A local hip-hop group called Blue Scholars spits these lyrics: "Lookin' out the window to the gold and the gray/And the sun might be shinin' but it's colder than it seems/'Cuz the weather's dialectical: there's no in-between." This is right on target; weather can be deceiving. When the sun comes out between the months of November and March, look out. That just means there's no cloud cover to insulate the city from fiercer chills. But take heart; there are several passes within an hour or two that make Seattle the ideal location for lovers of snow sports. Winter requires some adaptation for many students who aren't accustomed to Northwestern seasons, mostly because nighttime devours the city at 4 p.m. It rains and occasionally snows until April or May. Rain in Seattle isn't like rain in other areas of the country; it is a constant, misty drizzle rather than a full-blown deluge.
But while the cold and the clouds can make a person hibernate like a bear for half the year, Seattle sunshine is superior to any you'll find in Florida or California because not only does absence make the heart grow fonder, but also the wet months make the landscape greener. On the first day of real sunshine (the kind that has heat), all of Seattle is out showing off their dogs and their pasty white legs. The second day, they're all inside nursing sunburns. Autumn and spring in Seattle are breathtaking. The grey skies make the turning of the leaves and the blossoming of the trees even more dramatic. Invest in a water-resistant jacket, boots for puddle jumping, a snowboard, and a camera.