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Posts tagged: weather

Winter arrives, and with it joy in chaos…

Good morning, Netizens…


It's here! It's here!


After nearly a week spent forecasting doom and gloom about winter snowfall coming and destroying most lifeforms in the Pacific Northwest, the snow actually began arriving, bringing with it winter, just yesterday. Almost immediately the streets began more closely resembling skating rinks than public thoroughfares. Before anyone construes that I am casting aspersions on the good character of Spokane Public Works Department snow removal technicians, much less our new Mayor, it typically takes a few days of snow piled hock-deep on the middle of our street before I begin growling to myself.


We haven't gotten that far YET. We have a few people who haven't learned (or remembered) how to drive on snowy roads. A four-wheel-drive does not automatically give you the right to drive at ludicrous speeds on icy streets anytime of your choosing. There is a law for that: it is called gravity, and you might do well to heed it before driving too fast on the roads today.


Egads, it's winter. Finally. Now everybody can quit bitching about how we haven't had any winter weather.



First snowfall hits Spokane region…

Good morning, Netizens…


I knew, as soon as I crept forth from my bed this morning, that during the early morning hours, some of that wretched snow would fall. Both my wife and I suffer in later life with what I call “weather joints”; whenever the weather is going to change, particularly if it involves moisture in any form or at least a change in the barometric pressure, our joints remonstrate with us about it, more often than not in advance. We both have known this weekend was going to be a meteorological “busy” time, with several weather fronts moving through the area.


An old shoulder injury and a faulty kneecap both were taking front row seats as soon as I hit the deck, muttering such inanities as, “Here's a little pain to start you on your way, Sunny Dave” and “You deserve this, you know!”


Our overnight half-inch snowfall contribution wasn't all that much, although the gusty winds last evening contributed its fair share of downed trees, power lines in the streets and general mayhem, most of which appears to have been repaired overnight. Areas of the South Hill and the outlying areas of Spokane appeared to have been hit the hardest, and although we in the near north side did not appear to have lost power not even once. The one positive note about last evening is that all the leaves from our pair of aspen trees that hadn't already hit the ground did so, and the leaves that had fallen were neatly moved into the neighbor's lawn, thus negating the need for us to rake leaves. Good move, Mother Nature, and thank you!


Today is the first day of the annual Fall Folk Festival, but this year, unlike nearly a decade in the past, neither of us nor our granddaughters will be in attendance for a remarkable number of reasons, a few of which I will elaborate upon at another time in the near-future. The Fall Folk Festival is a good show and it's still free which matters a great deal, even here in budgetary-challenged Spokane.


Of course, our Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, has announced to the news media that she is retiring by January. All things being equal, you will pardon me if I rebut her comments with an admonition for her not to let the door out hit her in the butt. Of course, as always, your opinions and ideas are worthy. As I always say, it's another day in paradise! Try to ignore the snow.



Nasty squall line hits North Spokane…

Good evening, Netizens…


Due to the hockey semi-finals, KHQ-TV broadcast their evening news at 8:00 PM tonight. Ironically, they let their Success by Six food drive supersede the news, as at 7:14 PM this evening, parts of North Spokane were hit by a serious regional rain squall, complete with lightning strikes, hail, torrential rains and gusty winds. At the peak of the storm, which lasted approximately one-half hour, hail stones the size of cats-eye marbles were bouncing off the streets in quantity; standing out on the patio we had to yell to be heard over the raucous noise of the hail stones hammering on the patio roof overhead. The sidewalks and street were so white with the hail it looked like an early winter snow.


Fearing the worst for the Virtual Garden's frail tomato plants just recently planted, we went and looked as soon as the hail stopped falling. We just had installed half a dozen new tomato cages, which we purchased for a pittance from Habitat for Humanity, and it must have been divine providence, because those metal cages appear to have deflected most of the damaging hail away from the tiny tomato plants, although it didn't hesitate about removing leaves from several trees nearby.


