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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Does it Really Rain That Much?

Cherry Blossoms at UW
They say it rains nine months of the year in Seattle.

It doesn't, of course - that's an exaggeration (although it is overcast much of that time). But they call it the Emerald City for a reason. And the old adage of April Showers Bring May Flowers (what do May Flowers bring? Pilgrims!) is certainly true around here. In fact, sitting on my couch, I can see rain, the effects of wind, and two types of spring flowers - cherry blossoms and daffodils - just by turning my head.

Daffodils at Pike Street Market
I'm a native; I like rain (or the webs between my toes start to dry out). I don't own an umbrella. My kids do - they're natives too - but at their ages it's more of a fashion statement than a weather accessory. My husband is from Texas and he doesn't count what we have here as 'real rain', presumably because it doesn't splat so hard it bounces - most of the time. Last night was interesting... one flash of lightning, one loud crash of thunder, and hail... in the evening sunlight.

We live north of the city, in an area known locally as "The Convergence Zone", which to me always sounds much more mystical or science-fictional than meteorological. Can't you just hear the disembodied feminine vaguely-British computer voice intoning, "You have entered the Convergence Zone. Please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times. If you feel any ill effects while in the Convergence Zone, please contact an attendant immediately. Thank you."?

Wheedle on the NeedleThere's quite a large industry around Seattle's reputation for rain, in addition to the above jokes and stereotypes. A local city festival is called 'Bumbershoot'. There are innumerable buttons, T-shirts, bumper stickers and the like with this sort of joke on them. Our WNBA team is called the Seattle Storm.There are even books about creatures in the rain at the top of the Space Needle.

And I... I just wrote an entire blog post about the weather.