Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Suckerrific Suckatudal Suckillation

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.


Anonymous said...


Notice how the anomalies combined, dwarf North America. Inclusive of AK, the Northwest Territories and Hudson Bay?

( Strikes 'me' no amount of cheerleading and rose-colored glasses is going to negate that juggernaut? ) Ironically 1977 is the year I first moved OUT here and I hope this makes the choice to have stayed more 'graphic' for the handful of doubters that remain.

Great info and for better or worse, I'm glad you took the time to research and post it online for all to see. When I first happened upon the whole theory, I sort of shuffled it to the bottom of the pile so to speak, just like a notification that says "Certified Mail". And all the 'other' things you... really can't DEAL with right now?!?

Serious evidence that calls for serious ACTION! I appreciate you took the time to quantify this goes way... beyond a simple matter of "personal preferences" or your choice of a vacation destination. This will have meaningful impacts on millions of lives. And if the data are to be believed ( for some time to come? )

blackdog said...

Oddly enough, or perhaps not, no US West Coast newspaper seems to have written about the PDO as a possible explanation for this year's aberrant weather behavior. I can't believe it's because they never heard of it.

Anonymous said...

"Oddly enough, or perhaps not"

You mean just like the MSM that couldn't see the largest Bubble in human history barreling 'right' towards us? AFAIK, they haven't yet acknowledged this year's weather as even 'being' an aberration?

Before you can solve a problem, you have to at least admit you 'have' one? KATU reported this morning that a warehouse in Kent, WA -collapsed- due to the downpour they experienced there. Firstly, Seattle is known for it's annoying drizzle ( that never seemed to bother Niles or Fraser? ) NOT absolute innundations!

Thus far tho', the only ref's I've seen to the PDO have been in research circles.., which obviously they simply can't be bothered with? ( Why does this feel like being stuck in a really bad SciFi channel made for tv movie? ) "Nobody will listen to my worst case scenario.., FOOLS!"

Anonymous said...

PDO .... sounds like .... an inconvenient truth to me. Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

"an inconvenient truth"

Before we go any further, I'll just say I never bought into the whole GW thing, at all.

There certainly isn't a lack in diversity of opinions out there and ample dissention in academic ranks. This is a good thing, unlike cheerleading and getting "onboard for the team".

The big difference is that, while an El Ninoy is a seasonal or short term event, the PDO spells change for a much longer period. As blackdog infers, that the Science Is Cool crowd doesn't have it wrong altogether?

In the end, where I'm concerned, the proof is in the pudding and AFAICT ( we're about armpit DEEP in pudding! )

blackdog said...

"You mean just like the MSM that couldn't see the largest Bubble in human history barreling 'right' towards us?"

Are you suggesting ... I hesitate to even mention the word ... a COVER-UP?

Bend's local daily newspaper has always engaged in boosterism and shilled for the local real estate industry, and I can easily understand why they would not want to publicize a possible 30-year worsening of Bend's climate ... but that doesn't explain why every other media outlet appears to have ignored the PDO phenomenon.

Anonymous said...


That may have something to do with the GW Debacle. They still have a TON of egg on their face after having bought into that hook, line & sinker. I think the "document drop" ( internal email ) was the last straw for them. Not to say there won't still be GW alarmists out there, just that they won't have the MSM carry their water 'for' them. At this point, shy of -confirmed- reports of cactus ( cacti? ) taking root in Minot, ND they're not getting out of bed. Can't say as I blame them?

So why get 'onboard' w/ a largely unsubstantiated claim all anew when there ( at least superficially ) doesn't appear to be any more hard science behind it? We'll have to be checking our mail in canoes before they lend an ounce of credcibility to it.

In the meantime, stock up on anti-depressants and/or alcohol and curl up with a good book/library. ( It -absolutely- POURED down here in Salem! ) Mind you, we were slated to have a "slight chance of 'light' showers" today. More DISinformation.

blackdog said...

This is not a political blog and I'm not going to get into an argument over global warming, but I feel compelled to say that contrary to the claims of Faux Noise and other right-wing media, global warming science has not been blown out of the water by that little e-mail flap at the University of East Anglia or wherever it was.

Anonymous said...


Ever so agreed! It's what has ruined... the bubble blogs. Perhaps what I should have said was that, with all the momentum pent up behind GW ( it's left precious little room on the stage for any other theories or pov? )

What I would dread to see is somehow having the PDO and GW 'linked'. Hey that way proponents from either camp can use (1) to buttress/debunk and kill -both- birds w/ one stone!

Where ( as a PNW'r ) I feel short changed is that, in many ways unlike the 'potential' or "Some DAY!" impacts of GW.., 'we' are dealing w/ the PDO here & now! If our weather-guesser friend at U-dub is accurate, the PDO cycles pre-date the infernal combustion engine by many centuries. Perhaps even man himself? It's just our misfortune to be here at present.

Anonymous said...

After a reasonably respectable weekend here in the Salem-area, I'm not confident the much-vaunted Indian Summer is going to materialize?

IMHE it's seldom that big a deal anyway? Not exactly holding my breath for a few days, perhaps a week at best of to-die-for weather. As for this week, temps look decent but virutally every area I checked shows "partly cloudy" most every day. Besides, in order to 'salvage' this summer ( it would need to be t-shirt weather to November ) Not gonna' happen. Not in Bend, not in Oregon.

Anonymous said...

Thought some might find this interesting:

Last Tuesday broke the record for the wettest hour in OR. 1.03" between 8 and 9 am at PDX. What was alarming is that previously these records occur between Nov. and Jan. First of many records to fall or just a fluke?

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just me but I thought it a curious choice of words when KATU described the ( inevitable ) rains forecast for 4 to 5 pm as "tonight"?

As in.., what, it was half-way 'decent' day? What more do you want!

Sorry, but I don't believe even Portlanders view 4 or 5 as 'night time' ( even tho that's the case much of the year. More cheerleading? I'll leave that up to you.

LissaMe said...

Im down south still in the 90's here during the day.. ready for some mosquito killing weather.

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic weekend! Started drizzling in Salem right on cue. Heading south to K' Falls, by Albany it was a steady downpour and heading east out of Eugene on Hwy 58 it became a full blown storm!

Just past Oakridge we had our noses pressed against the windshield so hard we were fortunate to notice the ODOT Warning Sign flash "Do Not Stop To Pick Up Riders, Fugitive In Area!" ( I guess they caught the guy so it all worked out safely thank God )

Passing 18-wheelers was like passing a BOAT! You had to contend w/ the "wake" they were cuttin'. This is where "cheerleading turns dangerous"! Like most, I check the weather along the route I'm taking and ALL that had been mentioned was "overcast and -chance of showers-". ( They 'may' have neglected to mention the DELUGE we had to weather and I'm NOT just talking about The Pass!

Seriously, there, back and the entire time in K' Falls, a -total- crapitorium. Can't say as we saw above 63 deg. in a 500 mile round trip. Good times!