Rain or Shine

I always thought that Florida’s slogan: “The Sunshine State” was just dumb. Then I moved to Washington and came to realize what it actually was.

The sun comes up in the east and sets in the west. Between those times it sits in the sky and shines down on us. Simple facts of reality.

With that as the guiding principle, I always thought that Florida’s slogan: “The Sunshine State” was just dumb. “We have something everyone else has too!”

Having never lived anywhere outside of Florida as I grew up, I just thought everywhere got the sun. Sure some places were more cloudy than Florida, and other places had snow, but they got the sun too. The sun was simply a constant for me as a child. Sure a rain storm blows through but we got plenty of vitamin D. And I never thought about just how much sun there was, except for the unbearable heat which our blessed air conditioners battled endlessly.

So when we moved to Seattle, I conceptually understood that I would see less of the sun as it rained. But keep in mind all three times I’d been to visit Seattle the weather had been mainly beautiful. Sure there was some rain but it was tempered with gorgeous days, and during my visit the gorgeous days easily outweighed the rain.

When we arrived here, we were gifted with a string of gorgeous clear weather days during which to move into our place. Once that was done, well, Seattle showed her true colors.

Rain.

Rain rain rain.

In Florida a rain shower would last for an hour, if a large storm system settled over Florida it might last for a few days and it would be miserable downpour for most of it but then it would peter out and the sun would return.

The reason is that these showers form over the ocean, the water evaporates from the ocean and rises into the sky to form clouds. Now due to temperature and pressure differences between ocean and land the rain gets drawn to land and across the state to be pulled back out to sea, or pulled apart in fairly little time. All the sand and the humidity creates the thunderstorms and lightning we’re famous for, but they rarely last more than an evening because of the peninsula of our land allowing for unhindered travel with pressure changes.

Here in Seattle, with the ocean to the west and the Cascade mountains basically boxing us in, well, there is only hindered travel. The rain comes in off the ocean or the sound and crosses over Seattle only to find itself blocked in by the mountains. So where it might be gone in a few hours, it ends up sitting here and churning as more rain comes in off the ocean.

That’s my completely unprofessional, uneducated, unmeteorological explanation for how this all works, I could be wrong.

With this stagnant rain I’ve had to adjust over the past four months. The biggest and quite frankly the easiest learning point was that in Florida, when it rained you only ventured out if you had to because those showers would quickly drench you. In Seattle, rain is simply part of reality. The rain isn’t a soaking rain, it’s more like a fine mist usually such that with a jacket of some sort it’s hardly an issue to venture out and walk your dogs or run to the store.

I’ve begun to really realize how much I miss Florida’s sun. Not to be confused with missing the heat, humidity, mosquitoes and bad drivers – just the sun and its light.

I’m promised that this rainy weather will be done by July, and then we’ll be ready to enjoy three months of the most perfect weather in the world. Seriously. Everyone who hears me bemoan the rain promises me that in three months I will become ready to accept nine months of rain.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and the people I know and work with – it’s just the weather I’m griping about.

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