The Pacific Northwest

Even just ten minutes ago, I was watching the snow coming down out there, ‘out there’ being the lovely town of Port Angeles, just a couple of hours from Seattle. The snow’s stopped now, but likely not for long. It was a hair-raising drive to work this morning with a stack up of cars on the 8th Street hill that were immobilized by the ice. I can empathize with Casey … Richard Jehn

Welcome to Seattle
by Casey Mills‚ Jan. 10‚ 2007

I’ve always been a Californian. Born and raised in rural Shasta County, the son, grandson, and great-grandson of Californians, you could say that despite my British and Irish bloodlines, the sun runs through my veins. So when I told friends and family I’d be moving to Seattle last year, I received a lot of blunt skepticism. “You’ll never handle the weather,” they assured me. I scoffed at their warnings – for all the fog San Francisco gets, it might as well be the Pacific Northwest, I argued. However, after my first full month here qualified as the rainiest month in this history of Seattle, then newspapers dubbed a local December storm as the most destructive seen in fifteen years, I’m beginning to eat my words. If the Giants hadn’t re-signed Barry Bonds, I’d be starting to wonder if I’d made a big mistake.

In the Bay Area, the weather represents either a minor annoyance or something to celebrate. Days range from slightly wet to a bit windy to absolutely gorgeous, and almost every one of them is a day on which you could ride your bike to work.

After moving up to Seattle, however, the month of November quickly taught me things work a little differently up here. For thirty days and thirty nights, I don’t remember much sunshine. I do, however, remember a wide variety of weather I’d never seen before. Raining sleet. Sleeting hail. Sideways rain. Big, soft snowflakes that suddenly turned to raindrops, then right back to snow again. Ice rain. Rain Ice. All told, more than 15 inches of wet stuff fell from the sky during those thirty days.

I also remember the daily radio blasts and newspaper headlines, excitedly proclaiming that November 2007 could eventually become the wettest month in the history of the city. It would achieve that distinction, though I could find little in that victory to get excited about.

Read the rest here.

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