Since that time the sewers on both sides of the street blocked up, flooding the area with water up to the bottoms of cars parked on both sides of the street, but we are hardly alone in that. Portions of Market, Hamilton, Francis, Division and Monroe— almost anyplace there is a hill, the sewers rapidly overflowed with knee-deep water, creating a minor bit of havoc with city traffic.


Since we couldn't find any city employees to help deal with the flooded sewer, we cleaned the flotsam and jetsam out of the sewer, and it gave a might burp of appreciation as the water once more went cascading down the drain. Within minutes it was as if the street had never been flooded; within a half an hour, the hail had all but vanished.


It was just another wonderful evening in Paradise. Of course, your results may differ.



Extreme cold…

Good evening, Netizens…

While the talking heads of local television weather forecasting were prattling among themselves this morning about how bitterly cold it is outside, I cannot help but wonder how many of them have been in Northern Minnesota during a really cold winters day. Whenever someone mutters something about how bitterly cold it is here in Spokane, typically when the temperature hovers just as or below zero, I cannot help but remember a morning years ago when I was driving from Northern Minnesota to Chicago. It wasn't, by any means, the first time I had spent a night in a motel where the nightly temperature dropped below thirty degrees below zero and where smart travelers always gratefully accepted the option of plugging our vehicle block heaters in, otherwise our vehicles might not start the next morning. Since I had already made several runs to Alaska in the winter, I knew most of this. In the parlance of long-haul truck driving, the pay for driving either Minnesota or Alaska in the winter was well worth it, considering they always paid well for the frozen fingers, the number of times you had to chain up/unchain, and the number of times you had to out wait a blizzard in some god-forsaken restaurant with greasy food and tasteless coffee.

However, the mental image that has lingered in my mind all these many years was a morning quite like this morning in far-off Minnesota hauling sacks of bark dust out of Northern Minnesota with the temperature sitting below minus thirty degrees. As I glanced up at my mirror, I could see a cloud of exhaust smoke from my twin pair of pipes that reached back nearly ten miles behind me, still hovering in the air. Despite the absolutely frigid temperature that morning, there was not a breath of wind, and each vehicle I saw on the road that morning left a similar tail behind them, all except for a single Volkswagen Beetle that was braving the cold. No one I have spoken with has ever explained why the Beetles didn't leave contrails behind them.

In that morning so long ago, with the full moon setting dimly in the west as the sun glared bitterly across the snow-crusted flatlands of Minnesota, as with each passing mile I drew closer to places still fond in my heart in those days, I couldn't help but notice as I came further south, my twin contrails had all but dissipated, as if they were never there to begin with.

But if I closed my eyes but for a second, put away the mesmerizing sounds of 18 wheels on the frozen roadbed, I could still see those twin contrails extending out behind my truck, and for a time there, I knew it had truly been cold.



Life in Spokane in the rear view mirror…

Good evening, Netizens…

I have crawled from, beneath my rock to peer at the snow ratcheting from the sky just in time to receive an e-mail from Marty advising me that the temperature in Arizona, where he is visiting, is 65 degrees and sunny. My immediate response to MHibbs was to tell him to beat feet for home so he can join us in our suffering.

Just when we thought we had seen the end of winter, it has arrived once again and, once more, Mayor Queen Mary of Spokane, citing the City Budget, will ignore the need for snow removal until the Big Thaw hits us once again. Then we will get to deal once more with the cratars in our streets. Ah, life in Spokane!


Mess and mayhem in Spokane…

Good afternoon, Netizens…

It began snowing on the Lower Sourth Hill at approximately 10:00 AM and it took less than an hour for the streets and the freeway of Spokane to degenerate into a bumper car race. Two of three hills I drove over were largely impassable, and the freeway was largely closed between the Argonne and the Hamilton Street exits with multiple fender-benders lining both sides of the roadway. KHQ-TV put the carnage on the freeway at 15 vehicles, but given the number police, fire and ambulances in attendance it truly was hard to tell.

Nevada Street hill had its own count of slide-offs, and the backups caused by that only added to the confusion. Expecting this, I wisely took a side street and made it back home safely.

