Could you tell me what the weather is like in Seattle now?

Q: Could you tell me what the weather is like in Seattle now?

A: It’s not a weather problem, but a natural disaster. This time of year is wildfire season for West Coast states (California, Oregon and Washington). Depending on how wet or dry our winter was, fire season can start as early as the end of May and last until the beginning of October.

Between the three states, we usually have several hundred fires of various sizes during this time of year. Some of them are quite small and can be put out quickly, but others grow and grow and do tons of damage. We also usually share equipment and firefighters between states, because it’s our common problem.

California has poor water management policies, a large population, and a dry climate, so they typically have the worst fires. The land in southern California is almost always too dry, so it’s very easy for fires to start. A few years ago, a tiny spark from a power pole started a fire that completely destroyed several towns and killed many people and animals.

In my state (Washington), most of our fires are started by lightning. It’s common for us to have electrical storms in the summer, and lightning striking the dry brush easily starts fires.

Last week, we had very strong winds up and down the West Coast. Since we already had fires burning, this wind caused the fires to spread and grow very rapidly. In my state, the governor announced that more land had burned IN ONE DAY than in the previous 12 fire seasons combined. There are also massive, devastating fires throughout Oregon and California.

Because we all have so many fires burning at this time, the entire West Coast is covered in smoke now. The air quality has been extremely dangerous for about a week and a half. In my area, the air quality count has ranged from 191 – 295 over the past week (50 is normal). In other parts of my state, the count has reached 800!

While the fires are normal, this amount of smoke is not normal at all. In many parts of the West Coast, the sky has turned orange. It’s also been very dark outside – often looking like midnight when it’s the middle of the day. 

People in Washington state rarely have air conditioning, so what it means for us is that we must close ourselves inside our homes with all the doors and windows closed tight. But without ac, each day the air inside gets hotter and more stale. At this point it has become quite hard to breathe, and it’s almost unbearably hot inside my apartment. We are all hoping for rain to wash away the smoke very soon!


Q: シアトルの天気はどんな感じ?

A: 天気の問題ではなくて、自然災害なのよ。1年のうちのこの時期、西海岸の州(カリフォルニア、オレゴン、ワシントン)は山火事の季節なの。冬の湿度や乾燥の状況によるけど、5月の終わり頃に始まって、10月初旬まで続くわね。





今回はものすごくたくさんの火災が起きているので、西海岸全体が煙に覆われているわ。一週間半くらい空気が非常に危険なの 。先週の私の地域の空気質は191から295だったわ(通常は50)。私の州の別の地域では、800に達しているところもあるの!