It’s the late evenings that’s the most extraordinary. Every window and door open in my house, the wind rushing through. I am lying on my couch, legs bare, no blanket, it’s 82°F inside and 68°F outside. Tropical nights they are called, the ones above 68°F, and they are very rare on this latitude.
Today my two cities are on the same page when it comes to temperatures, 81°F. It has cooled down in Umeå today. For a week now we’ve been around 85° with a two day record of 90°! And when I am saying record, we’re talking record. Not since 1882, 90° has been officially measured in Umeå! There was even a 2nd degree heat warning which is issued when we are expecting 86° three days in a row, never happened before!
How do I feel about this? I love it! I totally love it!
This week has been a lot like Seattle in August. Dry comfortable heat. And I get to experience that in Umeå! Lucky me, since I can’t travel to Seattle.
It’s funny though. 90° here at the end of the road in the woods was a little bit too much even for me. I actually stayed inside not to challenge myself. But running errands in Umeå on a crowded Friday afternoon didn’t bother me! It was like my body recognized heat+traffic+mall and coped with the concept. I know, it’s crazy, but I love parking my car in the Pacific Place garage on a hot day, walking the air conditioned mall and then step outside on Pine Street feeling that hot dry downtown air against my skin embracing my body. Yes, it’s there, it’s still there!
The dry heat is more problematic in the beautiful Northwest though. Not so much at the coast, but east of the mountains. Most every summer wild fires haunt the counties east of the Cascades. This summer is worse than ever, and we’re not even half way through the fire season.
About 300 homes have burned in the largest recorded wildfire in Washington state history. At nearly 400 square miles, about 1000 km2, the lightning-caused Carlton complex in Okanogan Conty has eclipsed the 1902 Yacolt Burn, which happened in Southwest Washington. They say the area looks like a moonscape.
To wake up in the morning on the 64th latitude, passing the open window in my bath room on the second floor hot air flushing in, feeling like you are walking by the fire place, is an odd experience. It’s like nothing I can relate to what so ever. Open windows = cold. It’s easy to understand though how the tiniest sparkle can cause a disaster. How the dry grass can pretty much self ignite or catch fire by the reflection of the sun.
A good Swedish summer usually offers two weeks spread out over the entire summer with temperatures peaking at 77° (25°C). A crappy summer stays around 60° (15°C) and a lot of rain. Summer 2014 this far has been on an extreme. June record cold with nights during Midsummers at freezing point. Exchanged for record highs this week.
Now, it has cooled down a bit in Umeå but the forecast for the upcoming week is still promising 73-80°F, which on a normal summer would be The Summer Week. Now I am thinking I might bring a sweater…PS. I am the owner of a convertible. On the 64th latitude. I can tell you, as for now none is laughing at me as I am on a ride with my private driver Audrey.