Friday, May 30, 2014

Olympic Rain Shadow

So very many times my friends and family have called, saying that where they are is either raining, or really cold, or really hot, and I am blissfully dry and comfortable in my island haven.  I hadn't really thought before about what it actually means to live within the rain shadow, but there it is.  The weather even changes between the north end of Lopez Island (which is on the cusp of the shadow) to the south end, where I live.  So I can now understand why people purposefully choose where they want to live based on this weather pattern.  I just chose the island because I've loved it all my life and it feels like home.

Thank you, Olympic Mountains!!

rain shadow is a dry area on the lee side of a mountainous area (away from the wind). The mountains block the passage of rain-producing weather systems and cast a "shadow" of dryness behind them.
As shown by the diagram to the right, the incoming warm and moist air is drawn by the prevailing winds towards the top of the mountains, where it condenses and precipitates before it crosses the top. The air, without much moisture left, advances behind the mountains creating a drier side called the "rain shadow".
File:Rainshadow copy.jpg

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