Our Drippy, Soggy, Cold Winter

I’m having a hard time finding something positive about our weather this winter.

Okay, for those of us in the lowlands and close to the ocean, it didn’t snow very much. That’s something.


But it’s been cold–not mid-West cold or New-England cold. But it’s felt downright chilly for those of us living in the supposedly mild Pacific Northwest. On average, our winter temperature is 42 degrees. This year our average has been 39.1.


Most of all, it’s been dark and damp. Living here, on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, we’re used to rain. On average in Seattle we get 37.49 inches of precipitation. But that’s for the whole year. This year, by the Ides of March we’d already reached 37.50 inches.


Our trees are drowning.



Our rocks are growing moss.



Moss is taking over our lawns.



When the sun does come out, we act all giddy. “Isn’t it beautiful!” “Did you see that sunshine?” Quickly, before a cloud can roll in, we grab a jacket and go out for a walk.

I’m writing this on March 18, two days before the Vernal Equinox, and it’s been raining all day. I’m wondering, isn’t it about time for a change in the weather?

It can’t be much longer, can it?  I saw a robin hop across my patio this morning. And, look! A little daffodil is braving the rain.



















About Nicki Chen

About Nicki Chen Nicki Chen is a writer living in Edmonds, WA. Her first novel, Tiger Tail Soup, is set in China during the Japanese invasion and occupation, 1937-1945. She's working on a second novel set in Vanuatu, a South Pacific nation where she and her late husband lived in the early '90s.
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  1. Despite the rain, your photos are beautiful Nicki. Our winter has been unseasonably mild with the exception of the recent hard freeze that did substantial damage to our plants and trees that had already begun to bloom. Sending some sunshine your way!

    • You did it; you really did send sunshine our way. It’s so nice to see the sun!

      It seems that most of the country has had a mild winter … except for us on the West Coast. The ocean has been warmer, though. I suppose that caused more evaporation, clouds, and rain.

  2. So sorry about the weather, Nicki, but you have produced some beautiful images

  3. Great photos, Nicki! You have had a soggy winter.
    We get snow off and on here in the Midwest. But the cold has hung on. I’m grateful to see the sunshine here!

  4. We are so grateful for the rain in California, but even with the precipitation, our temperatures have been about three degrees above normal.

    I love the photo of the tracks in the new snow. Fantastic capture.

    • The Pacific Ocean keeps getting warmer. Somehow that didn’t give us a warmer winter, just more rain and cloud cover to block the sun. I guess that makes some sense. One of the positives for us this year is all the snow in the mountains. We’ll have all the water we need for the rest of the year.

      I’m glad California finally got some rain.

  5. Weather everywhere is wonky. We are recovering from our major snow of the season (in March!) and hoping for a permanent warm up.

  6. I love your photos. It’s been pretty much the same here, too. Mostly warmer than our normal weather one day and freezing the next. And rain! A nice snow would have been nice, but it didn’t stay cold long enough for that to happen. Crazy weather.

    • I donned a raincoat and took a short walk yesterday. Sparkling raindrops clinging to branches took my eye, but it was hard to capture with my iPhone what I saw. I’m sure there was some way to do it, but it was too cold to put much effort into it. Raindrops on a pond and moss in the grass were easier to photograph.

      We’re not good with snow here. It’s too hilly. The only flat road I can think of is along the waterfront.

  7. Traveller at heart

    The weather has gone crazy the world over eg the winter in the Mediterranean part of Turkey is colder than London. Some had not seen the white stuff for 35 years. Shepherds had a tough time; they were seen climbing the mountains with home made ‘bag packs’ for the lambs/kids. I heard it was bitter in New York

    • Thank you for sharing information about weather in Turkey. It’s amazing that Turkey had snow this year. The thing about global warming is that it’s not just simple warming. Warmer temperatures worldwide have been resulting in extreme weather events of all kinds.

  8. As a South African, I am acutely aware of how desperate they are for rain in the Cape, cattle are dying, crops are dying, farmers are going bankrupt, fires are everywhere. I wish you could send some of your rain to them – it would be a blessed relief.

    Here in Beijing, we are drier than dry this winter! The weather is so inconsistent – is this because of Global Warming? or is it just the inconsistencies that occur in weather patterns? only time will tell and we will be long gone by then!

    • Worldwide average temperatures are have been hitting new highs every year. As I understand it, scientists call it Global Warming when they’re talking about surface temperatures. They call it Climate Change when referring to the many other changes caused by increasing carbon dioxide. I think part of it is more and extreme weather in every direction and the inconsistency you mentioned. We used to live in Vanuatu in the South Pacific. The neighboring country of Kiribati is so low that it’s at risk of disappearing.

  9. It can get boring if it rains all the times, yes. This year our winter was pretty mild, no freezing temperatures. But even like this I felt cold and got my annual chilblains, haha.

    • My house is cozy and warm, which makes me want to stay inside too much. Now that I’m tired of staying at home, I’m glad the winter is over. The past couple of days it’s been warmer, so I’ve had a couple of nice walks.

  10. We are also tired of the dreary days in Southern California. We had a spell of lovely sunshine but are back to cloudy skies and projected rain this week. Everyone has been grateful for the rain but spring is here after all. At least our flowers are in bloom and sunny skies expected next week. Feel so bad for the mid West and eastern states. Lovely photos.

    • We’re used to cloudy days. It must have been hard for you in Southern California to have less sunshine than usual. I remember when I was a freshman in college how hard our cloudy weather was for the girls from sunnier climes.

  11. You have my sympathy, hon. 🙂 We’ve been pretty lucky this year (even in the bits where I haven’t been making an escape 🙂 ) but it can be pretty wearing. Never mind- I’m sure the Spring greens are almost ready to celebrate.

  12. It really does look like a wet winter for you, Nicki. Wet is good for the land and plants, but too much of it causes destruction. I smiled when you said you grabbed a jacket to go out and enjoy the sun when it comes out 🙂 It is autumn here in Australia and summer is still lingering ever so slightly. So when it is a warm sunny day, I’d head out and enjoy the warmth. Nothing like going out in a T-shirt and shorts for me 🙂

    • I’m looking forward to the sunny summer days when we can go out in shorts and a T-shirt. Spring is beautiful here, but it’s seldom warm enough for shorts until summer.

  13. Eek. Stay warm! Sending some sunshine your way!

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