Time to live in the scattered sun

Some of the first words I ever learned to read were weather language. There was a little weather box on the top of the front page of the newspaper, and the words tended to repeat themselves. So my parents started teaching me to sight-read them. I got good at it at an unusually young age. It got a rise out of people.

In some ways, that's the story of my life.

But anyway, when I arrived in Portlandia 20 years later as a young man, I learned some new weather words. For example, in New Jersey and California, where I had lived before, there was no such thing as "mostly dry." Here everyone knows what that means.

The new word that struck me the hardest was "sunbreak," as in "We'll have some sunbreaks in the afternoon." The overcast here is so pervasive that the appearance of the star of our solar system, directly visible in the sky, becomes a "break" from the norm for about half the year.

As we head toward the start of winter, we're definitely in the "sunbreak" frame of reference now. I don't think we'll get any today, but tomorrow looks promising.


  1. Good news: Days are soon to get longer.
    Bad news: the weather seems more violent & tropical and less just 'socked in' constant gloom with little like I remember it used to feel as a kid (I'm not sure if this is just my faulty memory or story I've told my self but it seems to corroborate with some other's experience and data...whatever that means), tho the last ~3 days have that socked in barely above freezing NO sun/nothing peeking thru even at high noon with a dark gloomy sky I'm all too familiar with.

    I like it tho, but I have yet to achieve full zen welcoming even the gloomiest months and by late Feb/early march, especially with the polar wind break-up and late feb-early march frosts and crazy storms we've been getting, being somewhere sunny in late Feb / early March when you just can't take it anymore is really nice.

    Hang in there...if the past 3 years are any indication it might be good & miserable with no sun & cold wet ground with wet feet until well into March!

    The 'cold bite' kinda fades in april daylight hours, though clear nights after an afternoon sun break & rain right before & into sundown can tempt you out & sneak up on you!

    They used to call that 'glass over' in the late spring breakup in NW Montana where things would re-freeze and could dramatically catch you out in flooding and extremely cold nights. Portland is so much closer to sea level and the ocean, but it's still got the cold gorge/polar wind inversion so much more-so than Seattle.


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