By Bill Biddle
“In my 43 years here I’ve never seen a spring like this.” So spoke Ken Westman of Winthrop to this Weatherwatch advocate at the Imagine the Methow banquet this past Saturday night at the Barn. Your advocate heartily agreed.
The rain gauge at the Wolf Creek station measured 2.85 inches just in the last two weeks of May. Total rainfall for the month was almost double that. Temperatures? A warm day was 60 or 65 degrees except for the final weekend when it edged into 70. Never a spring like this is right!
But June will warm up noticeably, especially during the week before the summer solstice on June 21. Rainfall will be above average with more thunderstorms and heavy showers arriving from the east from big towering cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds. Storms moving from the east will occur more and more as climate change continues to develop. One of the rainstorms in May on the westside developed because a low-pressure area in Eastern Washington moved across the North Cascades and dumped rain on Puget Sound.
However, even with all the rain and cloud cover there will be some clear, chilly nights when weather eyes should be looking to the west not long after sunset. The planet Venus will be a shining jewel. David Ward in last week’s Naked Eye gave a good presentation of Venus during June and its rightful place in the galaxy of the sky.
Another presentation of Venus is from Louise Bogan (1898-1970) in her poem “Evening-Star.” She gives us words that will carry us through June before real summer arrives on the Fourth of July:
Light from the planet Venus, soon to set,
Be with us.
Light, pure and round, without heat or shadow,
Held in the cirrus sky, at evening:
Accompany what we do.
Be with us;
Know our partial strength.
Serve us in your own way,
Brief planet, shining without burning.
Light, lacking words that might praise you;
Wanting and breeding sighs only.
Weatherwatch thanks Arendt Oak Speser in the English Department at the University of Washington for this poem. He is an excellent teacher of poetry and added much to the understanding and appreciation of poetry for the 42 students (including Weatherwatch) in his class this past spring quarter.
Summer will be here on the Fourth of July. Be patient!
The rest of the month? Stay tuned!