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February 7, 2005

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It used to be that talking about the weather was a kind of cliche, the last resort of someone wanting to make smalltalk. But lately it's moved beyond idle patter, most comments now laced with concern. Even last week's "nice day" was usually followed up with, "yeah, but it's kind of disturbing." that's because sunny days in the high 60s are very peculiar in the midst of seattle winter--especially so after runs of unusually cold temperatures. today we were grateful to see snow in the mountains. it's been a dry winter. what snow there was before melted prematurely, leaving the mountains ominously bare. mt. baker ski area, which set a record in 1998/99 with 90 feet of snow, is having trouble staying open this year due to its lack. temperature fluctuations have plants confused. many budded early only to get whacked by cold snaps. people are noticing, it comes up in conversation. invariably, someone concludes "global warming" or "climate change." yup, sure looks that way. then the key goes into ignition and concerns are driven away.