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Another Awesome Seattle Weekend


You know how, in science-fiction movies, every world has a single, defining characteristic? It's always, like, The Desert Planet or The Ice Planet or The Swamp Planet or The Lava Planet?

I have apparently been marooned on The Planet Of Perpetually Shitty Weather, populated by a race of pale, damp creatures who subsist exclusively on coffee, and spend their days fretting about the standing water in their crawl spaces.

Posted on January 06, 2006 to Seattle


That planet bred grunge music, so it can't be all bad.

Course, it also bred Starbucks too, so what do I know.

Posted by: jer on January 6, 2006 3:05 PM

Per Ray Bradbury, we Seattlites are evidently on Venus, as in "All Summer in a Day," and "The Long Rain." The latter story begins:

The rain continued. It was a hard rain, a perpetual rain, a sweating and steaming rain; it was a mizzle, a downpour, a fountain, a whipping at the eyes, an undertow at the ankles; it was a rain to drown all rains and the memory of rains. It came by the pound and the ton, it hacked at the jungle and cut the trees like scissors and shoved the grass and tunneled the soil and molted the bushes. It shrank men's hands into the hands of wrinkled apes; it rained a solid glassy rain, and it never stopped.
Also, what exactly does "Rain becoming Showery" mean?

Posted by: LAN3 on January 6, 2006 3:07 PM

Oh man, I remember "All Summer in a Day". That was such a sad story. No wonder it resonanted with me (I live in Vancouver, BC).

Posted by: gillian on January 6, 2006 3:16 PM

Only in Seattle would you see a forecast with six different ways to say "Rain" in it.

I love this city, coffee addictions and all.

Posted by: Noelle on January 6, 2006 3:18 PM

The song isn't true? "They've got the bluest skies you've ever seen in Seattle"

BTW, it's just as lovely in Olympia.

Posted by: Karan on January 6, 2006 3:21 PM

Meteorology is easy in Seattle. Ask "Can you see the mountains?" If the answer is yes, it will be sunny. If the answer is no, it will be raining.

Posted by: nic on January 6, 2006 3:24 PM

You know those guys who take weird pride in their ability to drink heavily? Like because they have an obvious substance abuse problem wherein they can absorb a stupid amount of booze and remaining standing, that you should somehow be impressed and respect them more? That's how I, as a native Puget Sounder, have always been about rain. Like all these wussoids from out of town buckle and complain about the rain but I can stay up all night, pounding back shot after shot of the stuff and still whup you in pool and start a fistfight in the parking lot.
Well, this holiday season has gotten to me. I've finally passed out on the meteorological barroom floor, in a puddle of my own rainy sick.
Yes. I have a problem.

Posted by: johnmoe on January 6, 2006 3:30 PM

Seattle-speak... they are like Eskimos (who have 14 million differents ways to say, "snow"), except in Seattle speak, it's about the rain. And the drizzle. And the big drops. And the ... you get the picture.

And I particularly like "showery." That's delightful.

Posted by: jon deal on January 6, 2006 3:31 PM

I live in Vancouver, too, so I'm getting the exact same weather as you, except it's two degrees chillier. You wouldn't think it makes a difference, but it does.

Posted by: Tammy on January 6, 2006 3:33 PM

Planet Seattle also includes Planet Britain, which has a very similar climate (indeed my hometown, Cardiff, has marginally more annual rainfall). We also make the weather comprise one third of all our conversations with strangers.

Posted by: Simstim on January 6, 2006 4:02 PM

Maybe you could share a little rain with Texas? It hasn't rained here in Dallas since like, October. I'm starting to miss rain, which is probably a bad sign. Plus, it's January and the highs are in the 70s. Clearly Texas is going to end up as The Desert Planet within a few years (if it doesn't burn up first).

Posted by: Margaret on January 6, 2006 4:26 PM

I love it when staunch Seattle-defenders point out that Miami has great annual rainfall than Seattle. Yes, but we're not sipping Mai Tais under a palm tree while waiting for the afternoon squall to blow through, dammit!

Posted by: Michael on January 6, 2006 5:08 PM

I heard a beautiful forecast in London once - "afternoon sunshine, resulting in thundershowers". Some places you just can't win. This includes Planet Norddeutschland - Regen, Niesel, Platzregen, Schneeregen, Dauerregen...

Posted by: Barbara on January 6, 2006 8:03 PM

Keep up the good work. Maybe it will keep people from moving to Seattle.

Rain vs showers is the size of the drops. You must not be a native.

Althoug Miami may have the same amount of rain, it isn't as constant as in Seattle. I really is a rare day without any rain.

