Thursday, 2 October
Forecasters are saying our last flirtation with summer weather is about to come to an end, so I spent yesterday afternoon painting some more of our fence (it was installed last summer) and then after dinner I did a spin around the front yard with the lawn mower in "low light conditions." It was still warm this morning--62 degrees when I rode past the digital thermometer by Counterbalance Bicycles on Blakeley at 7:05. But just in time for weekend training rides, the wind and rain will spread all over western Washington. Reality arrives on a big wet, heavy cloud.
Cyclists rate winter weather by how much of it you can ride in; different people have different tolerances for icy conditions and monsoons. Not much good is remembered about the winter of 2007-2008. We had floods, ice, and snow. I remember a lot of days when I couldn't ride to work. Now the forecasters are out with their predictions for 2008-2009....sort of:
"Relative to last year, it's likely we'll stay a little drier this winter." But there's also no sign of the El Niño conditions that usually bring an exceptionally warm and dry winter to the Pacific Northwest. That leaves the region in a kind of meteorological limbo, where it's very hard to predict how the upcoming season will play out. "We can have crazy weather here anytime." Computer models suggest temperatures might be slightly warmer than usual this winter. But when it comes to rain and snow, the models are deadlocked: They show equal odds it will be wetter or drier than usual. But that doesn't mean the weather will be bland. Some of the region's biggest floods and windstorms have hit in years when there is neither an El Niño nor La Niña.
"We could see a fairly significant amount of severe weather." (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/othersports/2008221280_winter02m0.html)
I think they don't have a clue....imagine that! Time to put your fenders on!