Monday, August 25, 2008

The Ballardia Barbecue Index

Two Atmospheric Sciences professors at the UW, Cliff Mass and Mark Albright, have created a new metric to track our dismal weather, called the "Barbecue Index". Komo News has the full story, but in a nutshell, this index tracks the number of times since mid-March when the temperature hits 60 degrees or warmer, which appears to the floor for Barbecue weather here in Seattle. We do set our standards low here in the Emerald City of Continual Gloom.

The scientists looked through past temperature records and discovered that 2008 is the worst year of the "Barbecue Index" since 1917. And this was back in June.

Which brings to mind the Ballardia Barbecue Index.

I think we'll define the BBI as the number of days we Actually barbecued here in Ballardia. And if we want to get fancy, we might track that against the "regular" Barbecue Index to see whether our problem is weather related.
Last year, our Ballard Barbecue Season was hindered by the rotted back steps, which, both for Function and Safety, we had blocked off by our 36" GE refrigerator.
This year, with the Fisher Wood Stove out of the way and fridge relocated, we had a small problem with the Case of The Missing Back Steps.
Carpenter Jim removed the rotted back steps back in March, but replacement progress halted pending decent weather. Perhaps the Barbecue Index was directly correlated to the Carpenter Jim outdoor Construction Project Index?
Goodness resumed in July, when I returned from a Portland work-a-thon to discover a rebuilt set of back steps, sans railing. But Railing is not essential for Barbecue Access.

Leaving only the weather as our excuse.

Looking at today's forecast, you might just think there's not much reason NOT to use the grill for tonight's dinner....a little chilly for August, yes, but it meets the Barbecue Index threshold defined by our UW scientists.....Or does it?
Let's do a quick reality check, shall we?

Our forlorn, very wet outdoor dining realm:

Our very wet, rebuilt steps:

I didn't think "Partly Sunny" meant the rest of the fraction was meant to be "Partly Pouring with Thunder".

And our outdoor thermostat says 55. FIFTY FIVE at FIVE PM IN AUGUST.

Our Ballard Barbecue Index? 5 times. Maybe 6. With quality predictions like these, why not plan on a barbecue?

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