard time breathing!"
- "I've been to Dallas during the summer months and couldn't stand the humidity along with the heat. Also, the fact that most of these areas don't cool off at night is too much for me! Born and raised with web feet in Seattle! "
- "I would love a meteorologist to say, perfectly straight-faced and sincere: "This week's forecast calls for ... meh. That will transition to ... meh by midweek, with those in the convergence zone seeing plenty of ... meh. Up next, sports!" "
- "A perfect summer so far not too hot refreshing rain. I am hoping it stays this way. I love the summer rain tapping on my window in the mornings . No need to turn on the fans saving money there. No hot nights where you can not get a nights rest. If it gets up to 80 I am leaving for the coast. "
- "Washingtonians, why do you hate the sun? The sun is not your enemy. It is a lifegiving orb that brings life to all things. It causes the green things to grow and makes us healthy. I know it is scary to have the temperature shoot above 62 into the 70's, but you won't burst into flames--I promise. Twilight was just a movie. you aren't really vampires or zombies. The pasty faces and dark circles don't mean you are undead. That's called vitamin D deficiency. So you "true" Washingtonians can go hide in your dark damp caves and live on the ragged edge of clinical depression. You can go curl up in your dank musty lairs and cackle about those hated lovers of the sun. Oh look. The sun's out. While you cringe and hiss, I think I'll go spend the rest of my ten minute break basking in it. here's to vitamin D."