A Weather Story in Pictures

January 22, 2013

When I lived in Virginia, I was a little weather-obsessed. I loved watching studying the weather maps and seeing the approaching fronts, and I eagerly anticipated the big weather shifts they’d bring. That all changed when I moved to Seattle, where the weather tends to stay locked in the same pattern for a long time. I often don’t bother to check the weather forecast before heading out for the day. Just dress for yesterday’s weather and you’ll be fine.

Over the past week, though, we’ve lived through a typical slow-motion Seattle weather change. It starts with a glorious surprise, when our usual winter gloom gets swept aside for amazingly clear skies.

Happy Friday (Edited)

A little part of you leaps for joy when you hear that the dry air is here to stay… no rain in the forecast! Days and days of sunshine! 

Not so fast. Clear air in winter means the ground cools off quickly at night. After just a few days, you can get an inversion — cold air at the surface trapped by warmer air aloft. Suddenly, your mornings look like this:

Meadowbrook Park in the Fog

(Look closely and you can find both boys in that picture.)

And if you’re unlucky, it’s not just the mornings that are shot, but the whole day, too. But as everyone who follows Cliff Mass knows, it’s easy to escape an inversion. Just head up! You may remember how Alex and I escaped four years ago:

Alex above the clouds

We’re at the top of Cougar Mountain, and a sea of fog stretches out below us. This year, though, we got to have a little more fun and escape this way:

Molly at Snoqualmie

Both kids are now old enough for ski lessons! We’re not committing to six weeks of lessons like we did two years ago. That taxed Alex’s endurance too much. But it’s easy to sign the kids up for a single morning lesson at a time, which makes things much easier to manage with our schedules and the kids’ temperaments. I don’t know how fast the kids are going to progress with skiing, but this weekend at least, everybody enjoyed getting out of the fog and playing in the snow.