I disagree...The blue of the sky when you can see it in Seattle is unbelievable. A non-rainy day in Seattle is pure heaven.

Posted by: oldguy on January 6, 2006 8:24 PM

Heh... I'm in Astoria, but just got photos of the town where I attended grad school. HOLY COW. We think we have it bad.


Posted by: Wende on January 7, 2006 12:37 AM

I bet you have an excellent collection of umbrellas.

Posted by: Nothing But Bonfires on January 7, 2006 5:39 AM

The first 20 something years I lived in the PNW the rain never bothered me. I moved to MN and the snow drove me nuts so I moved back. I could only handle 2 years of the perpetual darkness and liquid depression that fell from the skies and that was it. Back to MN with me! I could stand living on the set of "Erik the Viking" no more! Buck up, you have greener trees than the rest of us!

Posted by: Will on January 7, 2006 7:41 AM

You know what they say about Seattle -- if you don't like the weather, wait five months. (and yes, it's been getting me down lately, too.)

Posted by: Annie O on January 7, 2006 10:06 AM

Sort of a pet peeve: I've never understood complaints about Seattle weather. Do you people have any idea how much worse it is almost everywhere else in the US? Take a look at New York or Chicago's five-month forecast. It can usually be paraphrased, "Wear several layers of clothing and use caution not to lock yourself out of your home or vehicle after sundown. Otherwise, there will be a forty percent chance of DEATH."

The best response to Seattle's winter weather is to ignore it. Go do whatever you'd do on a 70-degree summer day.

Posted by: John Miles on January 7, 2006 11:19 AM

Yes, it rains all of the time in Seattle. It's horrible. Rain rain rain. It never stops. The entire population is wet, moldy, pasty white, wears flannel, and lives on caffeine. We never see the sun. It's only a nasty rumor that we have mountains. The only reason we know we're close to the sea is because of the howling gales that constantly rip through. The papers run articles weekly about people getting carted off to the insane asylums, driven mad by the constant downpours. Especially out-of-towners. No-one should ever ever move here.

(Well, we've got to do SOMETHING to try to bring some sanity to this housing market. $200K for a studio condo? Get real!)

Posted by: C. on January 7, 2006 11:21 AM

The rain. Funny, that's the one thing I know I like about Seattle.

Posted by: Lynn on January 7, 2006 3:35 PM

did you wake up in time to see the flash of sun this morning, somewhere around 10 am? before we could rally ourselves to get outside for a dose of vitamin d ....it was gone.

Posted by: wsb on January 7, 2006 3:46 PM

I literally have your page bookmarked in my tab stack immediately after the NWS. The two pages had the weather boxes at the same height. I thought Safari had crashed horribly. And then I scrolled down.

Posted by: dave on January 7, 2006 4:36 PM

Only tourists use umbrellas.

Posted by: pips on January 7, 2006 6:08 PM

I was in Seattle for the last two weeks of 2005: not only did it rain, but it actually rained hard at times, which I can't recall it doing before. Of course, everyone was overjoyed, since it was snowing in the mountains and they could go skiing.

Posted by: Buck on January 7, 2006 6:17 PM

You must wonder what on Earth's going on when (or should that be if?) the sun comes out...

Posted by: David Way on January 7, 2006 7:12 PM

I've lived near Seattle all my life, and kind of like the rain. Everyone at work thinks I'm a little nuts though.
I once heard that the Seattle area sells more sunglasses than any other city in the US. I postulate that this is because we lose them in between bouts of sunshine and have to constantly buy new pairs. That and we're always caught outside off guard and unprepared when the sun comes out. It actually causes traffic accidents.

Posted by: Bonkers on January 7, 2006 9:37 PM

I can't understand why you are complaining about a 100% accurate weather forecast, just print it out and keep it with you. A little reminiscent of Peter Sellers & Spike Milligan in the Goons script (can be found on www.hexmaster.com/goonscripts/what_time_is_it.html), "What time is it, Eccles?", but without the timing.

By the way, anyone from the UK living in Wales complaining about rain has missed the point - there would be no reason to have Wales if it didn't catch the rain for the rest of us.

Posted by: Ham on January 8, 2006 1:46 AM

I'm English, and therefore regard myself as an expert on rain. I live in Carlisle, in England's very own PNW, so we get a lot of it here. But a cousin of mine moved from London to San Francisco about 25 years ago, and after a couple of years claimed to be crawling up the wall with frustration that each and every day was warm, dry and sunny. No texture to the weather, you see: without the bad days you can't fully appreciate the good.

Mind you, she's still there, so it can't be that bad.

