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August 2016
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The New New Normal

Posted: August 1st, 2016

 

KSEA201607plot-2

 

Back on the fifth of July, the temperature in Seattle only reached a high of 67 degrees. Seven degrees cooler than normal, it was the coolest day in weeks. (It would end up being the coldest day of the month.) Headlines and hashtags cried “Jul-tober” as if it somehow resembled October’s 53-degree average.

 

With respect to temperature (and precipitation), July 2016 was about as normal as it can get. No calendar portmanteaus required.

 

Only one morning (the 31st) saw a cooler than normal low temperature, and many (13) afternoons ended up warmer than normal. No records were broken, no records were threatened (see the National Weather Service plot above). It was just July.

 

But the fact that we collectively complained about it being coldĀ revealed something: we’ve adapted to a warmer climate. We expected it to be hot. When it was normal, it felt cold.

 

If as Mark Twain likely said, “weather is what you get, and climate is what you expect,” then climate change has blatantly occurred in Seattle.

 

JRH