Why, oh why do we keep revisiting this same inept scenario, with ample warning of foul weather approaching, with snow predicted, and the hours after the storm arrives our streets and roadways degenerate into mayhem? I do not claim to have understanding, nor can I ascertain the reasons why our local government continues to allow this scenario to play out, over and over again.

However, I know it is unacceptable.


Free at last!

Good morning, Netizens…

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God we’re free at last!

At approximately 3:45 AM PST this morning a road grader of unknown ancestry arrived on Morton Street accompanied by a city snow plow and plowed Morton four times (and eventually Glass Street twice) as well as could be expected after over a week. After digging out our cars from the huge berms the plow/grader created, once more our lives will be semi-normal, and once more the school bus will arrive on time and we can go to work.

Now before Queen Mary Verner takes credit for this, I hasten to remind Netizens that since I regularly travel throughout the Spokane Valley I can state with absolute certainty that the residential streets in Spokane Valley were plowed clean as of Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

The problem, as I see it, is that Queen Mary is unable, for whatever reasons, to manage the union plow and grader drivers. It is readily apparent sitting on her throne in City Hall, she is unable to ascertain the true conditions of the residential streets after a snow fall. One suggestion from several others is perhaps Queen Mary should get out of City Hall more often and simply follow one of the city plow drivers around, as always in the interest of keeping them honest.

I am aware that an individual has already offered the City of Spokane the services of various Mormons armed with heavy-duty four wheel drives to help those in need. To date, there has been no response forthcoming from City Hall, but that comes as no surprise. Queen Mary only does press conferences.

That is perhaps suitable material for the next mayoral election.

At any rate, we are glad to be free once more to be able to conduct our lives more or less as we need to in order to survive.


Queen Mary’s abysmal record of snow removal…

Good morning, Netizens…

Actually, I should address this to Queen Verner, Mayor of our fair city, because I hold her directly responsible for the incredible lack of effort being made to make our streets safe.

I am sick to death of this crap and I’m not going to take it much longer!

We go to work each day and pay our taxes just like most of Spokane’s gainfully employed and we get pretty much the same services as everyone else EXCEPT when it comes to snow removal along our residential streets. Based upon our experiences from two years ago, we should have learned that actually sending a snow plow down our street is, at best, a half-hearted attempt, as two years ago they barely plowed the snow and piled up huge berms against vehicles that were parked on the right side of the street. We spent two days digging out of the result of having city plows clear our street, and we were even parked on the right side of the street.

This year, what do we have? Well, for starters, we have a school bus stuck in front of Willard School, and none of the streets in the vicinity of the school have been plowed. All side streets, from Bridgeport and Morton (and far beyond) are virtually impassable.

This morning the kids that wait every day at Morton and Glass to catch the school bus waited for over an hour and finally, resigned to their fates, simply started hiking up Morton to school because the school bus was stuck.

Then I can speak about Glass Street, itself. It has not seen a snow plow or grader running with its blade to the ground since last winter. Oh, but to be honest, thus far this week we have seen at least two city plows running with their blades aloft running down the street, their drivers unquestionably on overtime with benefits, but unconcerned with the mess of ruts and berms that sit on the pavement.

Is it time to outsource our snow removal? Is it time to put the contract with the unions in the trash can and find something that works? Is it time the City of Spokane started keeping their promises to those of us who live on residential streets?

I want to know.


Thanksgiving Day Eve and all is well…

Good morning, Netizens…

David Horsey’s cartoon this morning summarizes conditions yesterday in Seattle and points beyond, but it is inclusive of our humble pie in Eastern Washington, with the exception this morning when, although the roads are relatively clear, the thermometer sank into record-setting mode. As of 5:15 AM this morning, temperature outside the door to the Virtual Ballroom was sitting at zero, although the weather moguls are all jumping up and down, pointing eagerly at the minus 5 degree temperature at the airport, as if it justifies their existence. As often is the case the further outside the city lights you go, the colder it gets. Having lived in various other locations across the United States, I’ve been in colder places at or before the dawn. Call in the pets, put on an extra blanket or two and snuggle up if the opportunity presents itself.