Posted by: Oliver on January 9, 2006 4:19 AM

Weather is the UK is probably what bred a race of hairy, maniac Celts who were determined to fight everyone and anyone. Winter weather England is enough to make any ancient people stand and bare their asses from the white cliffs of Dover to challenge Europe to "come and have a go if you think you're hard enough"

Posted by: galetea on January 9, 2006 6:43 AM

I wasn't complaining about the weather in Wales, I like rain, well, the right sort of rain that is. In any case, it's drier than my hometown in Devon. I used to work in an office with someone from LA, they were most tickled with our mini-meterological reports upon returning from our lunch break, I think "it's trying to rain out there" amused her the most.

Posted by: Simstim on January 9, 2006 11:30 AM

It's bright and sunny in San Francisco with not a cloud in the sky and a slight nip to the air. Perfect beach bonfire weather.

Of course, that's why studio apartments here are $600K. That's also why all of us are moving to Seattle. Now, I mean. We're actually in the car.

Posted by: maggie on January 9, 2006 12:22 PM

Just outside of Seattle here. I LOVE the rain! I heard someone mention umbrellas. We don't need no stinking umbrellas. I'm to the point where, we go three days straight with no rain, I start looking to the sky with a worried look on my face.

Posted by: Wickwire on January 9, 2006 12:44 PM

"I have apparently been marooned on The Planet Of Perpetually Shitty Weather, populated by a race of pale, damp creatures who subsist exclusively on coffee, and spend their days fretting about the standing water in their crawl spaces."

Do you have any English heritage?

Posted by: Jez on January 9, 2006 1:20 PM

You're not imaginining it. Apparently Seattle is about to set a record, according to The Associated Press:

"SEATTLE (AP) After 22 consecutive days of measurable rain, Seattle is closing in on a record so dismal, even forecasters in this city famous for its gray skies are complaining albeit politely.

"With more wet weather predicted over the next several days, Seattle may soon break a record set in 1953, when there 33 consecutive days of measurable precipitation the most since the local National Weather Service branch
started tracking rainfall in 1931."

The story goes on for a bit about the effects of the wet weather, and then there's this quote, which includes one of the few times I've seen the word "shit" in an AP story, even if it is in French:

"It's been a little depressing, but you know, what are you going to do?" said Bailey, 32. "I think all that you can say is: 'Merde, alors. Il pleut, encore.' (Loose translation: Ah, shoot. It's still raining.)"

I feel your pain, by the way. I lived in the Midwest till I was 13, when my family moved to Vancouver, Wash. It was raining when we arrived at our new home in October. It kept raining till about May. I thought it never would stop.

So, y'know, yay Seattle, and congrats on closing in on the record and all.

Posted by: Mark on January 9, 2006 9:12 PM

At the age of 27, I moved to Berkeley, CA. Been here for over 20 years. The whining and the tearing of hair and the gnashing of teeth when there's even the slightest break in the sunshine is a wonder to behold. People down here just don't get it that there's a cool denouement - After months of drizzle and showers and mist and "it's been raining for 24 hours straight", the wonder of that first day in April when the temp cracks 62 degrees makes EVERYONE happy - You can go about for several days, and everyone smiles.

Posted by: linnea on January 10, 2006 7:36 AM

Man, you weren't kidding. I just saw the Today Show report about Seattle's weather. Hope everything stays safe where you live.

Posted by: Amethyst on January 11, 2006 5:33 AM

I was actually IN Seattle this week (I typically read from afar), and you know, I don't really mind it too much. But then, I'm 1/2 Irish & 1/2 Hungarian, so my people pretty much come from crappy climates. It suits me.

Posted by: RedBetty on January 12, 2006 1:36 PM

Got my logs standing by for an ark, who's in?

Posted by: Wickwire on January 12, 2006 4:29 PM

Hey! I *live* in Seattle! I "lived" in Texas for two years and about all I can say is, I *like* my webbed feet!
Anne G

Posted by: Anne Gilbert on January 13, 2006 12:45 PM

That rain looks absolutely delicious to me. I live in San Diego... where we have the opposite problem.

Posted by: Julie on January 25, 2006 7:39 AM

If it's your first year there, the payoff is Spring and Summer. A little further north, like Bellingham, it gets gee-oooor-geous. In the meantime, get an Ottlight... and don't use your umbrella. That'll just make you look like a wuss or a tourist.

Posted by: Scott Pierce on January 30, 2006 9:01 PM

On second thought, I rescind my remark. It's horrible up here, folks. Stay away.

Posted by: Scott Pierce on January 30, 2006 9:02 PM