The Oatmeal has lampooned the Seattle resident’s reaction to normal Northwest weather, but considering that it was snowing in Everett and northward this morning, it’s safe to say our current cold snap isn’t normal and is worthy of some salty talk, as in the above video.
Factor in the paranoia that your cheeks aren’t glowing because of the cold, but because of radioactivity from Japan, and it’s definitely weird around these parts.
Granite Falls got a half to three-quarters of an inch of snow this morning, while other areas saw hail showers. Here in Seattle, around 8:30 a.m., the “real feel” was supposed to be 29 degrees.
UW meteorologist Cliff Mass confirms that it’s not all in your head: “The recent two weeks has been much cooler than normal with few days reaching the normal highs and precipitation several inches above normal.”
He also points you to a UW site that’s been tracking radioactivity released by the nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan, carried in the air to Washington. Not only is the measurable amount tiny (“at least thousands of times below EPA limits”), but the most noticeable spike was some 7-10 days after the earthquake. Any measurable radioactivity has tailed off significantly since then.
Mass adds that, “Regarding milk, screening samples taken March 25 at Spokane, WA detected 0.8 pCi/L of iodine-131, which is more than 5,000 times lower than the intervention level set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”
Again, even the spikes are more of an indication of the sensitivity of the instruments than spikes practically speaking. We won’t even see cumulative build-up of radiation from what’s occurred so far, given that these were one-time spikes.