Rain, rain, come to stay

Abnormal weather patterns surround Seattle

Caleb Cissna, Staff Writer

Smoke fills Tiffany Loop on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022. The AQI was nearly 200 at the time of the photo. (Rio Giancarlo)

The first significant rainfall of the season has happened for Seattle. Prior to this, record-breaking heat and large amounts of smoke overwhelmed the area, and on Oct. 16, Seattle hit a record-breaking high of 88 degrees. According to the Washington Post, the last time Seattle saw a higher temperature in October was Oct. 1, 1987, when it hit 89 degrees.

Some students at Seattle Pacific University, including Savannah Meyer, a second year biology and chemistry major, are surprised by the changes in weather.

“There was a definite change in all of our temperatures that are extremely exaggerated,” Meyer said. “In the summer, the heat is 10 degrees hotter than normal, and then in the winter, it seems to be even colder. But this year, we’re almost through October, but it was still hot till about two days ago. So that’s very strange because it should have been cold in August.”

Fourth year criminal justice major Gaby Castillo is also surprised.

“I actually think that a lot of my friends and I have been having conversations about the weather just because fall was a little bit more delayed than expected,” Castillo said. “It being 70 degrees in October was weird. I also think that summer wasn’t as warm as it typically was or as it typically is. But yeah, I definitely think the weather has been a little bit off.”

Local SPU students have seen the effects of climate change over the last several years, including extreme high heat levels and increased snowfall. Some students link the weather changes with global warming, including second year applied human biology major Jordyn Anderson. 

“Just global warming in general have caused the changes,” Anderson said. “Or maybe the fires have something to do with it as well.”

Meyer also believes there is a link to climate change.

“Specifically global warming, because with the ice melting and everything else, all of the gasses in the atmosphere are getting more and more, so then it’s heating everything else up again,” Meyer said. “So we’ve started this chain reaction of the world warming up, and I don’t think it’s going to stop anytime soon.”

Castillo shares similar thoughts to Meyer and Anderson, and hopes that people will start to take climate change seriously.

“I’m a big believer in climate change. And I know that’s a very controversial topic,” Castillo said. “But I do think that global warming is probably affecting our weather here. Even if people don’t really want to recognize it, or talk about it or believe in it and stuff like that.”

On Oct. 19, Seattle was still experiencing smoke and poor air quality. Additionally, it ranked at No. 1 for worst air quality worldwide, according to IQAir and the Seattle Times.

Some local students, including Castillo, say this is nothing new.

“We’ve been getting a lot more extreme weather recently. And I’ve definitely noticed that every single year, progressively, it has been changing. But I think overall, the seasons are a little bit behind what they used to be,” Castillo said.

Throughout this year, as well as the last several years, the Seattle-area weather has experienced many changes. Both the city of Seattle and other associations in the area, such as the University of Washington, have studied the current and future effects of climate change on the area. Students, including Meyer, have seen the impact of these changes this year to a greater degree.

“It’s been happening over the last several years,” Meyer said. “This is just the first year that it’s really evident because of instances like the rivers and stuff. The temperatures have been increasing over time, and the temperatures outside as well. But this year, it’s having a really significant effect.”