Weather Blog

What makes 24% of you tick?

What makes 24% of you tick?
Low clouds hang over a ferry as it crosses Puget Sound off Alki Beach on Monday, May 31, 2010. (Photo by YouNews contributor kweitz)
It seems every day this spring, we're tossing out another statistic highlighting the gloomy weather. Today, it's the fact that Sunday was the darkest day as far as least amount of sunlight energy received on the ground since early February!

Without getting into gory details on units of measure, let's say you have a scale of 0-40 of sunshine energy measured. Some of our few sunny days this month have been in the 32-35 range.

Saturday measured a 6, which was astounding until Sunday measured at about 2.5 -- the lowest June reading in at least the past 15 years, and lowest overall rating since early February. (For more gory details, check out Cliff Mass' awesome weather blog.) And while listening to the Mariners' game on Sunday, Rick Rizzs mentioned the roof was closed at Safeco Field for the 18th time in 35 home games.

Anyway, as you might imagine, a good portion of the locals are getting restless. We're still getting a chunk of e-mails wondering where the sun is, or expressing dismay at why the weekends seem to be so rainy. (Well, save for June 12th).

Steve Pool even fired up something we haven't used in several years: The "Weather Whine Hotline" where people can vent or at least be creative in their frustration.

To top it off, we ran an online poll last week noting that as we are now over 270 days since the last time we had a high temperature at 75 or warmer, are you loving it? Or do you hate this and wonder where is the sun?

The results were somewhat predictable: 76% wondered where was the sun. But that means 24% said they were loving this spring. And when you think about it, that's 1 in 4 Seattleites.

And I happen to be one of them, so while TV anchors and radio DJ's and the like continue to bemoan our current gray streak, I am here as the voice of the 24% who even despite two months of 50s and 60s and rainy days, are still happy as an Ivar's clam about the weather.

But for you 24%, I'm curious as to your thoughts on how you came to like this weather, and why?

For me, while I'm officially from Port Angeles, my Dad was in the Coast Guard and I spent a lot of my childhood living right on the ocean, particularly the Oregon coast, including my high school years in Astoria (Go Fishermen!) There, 70 degrees is like 80 in Seattle -- maybe 20-25 days a year over 70, and lots and lots of fog.

So maybe it's an acclimation thing? I did spend my only 3 years on the East Coast in North Carolina -- long enough to learn how the "other side" of the nation lives, and… no thank you. Heat, humidity, bugs, yuck. And I've lived in the east Bay Area too, so I've experienced California's sunny and warm climate.

So even though now I've been in Seattle proper for 20 years now, I figure it's my coastal roots that sealed the deal as the rain fan.

Among the reasons I enjoy the weather? I do feel hot when it's over 75, and our house gets pretty toasty over 80 and with no A/C, that also fuels the appreciation for cool days. Plus, I love how clean rain makes the air feel, and you can always toss on a jacket when it's kinda chilly, but when it's too hot, there is only so much you can do (when it's not Solstice Parade day). But mainly, I just get uncomfortable when I feel too warm.

But you don't have to grow up with it to love it. My wife spent her entire childhood and undergraduate college years in Tucson, Arizona. But she came to grad school at UW because she was tired of the oppressive heat and wanted to live some place cool and rainy. We met through mutual love of baseball, but the fact she is just a big a rain fan as I am sure does help.

My parents are even more curious -- both Chicago natives through high school; neither lived in the Northwest until my Dad was transferred here just before I was born. Yet they too love the cool rainy weather. Maybe the fact they kept the house cool was a factor? (Although my younger sister, whose only difference with me was she went to high school in the Bay Area after my dad was transferred the year I went off to UW and she is most certainly a sun fan. But she manages to survive here in Seattle as well.)

So, to the 24% of you who also answered "Cloudy and cool? Great!" what makes you tick? What is it about the rain and chilly spring that brings smiles instead of groans?

Answer in the comments below. And sun fans, give us a break. You had your best summer ever last year, maybe it's our turn? :)

In the meantime, in tribute to the 76% of you looking for more sunshine, here are some of the best entries into our Weather Whine Hotline:

It's so cold that
-- I've got my Christmas decorations out! (Carrie of Puyallup)
-- The ice cream man is wearing a parka (Vicki of Renton)
-- 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 I'm sending you some sevens to use in your graphics. PLEASE use them! (Jim in Edmonds)
-- the lawyers have their hands in their own pockets! (anonymous)

It's so cloudy that
-- I've forgotten what blue sky looks like (Donna of Shelton)
-- My shadow took early retirement (Jim of West Seattle)
-- I need a flashlight to go outside during the day (Belinda of Lake Tapps)

It's so rainy that
-- the slugs in my yard have to do the dog paddle! (Jim of West Seattle)
-- every county in Washington has renamed themselves "Island County" (Keith of Renton)
-- I have bought an umbrella (Keatley of Ballard)
-- If you see someone with a tan it's not a tan, it's rust. (Deryl of Tacoma)
-- I have moss growing on the insides of my shoes. (Alex of Burien)
-- I had to install pontoons on my rider mower. (Paul of Kaposwin)