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Fall arrives in a hurry | Editorial
Nature continues to tease Whidbey Island with an early fall coming on the heels of a late summer.
Summer, as much as it was, reached its height late, the week the 2011-2012 school year started in early September. After a rainy spring that oozed into a cool summer, the temperature gauge finally cracked 80 on most parts of the island. Islanders flocked outdoors, sunning themselves on the beach as they dragged a Buzz Bomb through the water in hopes of landing a humpie, studying the tide pools or simply soaking up some free Vitamin D. With all the kids in school, plaintively staring out the window at the wonderful weather they were missing, there was plenty of room for adults at the popular county and state-owned parks.
Summer, sadly, ended as quickly as it began. Saturday was a fine day but then clouds started rolling in from the Pacific. The sun fought for some time Sunday, but Monday we awakened to alder branches being tousled by the wind and the sound of windshield wipers swiping away the overnight accumulation of rain drops and fir needles. That afternoon, mumbled curses could be heard as a brief power outage surprised computer users, making their work disappear.
It was a taste of things to come, the type of weather that will likely dominate the next six or seven months -- perhaps longer if scientists are correct that a smaller version of the “El Nino” blamed for making last winter and spring so wet is forming again in the Pacific. Oldtimers remember the Columbus Day Storm on Oct. 12, 1962, when winds hit 90 mph in the Puget Sound region and more than 100 mph on the coast. Hopefully, that record will stand for another year.
The best way to cheer up about Whidbey Island’s weather is to tune to the Weather Channel from time to time. This year we’ve suffered no droughts, no heat waves, no tornados and no hurricanes. Rain, wind and clouds seldom do much damage. It’s fine to live in a place where Weather Channel reporters seldom need to venture.
Of course, whining about our coming weather sometimes works magic, as Mother Nature prides herself on her unpredictability. That could mean six more weeks of summer. If so, send us a thank you note written on the beach.