What A Difference A Year Makes

Last year, I wrote about this:

Via The Bellingham Herald, May. 26, 2011:

Bellingham on track for temperature record – but not the good kind

If temperatures don’t warm up in the next two weeks, Bellingham may beat its record for the longest stretch of days below 70 degrees.

As of Wednesday, May 25, Bellingham had gone 240 consecutive days without reaching 70 degrees, as recorded at Bellingham International Airport.

The record is 254 set in 1955, according to the National Weather Service, which keeps records for Bellingham as far back as 1949. In 1955, it didn’t hit 70 until June 6, said National Weather Service meteorologist Carl Cerniglia.

Yesterday, however:

Sunday tied daily heat record in Bellingham

If Sunday, April 22, felt like a record day of warm weather, that’s because it was.

The thermometer topped out at 71 degrees at the official National Weather Service station at Bellingham International Airport, tying the record for April 22, set in 1982.

That’s a lot warmer than last year, when it hit 57 degrees on that date. Later that week the temperatures dropped enough to threaten snow in the lowlands.

9 thoughts on “What A Difference A Year Makes

  1. What’s normal now? Was there ever a protracted period where the weather patterns followed a regular cycle of temperature and rain fluctuations? From all over the world we Ihear the same refrain: “it’s not like it used to be”. My own mother was convinced of it, and looking back over my shorter life, I see spikes of heat and cold, of flood and drought, and in Australia and other places in the world, add fire to the mix. 51 degrees or 71 degrees – it all seems pretty ‘temperate’ to me, and it sure seems the ideal climate for your magnificent trees!

    • What’s normal now?

      You know, that’s an interesting question with a close tie-in to an experience I used have more often when I first moved here nearly 20 years ago.

      A subtle variation on “it’s not like it used to be”, I used to hear people say this a lot, “It’s never like this here in (name of month).”

      Whenever we’d get a sunny stretch in winter or a rainy or intensely hot day in the summer, for example, people who’d live in Bellingham for many years would insist that the seasons were more contiguous and predictable.

      And yet, I heard this so often, year after year, that the cumulative effect was that I was left not really knowing what normal really was here.

      Turning back to your comment, it feels like I don’t hear that line from people anymore, and I think it’s been quite some time since I have.

      Could this mean that people have started to expect unpredictable weather?

      Oh, and yes, the trees here are indeed magnificent! 🙂

      • Ha! That’s an interesting question. On the other hand, it could be that little Bellingham has so filled up with outsiders now-a-days, that nobody has a corporate memory of what normal is for your particular plot of paradise?
        Here in Sri Lanka I’ve heard normally rational people say “nothing’s been the same since the Tsunami”.
        Certainly the weather, as a major topic of conversation in Oz, has traditionally focused on it’s unpredictability. There’s even a poem about it, by our most famous poet, Banjo Patterson – “We’ll all be ruined, said Hanrahan”.
        So I think what we’re talking about is the anecdotal vs. scientific/statistical evidence for long-term change in climate – the scary stuff:)
        By the way, how about posting some more of those fabulous trees?

  2. We had snow before Halloween that broke the heavy branches of many. many trees. We had 70s in March and have touched 80 in April. And the night temps have been below 40 and we have also heard of the threat of snow. This must all be so confusing for the plants and the trees. I feel uneasy about it.

    • All the more reason, Shoba, why it’s so important to shift the terminology in the climate discussion from “global warming” to “global climate change”.

      While the former is accurate, given the planet is indeed warming, the result of that warming isn’t generalized higher temperatures. Rather, the result is increasingly unstable, sporadic, intense, and increasingly unpredictable weather.

      That is absolutely something to feel uneasy about.

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