Saturday, June 20, 2009

Summer Solstice

Is it long enough for you? The length of daylight, that is? If not, too bad, because it doesn't get any better than this! (at our latitude, anyway).

Summer solstice. The tilt of the earth on its axis, combined with its yearly orbit around the sun, puts the sun (and its astronomical companion, the ecliptic) as far north in our sky as it gets.

I like solstices and equinoxes. There's something about being reminded that we are on this relatively small blue planet, tilted, rotating, and orbiting with clockwork precision around our star. Nicely predictable, in an often unpredictable human world.

Wishing you all a fantastic summer!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Record High Low

Finally, a good reason to do another blog post. Yesterday's low temperature of 61 degrees broke the old "high low" record (for any June 17th) of 60 degrees (1961). This June has been a warmer, drier version of a typical Hood River June, and way different than last year's cold "June-uary.

Came across this video from "Wierd Al"
Yankovic. His tribute to The Doors, featuring original Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek. Wierd Al does an excellent Jim Morrison...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

May 2009 Revisted

Compared to historical data, May in Hood River was wetter, warmer, and less windy.

The temperature was 2.9 degrees warmer than long term averages, and 0.9 degrees warmer than more recent averages (2000-2008). Precipitation totaled 3.17" against a long term average of 1.08". The average wind speed was the lowest for any May since 2000. I am using my own station's wind speed data, and it only goes back that far.

Just for kicks, let's divide this May into two halves. Let's call them the "1st Half" and the "2nd Half". In the 1st half, rain predominated. Man, did it ever predominate... Records were broken. Yearly rain year totals were exceeded. Mountain snow packs, which were already at high levels, were packed even deeper.

In the 2nd half, the rain stopped and the warm spells began. On May 28th, we hit 92 degrees, the first 90+ degree day of the year.

There were 2 local weather records set in May, both of them daily rainfall records (see 2 blog posts below this one).

The data below is from my home weather station.
To view its monthly summary and graphs at Weather Underground, click here.

The "historical average" numbers for temperature and rainfall are from the Hood River MCAREC data. Historical wind average is from my station's 2000 to 2008 data. Note that average wind speeds include all 24 hours of the day and night, which is why they are way lower than daytime peak winds. In addition, the wind speed at this station is considerably lower than on the Columbia River.

High Low Average Historical Average
Temperature (F) 92

Wind (mph) 30


Rainfall (in) 0.62

3.17 (total)