Posted by: gatheringwater | 2008/12/09

Under the Rainshadow

big-sky-little-boat-1

The rainshadow makes for interesting skies in Port Townsend.

I live in a blue hole.

That’s how people sometimes describe the effect of the Olympic mountain range’s rainshadow on the local weather.  We get our fair share of northwestern gray days, but they are often interrupted by breaks in the clouds directly overhead.  It can be thrilling to stand in the sunshine, watching rain fall on the islands just across the water.

There is another interesting effect due to the rainshadow: not only do we see a lot of rainbows in Port Townsend, we host plenty of them, too. It is an odd feeling–it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up sometimes–to realize that people looking in my direction will see the terminus of a rainbow.

The mountains prop up the western sky. Even on cloudy days they often give Port Townsend a period of slanting golden light before the sun sets. It shines under the clouds and over the mountains and it is one of those times when rainbows are especial-
ly likely to be seen.

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