August 2021 was not so hot

I say this for two reasons:

  1. The weather simply wasn’t as perpetually scorching as it was in July, and today it barely climbed to 17C, which is below average for this time of year. We’ve had some actual precipitation. The bit of rain has been enough to revive lawns and take everything from tinder dry to just dry. Fittingly, the weekend promises more showers, so the FIRE DANGER signs may at last come down.
  2. In other not-so-hot news, COVID-19 numbers have been way up. The only good part here is that almost all infections are unvaccinated people (meaning the vaccines are working), and the numbers may have already plateaued. It’s still a bummer because we have clearly regressed when many thought the pandemic was finally beginning to wane when we moved to Step 3 on July 1st. Eventually we’ll be able to go back to something similar to how things were without requiring vaccines, vaccine cards, masks or deep sea diving helmets.

July 2021 was hot

See title. July saw no measurable precipitation, started with record-breaking temperatures in the 40s and is ending with temperatures in the 30s (for reference, today’s average high is normally 25C, though 30C doesn’t seem as hot anymore after experiencing what 42C feels like).

I know talking about the weather seems kind of dull, but it really has been remarkable. Up to mid-June people were still making “Juneuary” jokes. Now the bush outside the office window is withered and sad in a way it’s never been before, but still green, for the time being.

Wildfire smoke is expected to roll in today, and indeed it looks cloudy out. With a province-wide fire ban in effect, we get quotes like these from this CBC News story on enforcement of the ban because people gonna people:

Hunter said there have been instances in the South Coast region where they have discovered campfires within metres of campfire ban signs in provincial parks. 

I’m going out to take photos today, so I don’t necessarily want it to rain today, but I wouldn’t object to some nice showers overnight. I love summer (unlike a lot of people), but it’s making it tough to love this year.

Africa hot: 2021 edition

We are in the first day of a heat wave that is being caused by a ridge of high pressure so strong it’s said to cause a “heat dome” over the area, not only keeping it hot, but making it even hotter still as the hot air gets trapped, recirculates and gets hotter.

The high today was 33 °C. I went for a walk at 8 p.m. and it had cooled all the way down…to 31.

I am not inclined to complain about the weather as you can’t do anything about it, and we have AC here, so it’s really not that bad if we stay inside. But yes, it is hot indeed out there.

I wonder how many more heat domes await us in the future.

The 10-day forecast for New Westminster (normal high would be 23°C):

Noted: Early summer-like weather

April can be a rather damp month sometimes, so I wanted to record for posterity that we are in the middle of a week-long stretch of beautiful, summer-like weather. It was 23 today. 23! In April!

It was nice. I like this April weather.

Here’s a tulip, which I also think is nice.

The first day of spring 2021

It was actually yesterday, so I’m late, but here is a summary in handy list form:

  • It was cool
  • It was wet, especially in the morning
  • There is still a pandemic

Today–the second day of spring–was different!

  • It was even cooler
  • It rained a lot more
  • The pandemic was mostly unchanged, though

I actually don’t mind the rain much–I went out in it twice today. But I am looking forward to fewer showers and more sun, being able to go out wearing a t-shirt and shorts and things being green instead of dead. I have had my fill of winter for another year, especially one spent wearing a mask in every public space.

Finally, here’s a flower so this post isn’t just me complaining about the weather:

The definitive ranking of seasons, 2020 edition

While 2020 has been a benighted hellscape, the seasons have pretty much come and gone as they normally would.

Here is my indisputable ranking of seasons from best to worst. INDISPUTABLE.

