Satellite image shows vast area of suckitudinaciousness (blue) lurking off Pacific Coast of the United States
I, Blackdog, hereby proclaim it as indisputable fact: Not only does Bend's climate suck, but it is getting increasingly sucky each year.
Bend boosters love to brag about our beautiful "Indian summers." Last year our "Indian summer" ended with a heavy snowfall on Oct. 4 -- almost a month ahead of schedule.
This year "Indian summer" never arrived at all. The cold, gray, dreary, drizzly weather started in early September.
As I write this it is 50 degrees and raining hard in Bend. For early September, this weather is WAAAAaaaaay beyond sucky. It is suckercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Why is Bend's sucky winter weather dragging on longer and starting sooner? The answer could be the PDO.
About 13 years agot the climatological gurus discovered a phenomenon called "the Pacific Decadal Oscillation." This is a cyclical weather pattern that affects the northeastern Pacific Ocean and the Pacific Coast of the United States.
During the PDO's cool phase, ocean and air temperatures are below average and precipitation is above average. During the warm phase, the converse is true. Each phase lasts from 10 to 30 years.
The cool phase is good news for irrigators (because there's plenty of winter rain and snow) and fishermen (because fish populations in the northeastern Pacific increase) but, weatherwise, it sucks big-time.
The climatological gurus have declared that the PDO entered a cool phase in 2008, which jibes pretty well with when Blackdog and others began observing an increasing degree of suckiness in Bend's weather.
If we have in fact entered a cool phase of the PDO, we can expect Bend's climate to be not merely sucky, but SUPER-SUCKY for anywhere from eight to 28 years.
Of course, the climatologists could be wrong and we could just be experiencing a couple of unusually cool and wet years. But even under the best of circumstances Bend's climate sucks, and I'm not going to stick around to see how much suckier it can get.
Addendum: It's 10:26 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 19. 52 degrees and raining hard in Bend, Oregon's sunshine paradise. The "Fall Festival" was held yesterday and today. Must be a pretty dismal scene downtown.
One infuriating thing about Bend is that you can never, never, NEVER count on good weather. You might luck out and get it once in a while, but you can't plan on it, even in the middle of what passes for "summer" here.
For that reason I've made it a policy never, never, NEVER to buy tickets in advance for an outdoor event in Bend.