After a prolonged absence, winter staged a modest attempt at a comeback this past weekend as a cold front swept across the Walla Walla Valley from the north late Saturday afternoon, ushering in a bracing shot of chilly Canadian air on north and northeasterly winds that gusted to near 30 miles per hour.
The major weather story this week is a tale of two countries: Winter continues its brutal and unrelenting assault on the eastern half of our nation, while folks here in the West bask in bright sunshine and unusual warmth.
A tantalizing hint of what might be someday was offered to Walla Wallans last week when the sun made a half-day appearance before scaring itself away and becoming shrouded once again in a dense and drippy miasma that is as stubborn as the most partisan legislator.
A grateful populace welcomed much-needed rainfall and mild temperatures this past weekend as a wet and windy Pacific storm system swept over the Walla Walla Valley, dropping nearly one-half inch of rain on the area.
Thomas Paine once wrote: “These are the times that try mens’ souls.” Contrary to popular notion, he was not describing the formative days of the new American nation, but rather the midwinter Walla Walla weather, whose nearly incessant fog and gloom can take a serious toll on even the sunniest disposition. The recent steady diet of low cloudiness, drizzle and lead-gray skies is of benefit only to the producers of antidepressants and purveyors of vitamin D. The rest of us are obliged to handle our SAD-related symptoms as best we can — and this past weekend’s NFL results have only compounded the problem. The real prospect of three more weeks of Seahawk psychosis is as alarming to some as another month without a single ray of sunshine.
Your couch-dwelling forecaster has finally discovered the answer to that age-old question that has perplexed both man and woman for so very long: How much football is too much?
The tree is dropping needles like Winnie the yellow lab sheds her hair, the uneaten fruit cake sits stolidly in a hidden corner of the kitchen where it will remain untouched for the next several weeks, and the TV drones a continuous buzz of college bowl games — the names and scores of which will be forgotten by the following day. It is the “lost” week — the seven days between Christmas and the new year when very little of consequence gets done. However, like rust, the weather never sleeps, and your weatherperson is on the job, even if many others are not.
The Walla Walla Valley did little to diminish its well-known reputation for meteorological drama last week as once again the area was subjected to a wide and wild variety of weather — both welcome and unwelcome.
It was a wet and weepy week in the Walla Walla Valley — particularly for your weatherperson. Nearly four-tenths of an inch of rain fell late Friday into early Saturday morning, effectively melting the last few patches of ice from a couple of freezing rain events earlier in the week. The pelting rain Friday night was mirrored by your forecaster’s own copious flow of tears resulting from a thoroughly embarrassing declawing suffered by his Arizona Wildcats earlier that evening at the hands (feet?) of the University of Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game.
It was a long weekend of football and food — just as Thanksgiving should be — and the sudden change in the weather late Friday night and Saturday argued eloquently for a couple of days firmly planted on the couch with a warming fire, the girlfriend and dogs close by.