[Tweeters] Slipping Into The Banana Belt

Wayne Weber contopus at telus.net
Sat Mar 1 01:02:02 PST 2014


There's one problem with your "banana belt" theory about Port Townsend. Port
Townsend does NOT have milder temperatures in the winter than cities on the
east side of Puget Sound. Everett has a mean January temperature almost
exactly the same as that of Port Townsend, although the daily range of
temperatures is about 4 degrees greater (highs 2 degrees higher, lows 2
degrees lower). Seattle, on the other hand, in fact averages 1.5 degrees
WARMER in January than Port Townsend-41.8 degrees versus 40.3 degrees
(perhaps in part because of the "urban heat island" effect). You can easily
check out the climatic data.

If in fact Monterey cypresses grow better in Port Townsend than in Seattle
(I'm not convinced that they do), it may have more to do with an intolerance
for the occasionally high summer temperatures and low summer humidities in
Seattle (there definitely IS a difference there). Or it may have something
to do with the annual rainfall, which is only about half as much in Port
Townsend (18.8 inches) as in Seattle (37.4 inches), a fact which you did
mention in your addendum.

All the best,

Wayne C. Weber

Amateur climatologist

Delta, BC

contopus at telus.net

From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu
[mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Jeff Gibson
Sent: February-28-14 1:10 PM
To: tweeters
Subject: RE: [Tweeters] Slipping Into The Banana Belt

Sent that previous post a wee bit too soon


From: gibsondesign at msn.com
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2014 12:38:06 -0800
Subject: [Tweeters] Slipping Into The Banana Belt

I recently have become a de facto citizen of Port Townsend Wa, since my
elderly parents need help living at home at the moment, having sorta slipped
on the banana peel of old age.

As a new citizen, I immediately acquired what I consider one of the
necessities of civilization - a library card, so can now post to tweeters
again from the public computers, my parents being non-participants of the PC

If the big fat ol' glacier hadn't dumped Whidbey and Marrowstone Islands in
the way, I could probably see my house (or at least the giant hospital
across the street) in the territorial view from my parents house. It's only
28 miles away as the crow flies. Despite the short distance, Port Townsend
ain't like Mudville - it's in the Banana Belt.

Banana Belt is how local yokels like me often refer to the milder areas in
the lee of the Olympic Mnts. and the key word is milder. It's not really
warmer, it's just not as cold as locales on the east side of the Sound. So
maybe one could grow a hardy banana, but don't be lookin' for any nanners -
don't get warm enough.

Several non-native plants are good indicators of the benign climate of PT.
The most spectacular, in my opinion, the charismatic Monterey Cypress made
famous by about a million scenic calendar photos. This is a vegetable
intolerant of much cold (Everett and Seattle too cold, as far as I know),
but its happy in PT - the state's largest specimen grows here, and there are
a few more massive ones around. While Eucalyptus trees can survive in
Seattle, the one's here in PT actually thrive. My parents have a Greek
Laurel (the one cooks use) in their yard, and it would be about 30 ft tall
by now if they hadn't cut it back to deck rail level - another mild climate

Meanwhile, across the Salish Sea to the NE, that great Boreal Horn, the
Frasier River canyon blows blasts of cold Canada out across northern Whatcom
County, the San Juans and over Pt. Angeles way. It's focused blast pretty
much misses Port Townsend, in it's little sweet spot, as evidenced by the
above mentioned plants. The Boreal Horn did blow a lot of nice paper birch
across north Whatcom - a beautiful boreal tree more abundant there than
anywhere else in western Washington. That's my story anyway.

Back in Bananaland, the birds are singing! Unlike the 'Silence of the
Finches' at my home in Mudville, the House Finches here are singing loud and
long, early and late in the day, along with Robins really belting out that
tune. Saw first male Rufous hummer here at the feeder briefly, and the
Red-flowering Currant is blooming in my folks yard. The place is also Towhee
heaven- another bird lacking in my Mudville yard.

Rather than mud, Port Townsend has very walkable sand and cobble beaches,
and clear water. The other day, whilst wearing my new super-dooper
eyeglasses, I got great views of rocky beach birds from our table at the
Bayview restaurant, just south of the ferry. Seeing a Black Oystercatcher
and a male Harlequin Duck perched next to each other on the rocks is
something you're not likely to see in Everett either.

Jefferson County Gibson

posting from

Port Townsend Wa

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