NW spring weather has made us crabby for ... well ... a long time

May 4, 2012

Today, KPLU's weather expert Cliff Mass and science reporter Keith Seinfeld touch on the forecast – cloudy through most of Saturday, then getting better through Monday – and then take up a common thread throughout NW weather history: grousing.

Here's a weather report from 1855 published in the Puget Sound Courier:

"Well, March went out, April came in, and with it, cold, wet, disagreeable weather, and a universal spirit of discontent, and a disposition to 'growl'"

"Throughout the entire month, and even up to this, the last day of May, it has been precisely the same, and some amongst us profess to be so thoroughly disgusted with the weather .... that they threaten to leave the Territory altogether."

Mass takes up the issue in his latest blog post – "Pioneer Weather Complaints":

But some of you insist on complaining.  Surely, the spring of 2011 was worse than any of ancient memory.   Fine, let's check the numbers, with the assistance of Mark Albright, past State Climatologist.

The average temperature in 1855 for April/May was 51.6 F at Steilacoom which lies between SeaTac and Olympia. The April/May 2011 mean temperature averaged over SeaTac/Olympia was 48.0 F, considerably cooler than Steilacoom experienced 157 years ago in 1855. The coldest April at Steilacoom over the 19 years between 1850 and 1868 was 45.2 F in 1859. This is warmer than the 44.6 F recorded in April 2011 at SeaTac/Olympia.  (Please...no global warming skeptic comments!)

So complainers among you take heart...last spring's cool/dampness was far worse than the weather that unsettled our tough, stout pioneer ancestors.  

This spring is a pussycat in comparison.