As of mid-June, nearly three-quarters of the US’s West has been experiencing “severe,” “extreme,” or “exceptional” drought conditions. In addition to the states above, it also includes northern states like North Dakota and Montana.
Overall, climate change is playing a role. But there are smaller factors at play that are tied to climate change as well. Including…
- Not enough rain. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) said the Southwest’s 2020 monsoon season (read: ‘nonsoon’) was “the hottest and driest summer/monsoon season on record.” And the decrease in rainfall is having an impact on today’s drought (think: not enough water for crops, lakes, or reservoirs). And for the little rain that has fallen, it could dry up faster because of…
- Warmer temps. The NOAA dubbed 2020 the second-hottest year on record. And in late June, a record-breaking heat wave hit the Pacific Northwest, with the temperature reaching up to 112 degrees Fahrenheit in places like Portland, OR. (Psst…if you’re dealing with hot weather, here are some tips to stay safe.) Hotter, drier weather creates a thirsty environment, which speeds up evaporation. Rising temps are also causing snowpacks to melt faster, and they’re reportedly producing less runoff – a vital water resource. All of which means there’s less water available for communities and ecosystems.
Experts are also worried that the current dry and hot conditions will have a ripple effect, which brings us to wildfires. Last year’s West Coast wildfire season was the worst ever. Fires in California killed 31 people, burned more than 4 million acres, and destroyed thousands of buildings and structures. And this year, states like Arizona have seen an early start to their wildfire season. But the effects of the drought stretch even further.
Seattle, a city on Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest, is surrounded by water, mountains and evergreen forests, and contains thousands of acres of parkland. Washington State’s largest city, it’s home to a large tech industry, with Microsoft and Amazon headquartered in its metropolitan area. The futuristic Space Needle, a 1962 World’s Fair legacy, is its most iconic landmark.
“We wanted the interior to act as a canvas for natural light and convey an overall appearance of lightness…”
Stainless steel counters, aluminum lightwells, and whitewashed pine walls and ceilings help create a feeling of lightness—perfectly suited for a floating home on water.
Following a long tradition of floating homes in Seattle, the dwelling is located on the north end of Lake Union, in a spot called Portage Bay.
It was built on top of a log-float foundation dating to the early 1900s. The home sits close to the shore and has access to a garden.
The Pratt River is a river in King County in Washington. It is a tributary of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. It was named for prospector George A Pratt, who discovered nearby iron deposits in 1887. The river has its headwaters in tiny Upper Melakwa Lake. The river starts out as a small stream upon exiting the lake.
Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure a long term lease in the only private residence atop Seattle’s iconic Smith Tower, owned and managed by Unico Properties. This extraordinary “Urban Lighthouse’ space, cleverly renovated by Graham Baba Architects and Valor Builds, incorporates elegant modern touches, while retaining its original architectural character.
One bedroom, a guest space, and two baths on the 37thfloor and an open living room, kitchen and dining fills the 38th floor. The iconic glass globe at the tower’s peak is accessible via a spiral staircase.24 teardrop windows offer rare 360º views of Puget Sound, Olympic Mountains, the Cascades, Mt. Rainier & the city below. The Penthouse at Smith Tower celebrates Seattle’s heritage with singular style and sophistication.
Filmed and Directed by: James Smith
The Pacific Northwest, sometimes referred to as Cascadia, is a geographic region in western North America bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and by the Rocky Mountains on the east.
At 6254 feet, Blue Lake sits quietly a little over two trail miles from Highway 20. With towering granite peaks, forests, meadows, wildflowers, and of course the beautiful mountain lake surrounded by granite that reaches for the sky, this short hike is easily a classic and should be on your must-hike list. With only 1050 feet of elevation gain this hike is doable for almost everyone.
Filmed and Edited by: Jason Hatfield
This is the time of year myself and other photographers share our favorite photos from the past year. 2020 was obviously a very challenging time and despite struggles of my own I was vastly more fortunate than many. As I started to think on what were my favorite photographs I decided this time to share a film that conveys some of the incredible experiences and views I had. There’s so much more that happened but just these few minutes is enough.
Locations featured include: Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia
“Sunday Morning” takes us to the Lower Lewis River Falls near Cougar, Washington.
Videographer: Mike Griffith.