  1. Summer. The days are long. It’s warm but rarely too hot (I mean, people in Death Valley may feel differently, but in the Lower Mainland the really hot days amount to a handful per summer). Everything is lush and green. There is something soothing about walking through a park on a pleasantly warm summer afternoon and something almost magical about watching dusk come late as you sit outside, enjoying the warmth of the evening. Summer is the best.
  2. Spring. Spring is like a low rent version of summer. The best part is the part that’s closest to summer, in June. But it’s also nice for a few other reasons: The switch back to Daylight Saving Time restores actual light to early evening. The trees begin to bud and flower. The brown of the world begins to change back to green. It gets warmer. You no longer have to wear three layers to go outside.
  3. Fall. The first part of fall is basically the last part of summer, which is aces. This is followed by a transition period that I would actually rank higher than most of spring, where the weather can be pretty nice and the trees look spectacular as leaves start to change color. Some years this period only seems to last a few weeks, then it gets colder, wetter and of course, the switch back to Standard Time, murdering the chance of any outdoor activities in the evening that can’t be done in the dark for months. Fall also gets negative points for leading into the worst season of all…
  4. Winter. Come on, this is no contest. Winter sucks. It’s cold, it rains all the time, the days are stupidly short, the landscape is bleak and barren and there’s always a chance of snow. Winter only exists to make the other seasons look good in comparison (people in Death Valley may feel differently).

After writing this post, I thought to myself, I’m pretty sure I’ve ranked the seasons before–and I have! Here’s the post, in which I pretty much say the same things, often down to the exact same phrasing: Seasons in the sun (and rain and wind and occasionally snow). Like the seasons, my posts keep coming back every year (or five).

Falling into rain

I haven’t talked about the weather for what seems like, well, a good solid week, at least.

Two days ago it was the last day of summer. It was mostly clear and the sun felt pleasantly warm on my back as I went for a walk.

Yesterday was the first day of fall and it was also pleasantly sunny and warm. I like pleasantly warm fall days, because it creates the illusion that a cold, wet and going-on-forever winter is not really coming.

Today, however, the weather app had this:

And this:

This promise is being fulfilled outside, right now, as I type this. In a way the heavy rain is nice, because it makes it easier to make decisions, like, “Should I go outside?” because the answer is invariably, “Hell no.”

It does complicate my walk/runs, though. I don’t mind (but don’t prefer–I’m not crazy, after all) running in the rain, but walking in it is different. When you run you generate enough heat to stave off the cold and wet, for awhile. When you walk, even briskly, this doesn’t really happen. So I must ponder if I want to do a walk/run, a run or maybe “Hell no” it and stick to the treadmill.

In the meantime, I am putting together a playlist of nothing but rain-related songs. And then not listening to them.

Ironic post about no FIRE WARNING again this summer

The irony is that it is 33ºC as I type this. But for the second summer in a row temperatures have stayed low enough and we’ve had just enough precipitation to stave off the appearance of those FIRE WARNING signs that appear on the Brunette River trail and at Burnaby Lake.

A few years ago we went an entire calendar month–July–without any official rainfall. Grass was turning yellow in May. I thought, “Well, climate change is slowly turning southern BC into a desert, whaddyagonnado?” But the past two years things have tracked more normal, with no long stretches of nice weather, just days of nice weather punctuated by clouds or some shower, then sun again and back and forth until The Rains of the fall start in earnest.

I’m not complaining, exactly. Some precipitation in the summer also means no out of control forest fires and the sky has not turned a hazy amber that lasts for weeks on end, either. These things are nice and good. I guess we’ll see if extremely dry summers return next year. Based on current events, I don’t think humans are going to do much to stop or even slow climate change.

This concludes my happy thought of the day.

I summon the rain

Jeff hooked up the air conditioning today as it’s been weirdly (but nicely) warm the past few weeks or so.

It rained later in the morning.

So it’s still April.

The sun came out later and it got nice and warm again, so the weather didn’t completely mock us. And speaking of weather, I looked back at a post in February noting that it had rained 28 of 31 days in January. A little rain now does not seem so bad in comparison. (But only a little.)

Only 135 days until summer

Yes, I am counting. The snow has stopped and the drizzly, cold rain has returned, which is actually an improvement.

It’s also a mere 42 days until the spring equinox, when we switch back to Daylight Saving Time and I no longer have to endure getting up in the dark to go to work and coming back home in the dark, with actual daylight reserved for when I’m working and mostly indoors. Tech support doesn’t require a lot of going outside.

I find myself utterly uninspired when it comes to writing on the blog lately, but I figure if I start writing I will hopefully get past the hump and start producing utter gems. Utter Gems is also the name of my Talking Heads cover band.