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Posts Tagged ‘weather’

End of Summer

Skim boarding out on Useless Bay.

Skim boarding out on Useless Bay.

Today marked the end of summer here in Seattle.

Yesterday I was out kayaking on Lake Washington, today the wind picked up clouds rolled in and I do believe Winter has started. Or maybe this is just the northwestern Fall which happens to map right onto California winter.

The day started off with clear blue skies and a slight chill to the air. Now it is raining out. This weather will take some time to get used too, until then I will likely complain about it every now and then.

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Heat

A FLIR camera at the Griffith Park Observatory.

A FLIR camera at the Griffith Park Observatory.

It was hot today, in a very demotivating way.

Somedays the heat comes and it is possible to embrace it and just lay about with it everywhere. Then there are days when one tries to fend it off by closing windows and blocking out the sun. Eventually the heat seeps in and the tools used to block it suddenly intensify it until it is too much and surrender becomes impossible.

Today was one of those days. Even now at night it is still too hot to move around much or sleep.

Makes me look forward to moving to a cooler clime.

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Heat

The east coast likes their "Pop".

The east coast likes their "Pop".

A lot of heat has been coming into the Bay Area recently, in particular near my house it has been getting into the high 90’s and perhaps low 100’s (roughly mid to high 30’s (305’s) for those fans of Celsius (or Kelvin)).

That sort of heat starts to greatly limit the options of what to do. They are sadly reduced down to activities like siting inside a cool house with a computer and sitting around a cool pool with a book. Sometimes there are radical activities in the heat like getting up to get a drink and (rarely) moving around deck furniture.

However as I am soon to be in Seattle for a bit of time I am doing my best to embrace these arduous activities of summer, I must make sure I contribute to the appreciation of the heat.

Of course my opinion of the warm weather would drastically changed if I had to work or do anything in it. Let us hope that does not happen anytime soon.

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Spring

Not the clearest of Spring quarters.

Not the clearest of Spring quarters.

This Spring Quarter has not been the best for weather. In the past I have been able to wear shorts of a multitude of occasions, this year I have worn them maybe half a dozen times. Perhaps the last weeks will turn the weather around and finally defeat the marine layer that is the bane of coastal living.

Then again if the weather continues in the high sixties range it will help me transition to Seattle next year, except the part where I am going home to weather in the eighties for the summer. Right now Seattle is predicted to be slightly warmer then Santa Barbara all this week.

So much for the sunny beaches of Southern California.

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See that snow on the ground? It appears I am not built for the cold.

See that snow on the ground? It appears I am not built for the cold.

It was cold there.

A bit of introspection while braving the chilling winds was that I do not in fact like the cold. Especially cold involving wind and me cursing heavily as I shuffle towards a warm inviting building.

The program had a lot of focus on satellite based research with a focus on the solar winds and the magnetic fields of the sun, earth and the rest. For some reason I was not fully interested in the research the same way I have been for other universities.

Aside from the University the town and local did not inspire me for photography or just general living. It was nice and all it just did not have the right feel for me. I also did not like the architecture.

Did I mention that it was cold?

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Torrential rain is the best kind at UCSB.

Torrential rain is the best kind at UCSB.

 

 

Rain in Santa Barbara is by far my favorite time of year, I do not know mean the light drizzle or small half hour spurts of water, rather the full day of torrential rain. The campus feels so clear and perfect. Giant pools of clear water litter the ground, streams of water flow over gravel and roots. Buildings gain new stained faces as the water pours down.

A new sound overrides the background of the ocean; the slow drip and splash of water coalascing down trees. Eucalyptus are in full fragrance as water flows over the leaves into fat drops landing heavily onto the ground and unsuspecting heads.

Many people do not know how to handle rain. Plastic bags make an appearance as ponchos and seat covers, over backpacks and shoulder bags. Some embrace the rain to fully absorb as much as possible while others deck out in wellies, umbrellas and jackets. Class attendance drops, everyone stays inside (except the surfers), bike and skateboards evaporate off the paths. Some persist in order to elicit smiles from walkers drier under umbrellas.

And then there is the one person biking around with an umbrella held directly in front.

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There is no one "travel season".

There is no one "travel season".

With destinations in mind it is now important to figure out how long the trip will be and what time of year to travel. The length of the trip could be determined by how much vacation time is available (be it from a job or from a school) or by how much money is available. When I traveled I was limited by time, I left after classes finished and had to return when final exams started. Others who I met (mainly Australians and New Zealanders) were traveling around until they ran out of money. I am writing mostly to those constrained by a time limit more so then a monetary limit but I will write about it towards the end of this series.

When you place your trip could already be determined or slightly flexible. If it is already determined then the direction of the trip becomes important. My trip through Europe started on Easter and ended in April. I could have started in the north and worked my way down to Italy except that I had two seasonal events determine the flow of my trip. The first was that I wanted to be in Italy (Florence in particular) for Easter and the second was that I wanted to be in The Netherlands when the tulips were blooming (mid April). So these seasonally dependent events determined the flow of my trip. So when picking out destinations look for festivals or holidays in those locations and plan the trip to follow those events.

Some events to consider:

Those are the ones I can recommend from going myself of being there near those dates. Since I was not in Europe during the summer I don’t know good events around then.

If you are able to pick when your trip will take place then seasons and weather patterns might guide when you go. Since I did not have much choice of when to go I could have had bad luck but I almost always had good weather. Any weather can be good weather if you are prepared for it. I visited Copenhagen in December, it was 1 degree Celsius (34 degree Fahrenheit) the entire time. It rained the entire time I was in Italy and Florence in March. I was rained on at St. Andrews. But I was prepared for bad weather in each case and still had a great time. I have never really had the opportunity to travel “in season”, I have mostly gone out in the shoulder or off seasons. With the right clothes and maybe an umbrella or two traveling to Europe can be done any time (though some places do close in winter due to snow). 

In some countries, such as Scotland, the possibility of rain does not really change at any point during the year. Weather also changes faster then normally expected (for me at least). So if the day starts of clear and sunny rain may still be on its way. Every day for nine months I carried a small umbrella with me just in case, I never regretted it.

The best tip I received was to have militant optimism while traveling. Everything is an experience.

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