Yesterday’s commute, in a few words, was financially illuminating, at least from the perspective of tow truck companies who remained busy all morning during the commute. As the illustrious Mhibbs pointed out with bare-faced elegance, he was able to travel throughout most of the City of Spokane with ease, once all the people with bald tires and/or lack of driving skills had been towed out of the way from whatever uncomfortable position they found themselves. In the words of my own beloved, road conditions after the commute hour mayhem were actually quite good once she crossed over the line to Spokane Valley where they applied copious amounts of sand and salt to nearly all intersections. What a concept, applying sand and gravel to intersections!

Take the money the City of Spokane regularly pays out to various indiscretions of the past (that will not be mentioned by me) and apply it to street maintenance and the problem simply evaporates.

Today is purported to be one of the busiest travel days of the entire year, but for me and mine we are having as little of it as possible, as we have already purchased our victuals for the Thanksgiving Day feast and aside from any last-minute provision runs, we will be staying close to home. Although we are not having mince meat pie, my beloved has promised me the culinary delight of pumpkin cheesecake, so we will be more than adequately provisioned for Thanksgiving Day, hunkering down and as prepared as one can be.

Seattle, much like Spokane proper, it seems, is unable to cope with any amount of snow at the onset of a storm for differing reasons perhaps, but the net result is quite similar.


Meanwhile out in the sticks…

Good morning, Netizens…

If you are smart little Netizens, you are probably still huddled up in bed beneath a wealth of covers and perhaps the family dog because it is cold outside this morning. My comments about the blizzard warnings yesterday may have been premature or at very least, somewhat inaccurate for areas outside Spokane’s urban area.

I received an e-mail message from a farmer friend who lives by Odessa who tells me he has a five foot snow drift across the end of his lane and is in a whiteout condition. He would take his heavy-duty tractor and solve that problem, but since the school is closed today, nobody in the house has anywhere they really need to go. Besides, so long as the wind keeps blowing the snow drifts would simply reinstitute themselves as fast as he removes them. His solution was to make coffee, feed the livestock and watch the snow blowing sideways across his barn yard.

The overall word according to those that know is once you travel outside town, where there are no buildings or trees to slow or mediate the effect of the wind, snow drifts have become commonplace overnight. Roads are closed, some schools are closed or delayed and travel is ill-advised in most areas outside Spokane’s inner core.

I wouldn’t qualify this as a blizzard in some areas, but it certainly comes close.

As for Spokane, the main streets for the most part have been plowed in a disultory fashion, and in most cases that is about all you get. Hence once the morning commute actually gets started, we probably could see a version of the bumper car game that will keep our streets and freeways tied up for hours.

Once we recover from all this, tonight it will be frigid with temperatures slated to fall below zero, thus breaking temperature records.


Blizzard? Where?

 Good evening, Netizens…

Oh, perdition on it all! The National Weather Bureau has issued a blizzard warning for most of the Inland Northwest tonight beginning at 7:00 PM and lasting until tomorrow morning. Now I will have to whip out some of my old and true stories about what a real blizzard is like, not one of these half-baked Spokane blizzards, such as the one we endured two years ago. That wasn’t really a blizzard; that was just a lot of snow with a city that doesn’t have the training nor resources to deal with deep snow.

Now a blizzard, at least in the inter-mountain and Great Plains regions, is an entity to fear; you must be prepared for it and take speedy and effective action if one is coming your way or you may die.

According to meteorology a blizzard is defined more or less as a combination of high winds (typically 40 MPH or higher), frigid temperatures of less than 20 degrees and snow, either blowing or newly fallen variety.

I remember my first blizzard which took place in the late 1960’s. We were driving approximately 45 miles on a state highway when we first encountered the storm and within a matter of twenty minutes we found ourselves unable to see the road, with blowing and drifting snow and a wind of over 50 MPH blowing snow across the road. We were told by the state highway patrol to take shelter at Saint Anne School as the road ahead and behind us was closed. By that night the National Guard delivered food and beds to the high school gymnasium, the wind outside was gusting over 75 miles per hour which rattled the windows in the high school. Snow plows were stuck and hundreds of drivers stranded in the 20 foot high snowdrifts on both sides of the town.

