It has been a hot summer in the Pacific Northwest. The heat has ushered forth a lot of physical and emotional discontent for me, some certainly due to the lack of AC in our Portland home; Portland is on track for its sixth warmest July on record. When we moved here a year and a half ago, the word on the street was that summers were perfect and there was no AC required. Well, slow down big fella because my psychological dependency on air conditioning has garnered a very real physiological precedent having lived in our sauna of a house this summer.
And, it appears from this National Weather Service article that the East is cooler than the West this year AND this pattern may persist (in the near term) in our increasingly warming world. Great...drought, wildfires, and less snow in the PNW while the East Coast enjoys new cooler summers. See except here:
cool conditions in the East contrasted, as they have nearly all year,
with baking conditions in the West, which have exacerbated the effects
of California’s epic drought
and helped fuel wildfires. This temperature pattern is occurring over a
background warming fueled by the accumulation of greenhouse gases in
Earth’s atmosphere that are making record lows overall less likely and record highs more common. The pattern the U.S. has seen is also one scientists say could be more common in a warming world.
But, of course, this role reversal of cool summers is temporary. Increasing concentrations of carbon
dioxide put into the atmosphere will ultimately ensure that everyone sees more record highs against record lows. Early in the summer, I found myself thinking that enduring this heat and traffic of Portland would at least payoff with some snow in the Cascades this winter. But given last year's delayed snowfall on Mt. Hood and what looks like a trend (see Timberline chart here)I've often though about what Yvon Chouinard (Patagonia's founder) said about climate change: "We're getting into the surf market, because it's never
going to snow again, and the waves are going to get bigger and bigger". Chouinard seems right. Now if only the Oregon ocean water heat up and the sharks will stop eating people, I'm set.