Thursday, July 1, 2021

June ends with a taste of Phoenix

One of the all time biggest weather events in the recorded history of the Pacific Northwest happened at the end of June. Locally it was one for the history books as well as the record books. It capped a rather tepid June with a 500 year heat event. This weather event cannot be overstated, records were not just broken they were utterly crushed as if the planet had suddenly moved into the same orbit as Venus.

This massive heat event locally is on par with the 1980 record snowstorm that laid down 44 inches of snow and left drifts in excess of six feet tall, the 1962 Columbus Day Wind Storm, the 1973 F3 Tornado, The 1950 Freeze with multiple sub-zero temps, and now the 2021 Heat Dome.

Although climate change has led us to see warmer trends over the last several decades this event is something else entirely. These heat domes according to scientists, only have about a 1 in 1000 chance of forming. These are rare events but when they occur they intensify the heat with pressure variants, pushing air downward to produce frictional heat through compression on top of the normal atmospheric heat generated in typical west coast heatwaves that are mostly based on off-shore flows bringing warmer interior air to the coastal areas. The interior portions of Washington state also saw record high temps but those records for the most part were only broken by a degree or two, our records were crushed to more than 10 degrees in some areas more than 9 degrees at my station here in Vancouver USA. CBS news had a nice scientific explanation of the phenomenon here.

To wrap your head around this event, Lytton, British Columbia set Canada's all-time record high temperature of 117º on Monday which is hotter than the all-time record for Las Vegas, Nevada! Are you kidding me... CANADA?

Locally in Vancouver, WA I broke my all-time record of 106.1º in 2009 on Saturday, June 26th recording a 107.1º temp. Sunday I recorded 111.1º further crushing the record, then on Monday I recorded 115.2º now nearly ten degrees over the previous all-time high! I hadn't recorded a 100º plus day in three years! This past weekend I recorded three in a row! All three days were records for the date and all three were all-time records until successively replaced each day. I also broke the all-time warmest overnight low record twice in row! Previously the warmest overnight low I recorded was a balmy 73º back in 2006 on the way to a muggy and showery 89º. Sunday morning the 28th I recorded a 73.5º breaking my all-time warmest overnight low then followed it up on Monday morning with a crazy warm 78.1º overnight low.

Prior to the heat dome event June 26th-29th, June was looking very... Juneish, with lots of clouds, a mix of sunny and warm with cool and showery, just like 'normal'. Then hell opened up a portal and washed the Northwest in a biggest heat event ever.

For the month I recorded eight days above 90º which is two thirds of the normal total for a YEAR. I had three days above 100º. It wasn't all heat wave though, I recorded 10 days that failed to make it to 70º, but everyday got above 60º. The coolest temp recorded last month was 48.5º on the morning of the 7th one of three days under 50º.

On the water side of weather we had a sub-par rain month in June but only by a small margin. June was below normals but close enough with 1.62 inches in the bucket about seven tenths under normal. most of the rain came in a two day event that dumped more than a 1/2 inch each day on the 13th and 14th. I measured .55 inch and .61 inch respectively. Those were the only days over .25 inch. We had 16 sunny days and 6 rainy days. 

Let's hope the rest of our summer is more typical for our area, you know the best summer weather in the world, 75-85º every day with warm but not hot evenings. Yeah that western Washington summer ;) I've had my fill of Phoenix. July is starting off cooler and even a bit cloudy. I'll take that.

Soak it up my friends, soak it up.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Viewpoint Still a Player in the High-rise View Condo Market

 I have a client eyeing urban condos in Vancouver right now and I toured this Viewpoint unit recently. Viewpoint is still the highest condo tower in Vancouver by floor count. By actual "height" it is probably the two 7 story Shorewood towers which sit atop a bluff in the Heights. But Viewpoint is a 4 story condo complex perched atop a 7 story office building. So floor 8-11 are condo and this unit was on the 8th floor. I have been inside several homes in Viewpoint but each and every one was facing east rather than west. The east view offers up the Cascade Range as a distant vista, but the west view looks over the park and the waterfront. 

The 8th floor does suffer from some low angle obstructions as the 7 story Parkview tower is in front of you and so is the 6 story Columbia at Vancouver Center. But the west hills of Portland and the Oregon Coast range lies in the distance and that does make for some dramatic sunsets. This particular unit was a Northwest corner unit so it has two patios both covered and the main patio is huge. Due to the proximity of Esther Short Park the view here is protected and that is a nice thing. To the north the view had a close call with death when Holland originally proposed an 11 Story office tower. They scaled that back to six and this view is unobstructed to both the west and north for the most part.

I tend to like these urban views but it isn't for everyone. One of the nice bits is that nighttime tends to light up nicely. Also these Downtown locations are walking distance to scores of restaurants and breweries. So that's a plus, right?

This condo has over 1500 SF and is listed at $979,900. It is in the heart of downtown.