I also remember another blizzard from 1980-something, one which closed Interstate 80 for over 100 miles, where I ended up parking my truck for four days in Little America, a huge car and truck complex in Wyoming State. There were over 1600 people stranded that time, and again the National Guard were able to see to our basic needs with trucks full of cots, food and medical supplies. The winds blew steadily at between 50 and 75 miles per hour, with over a foot of new snow with drifts over 20 feet high and visibility near zero. The temperatures the last two nights of what was termed a “super storm” dropped down into the teens which put an increased impetus on the rescue of those still stranded along the freeway.

They have at least one or two blizzards each year in the Dakotas which are equal to or exceed the powerful storms I have recalled.

This is not a blizzard, folks. At nearly ten o’clock at night, I can see still the neighbors house across the street and the street lights three blocks in any given direction. It is snowing fitfully and the streets are still marginally passable, although quite slick in places. But a blizzard? No, this is hardly a blizzard such as those I have known in parts of the Midwest and Western States.

This is just a winter snow storm with some wind and frigid temperatures. Your results may differ, of course, depending upon whether you are outside the city lights where the wind and snow can combine to drift snow.


That vile white stuff hits Spokane…

Good morning, Netizens…

It is Thursday morning and egods it’s here! When I arose at about 3:30 this morning, it was snowing outside, and although it was sticking on the lawn and atop the vehicles, the streets on the North Side of Spokane were navigable, even by Spokane’s marginal standards, although I would wager that the South Hill and other higher areas of the city would be seeing different results.

What truly rattled my sense of humor is that Westbound Snoqualmie Pass was apparently closed for a short time this morning until everyone got their winter driving wings firmly attached by the Washington State Patrol. In this generation of bio-engineering isn’t there a human DNA gene that causes people to drive over mountain passes with bald tires with no tire chains?

However, at 5:00 AM this the passes are open and most major streets in Spokane are wet. Depending upon whether you are driving on bald tires, your travel times may differ.

Welcome to the new frontier. It’s that special time of year.


Forecasting the weather in E. Washington…

Good morning Netizens…

It’s late fall and the Yukapatooie Indians on their small reservation in Stevens County, Washington asked their new chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild.

Since he was a chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the ancient secrets. When he looked at the sky, he couldn’t tell what the winter was going to be like.

Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he told his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect firewood to be prepared..

But, being a practical leader, after several days, he got an idea He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service in Spokane and asked, ‘Is the coming winter going to be cold?’

‘It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold,’ the meteorologist at the weather service responded.

So the chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared.

A week later, he called the National Weather Service again. ‘Does it still look like it is going to be a very cold winter?’

‘Yes,’ the man at National Weather Service again replied, ‘it’s going to be a very cold winter.’

The chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of firewood they could find.

Two weeks later, the chief called the National Weather Service again. ‘Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?’

‘Absolutely,’ the man replied. ‘It’s looking more and more like it is going to be one of the coldest winters we’ve ever seen.’

‘How can you be so sure?’ the chief asked.

The weatherman replied, ‘The Yukapatooie Indians are collecting firewood like crazy.’

(Adapted from a story told to me by Lela Taylor of Springdale.)


Weather sighting…

Good morning, Netizens…

There is moderate sheet lightning visible in the sky East by South-East and due West at the present time. It is unknown whether the lightning is sky-to-ground. However, the general direction of travel, according to the NEXRAD Weather Radar, would tend to shift this storm somewhat East and North of Spokane’s core.

There is another band of weather to our Southwest which may impact Spokane later on this morning.


We’ll know when it blows…

Good morning, Netizens…

If you haven’t fastened your hats down this damp Monday morning, it might be an auspicious time to borrow a neighbor’s staple gun and take care of that little detail as, otherwise, you might stand in danger of losing your headgear.

