By Sarah Schrock
“Little opportunity for the air mass to warm up” from “the seemingly endless parade of cool and wet low pressure systems” that we have been experiencing.
This, from NOAA forecasters, is a great departure from the original long-term forecasts that predicted above-average temperatures. So why the change?
I want to know because I planted hot peppers, watermelon and cantaloupe for the first time in years with the expectation of stinking hot temps. They are all stunted beyond hope. The upshot is that I have the best lettuce this season than ever before.
Apparently, this cool weather we’ve been experiencing is caused by a persistent flow of wind tracking from the polar region that is strong enough to push around the regular warm, low-pressure trough off the Pacific Ocean.
While that moves in from the north, it borrows a little moisture from the Pacific and hence we get isolated clouds and thunderstorms. These thunderstorms are different from normal summer T-storms seen on hot summer days. Typically, during our hot summer days, columns of super-heated air rise off the hot baked earth, picking up moisture in the cooler, wetter reaches of the stratosphere, causing thunderheads. When the clouds get too heavy with moisture and loaded with energy from the heat, “crack, boom!” It unloads as lightning and dumps its load as rain.
During the really hot, dry periods, moisture never reaches ground and we see dry lightning. During these storms, the fire watchers are on high alert. However, the isolated storms we’ve been having have less to do with super-heated air masses coming of the land and more to do with the mixing of unstable systems as the low- and high-pressure systems battle it out in the sky.
The Greeks would have had some heightened debates trying to figure out what Zeus was up there doing with Aeolius, the keeper of the winds. Aeolius and Eos, Titan goddess of the dawn, spawned the Anemoi, the four wind gods. They were Boreas, wind god of the north who brought cold temperatures; Zephryos, gentle wind god of the west, who lived in a cave in the region of Thrace and brought about spring; Notos, wind god of the south who often brought hot summer winds which scorched crops on the ground; and Eurus, wind god of the east who was an unlucky visitor bringing rain and warmth.
So it appears to me that back in April, May and early June when we had hotter-than-normal temperatures, Zephryos was bullied out of the way by Notos, while Boreus slowly went back home. However, Boreus returned, angered by seeing Zephryos bullied out of spring and returned in a valiant effort to right Zehryos of his rightful place. The battle is lasting well into the Notos’ rightful reign but Boreus just won’t let up, consistently shaming Notos.
Meanwhile, Zephryos is happy to take leadership as Eurus appears to be circling above it all, getting an occasional word in now and then, but he has spent most his energy in Texas and the Great Plains causing all kinds of problems there.
Meanwhile, we all anxiously await the Wagner Memorial Pool opening (later this week!), but thankfully the cool weather has tempered our desire to plunge in.
Art, basketball, music, archery, farm and toddler camps are well underway as are the free lunches at Twisp Park, Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. The lunches are sponsored by the school district and are open to all children under 18, regardless of need.
In addition to alleviating the burden of feeding hungry mouths midday, the lunches have become a community gathering for many parents, care-givers, and kids during the summer days, providing a place and time to catch up, swap summer travel stories, and let the kids reconnect.
A new moms’ groups, MOYO, is meeting each Wednesday from 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. MOYO stands for Mothers of Young Ones. Kids range from in-utero well into elementary-aged kids. MOYO is hosted by the Community Covenant Church, where it will be housed once the weather turns cold in the fall. In the meantime, if you are a mom with young ones, you are welcome to join the group for free play and socializing each Wednesday, and get free lunch for the kids!
In addition to free lunch, free nature-inspired arts and crafts are being offered on several Thursdays — July 14, 21 and Aug. 4 — from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. at Twisp Park. The sessions are drop-in and are being offered by Annah Young, a graduate student in environmental education.