The Weather

Not twelve feet from my back, separated by mere inches of drywall, insulation, and vinyl siding, is a hurricane. The rain is coming down in buckets with all the force -- and sound -- of a .50 caliber machine gun. I can feel the house straining against the wind and, to be honest, it wouldn't surprise me to see a deer fly past the window, galloping along on the next howling gale. That is, if I wasn't too lazy to open the blinds.

But this driving rainstorm isn't all that out of the ordinary. Weather like this hits everywhere. Even fine-weather places like San Diego from time to time. Wait long enough and you'll even see it in Death Valley. No, what makes this weather noteworthy is the previous 36 hours.

We woke Sunday morning to several inches of snow on the ground. It snowed throughout the morning, depositing a very heavy 6 inches of white stuff throughout the yard. The evergreen in our front yard bowed under the weight to the point where one of its typically vertical branches blocked the steps at waist level. A family down the street pushed a snowball easily 4-feet in diameter down the sidewalk. A snowdrift had formed rising all the way up the side of the wall in our backyard. My chainsaw-art tiki was even partially buried.

And then it started to warm. The snow turned to sleet and soon turned to rain. By mid-afternoon on Sunday, rivers of slush and freshly thawed meltwater flowed like a torrent down the street. I stood ankle-deep in one of these slushy pools along with another guy as we pushed a woman's Volkswagen Jetta out of a ditch -- she spun out the previous night in the snowstorm and walked home. One would normally expect the temperatures to drop as day gives way to night. One would be wrong. By the time I went to bed the snow on the sidewalks had already melted and the drifts were shrinking.

When I woke this morning there wasn't a stitch of snow on the ground. Six inches of snow yesterday and just one sleep later, not a trace to be seen. My neighbor's giant snowman had even disappeared, like a virgin on prom night as Gary Busey said in Point Break. And it continued to warm up. Sunday we had a snowstorm and Monday we tied the record for the hottest December 3rd on record in the Seattle area -- 59 degrees. Monday was also the second rainiest day on record ever in Seattle.

I don't mind the rain and the gray here. In fact, by the end of August I actually sort of miss the rain. But I do prefer Mother Nature be at least a little less schizophrenic. If it's going to snow, then snow. If it's going to rain, then rain. But don't tease me with springtime temperatures while simultaneously flooding half the region. That's just mean.

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