Weather fetishes

14 Mar

One of the things I love about living in the Pacific Northwest is the temperate weather. I can usually make it through Winter with a fleece and a raincoat.Summers are usually not too hot. You’d think there wouldn’t be anything for me to obsess about, and yet, I obsess over two things.

In the summer, when the weather is generally perfect, we get an occasional heat wave. When that happens, I check the two websites I have bookmarked. My favorite thing to do on these days is to go to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  website.


It has a lovely little link on the right hand side called “3 Day History”, which gives you the temperature EVERY HOUR for the last three days. During a heat wave I can compare the hourly temperature from one day to the next and compare how quickly each day is heating. I might think “Oh, it is heating more quickly today than yesterday. I should take Lucy for a walk earlier.” I can also look ahead to see how soon the heat wave will break and pace myself.

In winter, I tend to use a local TV station’s website to track rainfall. I love the fact that they not only track how much rain has fallen in  day, but also in a onto and in a year AND they compare it to the average.

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 4.58.00 PM

Is it normal to care this much that we are currently 13.34 inches above average in they rainfall year?

I also track rainfall on my drive home. As I cross the Willamette River on the Marquam Bridge, I take my eyes off the road and look at the water level.


I use two landmarks to help me determine how high (in winter) or low (in summer) the Willamettte is. First, I look to a little beach area next to a marina.


In high water the beach is gone and it has been absent most of March. I put my eyes back on the road. Next, I take a moment to look at the Hawthorne Bridge, which connects to land on the West side of the Willamette, just south of the little beach.


The bridge’s concrete supports have water level markings and I  have to dart my eyes back and forth between the road and the bridge a few times to determine how high (or low) the water is.

Just for the record, at the time of writing this, rain is forecast through Tuesday. Wednesday will be a transition day and it will start warming up on Thursday. Spring Break begins on Friday afternoon, so I am hoping we might have a little sunshine while I enjoy my staycation.

7 Responses to “Weather fetishes”

  1. alwaysgoinghome March 14, 2016 at 5:30 am #

    Hope you get the weather you want for your break! Your PNW weather obsessions and photos brought back memories for me. My wife grew up in Vancouver, WA and I lived in Seattle for 11 years. I miss it out there. I often try to get my students to write about their obsessions.

  2. romeolitcoach March 14, 2016 at 5:53 am #

    While I don’t go to the extremes you speak of, I am a weather watcher. What it the trend this week? Will we get an ice storm? How can it go from 23 to 63 degrees in 4 days? Then back to 18? Thanks for sharing your obsession-

  3. arjeha March 14, 2016 at 7:26 am #

    Whatever the weather, hope your staycation turns out to be all you want. Love the pictures.

  4. elsie March 14, 2016 at 8:57 am #

    You call it obsession, I call it interest in weather. Weather plays a big part in our lives, so naturally one would be interested and pay attention. We are below in precipitation this year. That is not good. I hope your sunshine comes as predicted so your staycation is perfect.

  5. Cindy March 14, 2016 at 9:09 am #

    My 9 year old has become obsessed with temperature since starting a crocheted weather blanket this year. Each evening she checks the high for that day and that day’s row color is determined by the temperature. She chose ROYGBIV as her color scheme and of course, since Jan. 1 there have been a lot of blues and purples. She was thrilled last week to jump all the way to yellow. I have been pleased with how in-tune she now is to the weather forecast. This has been so much better than a weather unit for her!

    • Adrienne March 14, 2016 at 10:17 am #

      I love this idea. I am a knitter, too. Tell your daughter she has inspired me!

  6. Sarah Valter March 14, 2016 at 9:46 am #

    I love watching the weather, too–it’s interesting watching and trying to track something that is truly so out of human control. My family lived on the Oregon Coast in Coos Bay for a year when I was in college and your piece brought back a lot of memories of the climate out there (the climate and the scenery are the two things I miss the most). Enjoy your rainy days–perfect reading weather!

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