Friday, September 25, 2009

In The Arms Of The Angel

We had to say goodbye today to one of our best-ever cats. During 21 years of faithful companionship, from the day he showed up unannounced as a kitten on our deck in 1988, to the present day, Fluffy was a bundle of sweet cat-ness and a joy to have around.

He loved to: eat, sleep, sunbathe, play with us and the other cats inside and outside, chase and retrieve cat toys, wallow in catnip (above), and lay in laps (especially the ladies laps... my lap was usually his reluctant second choice). And, for the last couple of years, he had taken to sleeping cuddled up next to me at night, often gently grabbing my arm and and laying his head on it as he slept. That was killer. That I'm REALLY going to miss...

But, at the end, as arthritis, frailty, failing coordination, and generally failing health got progressively worse, it became painfully clear that it was time to let him go. 21 cat years, after all, is something like 100+ human years; and he deserved and received a mercifully peaceful passing.

Rest in peace, old friend. Thanks for all the good times. Sweet dreams...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Another One Bites The Dust

We set a new Hood River "high low" record on September 14. The low temperature at MCAREC's HOXO automated weather station only got down to 60.73° (I wish they could be more precise). That squeaked by the old record of 60° set in 2007. Clearly, global warming has us firmly in its grasp.

On another, not totally unrelated, subject: I am thinking of creating a site visitor survey (not a poll) as to whether or not I should create a "Hood River non-weather-related-controversial and/or bipartisan subjects" chat room. My dilemma is, about the time I think I really should separate that stuff out, it dies down to a reasonably entertaining roar. Anyway, stay tuned...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

August 2009 Revisited

Compared to historical averages, August in Hood River was warmer, drier, and windier.

The temperature was 3.9 degrees warmer than long term averages, and 0.6 degrees warmer than more recent averages (2000-2008). There was 0.12" of rain, compared to an average August precipitation of 0.37". The wind speed was higher than average.

August continued the warm, dry trend of June and July. The first 3 days were above 90°, winding down from the intense heat wave of late July. From there, temperatures dipped considerably below normal for a couple of weeks. On August 11th, rain came (briefly) back after a 66 day dry spell. Starting August 17, a short 3 day heat wave sent the temperature soaring to 104° (at my station). Then, a cool down, followed by a one day blast of 98° on Aug 27. Wind sports enthusiasts had an excellent month, with winds on the river officially reaching "nuclear" levels on quite a few days.

There were 2 local weather records set in August. On the 12th, we received 0.04" of rain, and on the 19th, the official high temperature reached 101°.

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) 104

Wind (mph) 33


Rainfall (in) 0.09

0.12 (total)