Given their lack of accuracy and in some cases, their problems with common diction, I seldom pay much attention to what the local television weather forecasters say. However, this morning the U.S. Weather Bureau has issued a high wind warning for Eastern Washington, something they seldom do. Here it is, barely six o’clock in the morning, and gusts are already kicking up a bit, but the forecast states in part we could easily see steady winds of 30-40 miles per hour and gusts as high as 60 miles per hour.

What does that imply to everyone? With winds of 60 miles per hour, we have historically seen fallen trees, and with them downed power lines and loss of communications.

With a cold front leering at us from the North, we can expect these winds will blow from this morning until later on this afternoon, perhaps even this evening.

What a way to start the new week!


Spokane Stupid, put the marmots to good use…

Good morning, Netizens…

Well, it’s official, if you can take the word of an East Coast Groundhog. We’re in for six more weeks of winter.

Famed weather prognosticating groundhog Punxsutawney Phil made his annual prediction while being held by Co-Handler Ben Hughes on Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, on the 124th Groundhog Day, February 2, 2010. Phil saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter. REUTERS/Jason Cohn

Oh, great! According to Phil’s prediction this morning, we are going to continue to have another six weeks of winter-like weather. Our winter this year has been more in keeping with lawn chairs, Sea-and-Ski suntan lotion than heavy-duty snow removal equipment. However, were Phil in residence in Spokane, he would not have seen his shadow, which might mean winter is over.

What we need here in Spokane is an equally well promoted animal to accurately predict how long winter will last each year. Since we have an apparent surplus of the little furry creatures, I was thinking along the line of Spokane Stupid, a marmot that resides next door to our own City Hall. I was originally thinking of getting a cranky, morose badger for this job, but since marmots seem less-likely to remove body parts with one crunch of their jaws, marmots it is.

Fresh from her high-visibility role in Washington DC newsbytes, Queen Mary Verner could make it happen with just a wave of her magic scepter. On cue, she whips out Spokane Stupid from his burrow, and marmots being smarter than your average house cat, would immediately piddle on Queen Mary’s designer jacket, revealing his displeasure at being manhandled in front of the TV cameras and throngs of people.

However, this morning, he would not see his shadow, which means winter is coming to an end.

I’m delighted I was able to debunk the claims of Punxsutawney Phil.


Does this seem familiar?

Good morning, Netizens…

(Picture of snow removal on campus in Lincoln, NE courtest of ROBERT BECKER / Lincoln Journal Star.)

Despite the fact you have to double-up your thermal underwear in order to travel very far in the out-of-doors today, outside of cars that don’t start and perhaps frozen pipes, we do not have any real cause to complain. Most of the Midwest, in particular Nebraska are all but shut down since yesterday afternoon, and most government and schools are closed for the duration of today. We had this discussion once before about how Midwestern blizzards can truly shut things down, at least until the winds stop blowing the snow sideways.

There is a monster snowstorm that is inexorably working its way toward the Northwest from the Great Plains, and the roads throughout most of the regions are closed, truck stops are full of stranded passengers and commercial freight-haulers and most public events have been canceled until the winds stop blowing sometime tomorrow. According to the Lincoln Journal-Star, in northeast Nebraska, they are planning to pull the snow plows from the roads at 7:00 PM as of last night.

What makes this storm so radically different from that of last winters unanticipated and thoroughly nerve-wracking snow storms in Spokane is the wind, which is currently gusting between 40-45 MPH as the storm develops across Nebraska. Can you imagine what would happen in Spokane if we have twelve inches of snow driven by a 40 MPH wind?

Yes, having to dress for frigid weather is nothing by comparison to bracing for a real Midwestern blizzard. Even if you have one of the best snow-removal teams in the Midwest at your disposal, which we in Spokane do not, there comes a time when you simply have to stop the trucks, close the roads and wait for the winds to die down.


Frozen irritation woes…

Good morning, Netizens…

Photo Credit: Marshall Smith

After a perfectly lovely breakfast Saturday morning with M Hibbs, Ron-the-Cop and Marshall Smith, one of the many topics of conversation was the unusually cold temperatures outside for, as we sat down to breakfast the outside temperature was just breaking 27 degrees. As fate would have it, this was cold enough to break other things, as well, such as the sprinkler systems at various public places throughout the city.

The Union Credit Union at Baldwin and Hamilton was already freezing up, and due to the fact they obviously haven’t caught on to what nature was doing to their sprinkler system, the amount of ice cascading down their front walk and throughout their foliage has increased over the weekend, rather than dissipated. It remains to be seen whether or not permanent and thus expensive damage has been done to their underground sprinkler lines.

However, this has been a winter-like weekend across the Inland Northwest, not to mention portions of Idaho (where potatoes may have frozen) and Montana where ice and snow have already made roads and exercise in futility.

As of this Monday morning at nearly 4:00 AM, the temperature outside stands near 20 degrees, and presumably the ice at the credit union on North Hamilton will have grown in size.

Of course they tell us that by mid-week, a warming trend will take place, with the possibility of snow in the Spokane area. Yeek!


How to beat the heat (or at least use it)

Good morning, Netizens…

It is going to get Hot!

While I realize few of you arise from your beds as early as four in the morning, it is almost a “civilized” temperature at this hour of the day, as currently the temperature sits calmly at 61 degrees, a definite comparison to yesterday’s mid-90’s. Coming from my perspective, the only time the weather becomes news is when one of our local weather forecasters totally blows a forecast, or in this case, a summer heat wave settles into its lounge chair over the Inland Northwest for an unseasonably long period of time and we begin to cook.

Over the next week, perhaps even longer, the temperatures in Spokane are going to narrowly miss the century mark, and several days the Weather Bureau is predicting 100 degrees for the high. It is going to remain that way for most of two weeks.

I do distinctly recall last year laughing as I sank $600 in the form of an forced air air conditioning unit when we were upgrading our furnace, muttering something at the time about why bother. Last evening while the guests of the Virtual Ballroom, my wife and I were sitting in 70 degree comfort in the grand ballroom while it still was raging well over 90 degrees outside, it has ceased to be a joke.

All I have to do to appreciate having central air conditioning is step outside. Wham! Given my incredible age, and all the various health issues I face, suddenly sitting outside in the late afternoon 100 degree sunshine is no longer an option. However, after carefully considering various other choices, I believe I have a few select outdoor recreational activities for those who lack such amenities as air conditioning to better make use of the time.

Sidewalk cookery When the temperature climbs to the century mark, and cooking inside the house no longer seems like a reasonable option, carefully scrub off the sidewalk in front of your house and toss a few burgers onto the concrete. Add a few buns, condiments to taste and sit in your lawn chair, preferably in the shade, keeping a judicious eye on progress. After all, this is Spokane, where anything that isn’t locked, nailed down or otherwise secured may be subject to thieves’ desires.

Virtual Private Weather Center For the purposes of this plan, you must have a really dependable Internet connection and a copy of the latest version of the Virtual Lawn Chair software, the quintessential virtual networking software for Internet armchair addicts. Originally, I was intent upon a whirlwind trip to Juneau, Alaska, but since today’s Alaska temperatures will be nearing the mid-80’s, instead set your virtual private lawnchair to point at Ilulissat, Greenland, where today’s high will be 70-something. Sit back in your lawn chair and enjoy the ride. Remember, if your Internet connection drops for some unexplained reason, you may end up stranded on an iceberg somewhere.

Rent an iceberg When all else fails give Empire Cold Storage and Frosty Ice a call or drop by their web site at Rent an iceberg, dump it in the kid’s wading pond and make yourself at home.


Early morning weather…

Good morning, Netizens…

A moderate-sized band of thunderstorm cells has moved through the Spokane area since approximately 3:00 AM and is now moving northeast out of the area. Numerous cloud-to-ground strikes were observed in and north of Spokane during this transition, and although there is no assessment of damages at this time, given the extremely-hazardous fire conditions, there are good chances for wildfires triggered by this storm as it continues moving out of the Spokane area.

Today’s weather forecast calls for the possibility of more thunderstorms and an 80% chance of additional rain.


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