Puget Sound Post

Golden October Slipping Toward November Gray

By: PugetSoundPost, 2:04 AM GMT on October 29, 2009

Plans have changed today for tomorrow's weather. This does happen! We were expecting a potent storm with a lot of rain (flooding possible) and windy conditions, but overnight last night the forecast suddenly made a big change. I guess the weather vane suddenly switched directions, like in a mystery movie. The storm we were expecting will move into SE Alaska and central British Columbia, with western Washington only getting the far southern reach of the warm front as it is even now approaching with rain beginning to come ashore. The majority of the rain, including moisture brought in from the old tropical system Neki, will fall further north but we will still have some rains overnight tonight and tomorrow. This system will be east of us by Friday morning, but in its wake it will leave rising temperatures in the warm sector we will be in, so Friday looks to be warmer than it has been this week. But even by Friday evening a cold front, also with tropical moisture feed connections, will come across western Washington and this one will bring stronger winds and heavy rain at times. Since it is expected to move briskly along, flooding is less of a possibility. Saturday looks showery and cooler behind the cold front, then drying the rest of the weekend.

Perhaps it is good that tomorrow won't be as stormy as we thought, since I will spend the afternoon standing outside at a high school cross country meet, waiting for my son to run. And who wants to run a race in a gale?

Our biggest rain day since this was last updated was Monday, when we received .83" rain. The mountain passes did get a good dose of snow, so now the mountain pass driving reports will begin for the winter. The high today was 50 and the low this morning was 37 and it has been a rather dreary day with solid gray skies but no rain so far, although I see on radar that it is getting quite close to us now as it moves in from the Pacific. We won't see much sun for some time now.

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Fireplace Season is Here

By: PugetSoundPost, 6:29 AM GMT on October 26, 2009

We lit our first fire of the season today in our wood stove, and it felt good! The weather has taken another noticeable turn and a chill is in the air. This morning's low was 36 and much of the day was spent in the upper 40's. Early this afternoon rain returned, sprinkly at first, but this evening it moved in with more intensity, and so far we have .22". I don't remember seeing the sun today, so a pretty gray day. Currently a warm front is just reaching the coast and tomorrow a cold front will cross the region and the biggest local story is the first significant snow (1-2 feet) of the season in the mountains, including the passes, primarily on Monday once the cold front lowers the freezing level down to pass levels. Monday should be quite rainy and continued cool down here in The Lowlands.

Updated: 6:41 AM GMT on October 26, 2009

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Perfect October Rainy Day

By: PugetSoundPost, 7:13 AM GMT on October 24, 2009

Today has been the quintessential October day in the Pacific Northwest. Rain returned today and along with it the winds gusted and leaves fell and swirled in the wind, giving one final flourish of life as they fell in heaps on the roads, sidewalks, and lawns. Car windows were catching them like outfielders chasing down drifting fly balls. There were some scant sunbreaks this afternoon, and it was fun to watch the gray clouds scud across the sky rapidly in the southerly wind. Since it is still October, the temperature did not have the chilly feel that soon will come, so it was rather pleasant to be outside experiencing the elements; at least until the Puget Sound Convergence Zone set up over us early this evening and then it just dumped rain in very heavy showers off and on all evening. The winds have subsided now as the pressure gradients have eased with the front well to the east of us now, but with all the newly fallen wet leaves everywhere, it is certainly beginning to look like Halloween will soon be here.

Saturday should be a rather quiet, but cloudy, day as the break in-between systems, then Sunday is shaping up to be wet again. A cooler air mass is coming in from the northwest after the Sunday system, so the air will begin to chill off a bit more, and the first Winter Storm of the season may be on the way for the mountain passes. We are digging deeper into fall.

Today's high was 58.7, the high wind was 23 mph, and we received .91" rain.

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After the Stormy Weekend

By: PugetSoundPost, 6:05 AM GMT on October 20, 2009

The new week has started and it is quite different from the way last week ended! The first Big Rain weekend of fall hit this weekend and we did have a lot of rain. We totaled 2.0 inches from Friday through Sunday, with nearly all of it falling on Friday and Saturday. The stormiest day seemed to be Saturday, with gusty winds and very heavy rain at times, and passing thunderstorm cells kicking up the wind as well. According to the NWS, some of the thunderstorms developed weak rotation, something that is a fairly rare phenomenon in western Washington. We were pretty well bypassed by the t-storms, but we could see the turbulent skies skirting by just east of us, heading NE into the Cascade Mountains. It was unusually warm during the heavy rain, as our high over the weekend was 65 - almost had a tropical feel with the rain - and in Washington in October! As the front passed, the wind picked up and our highest gust was 23 mph.

Yesterday was actually quite the opposite and was calm and mostly dry. By evening the tranquil sky with broken high level clouds was quite pretty in the setting sun, and Lake Washington was beautiful with fall colors reflecting from nearby hills.

Today started out with light fog and although we were expecting the fog and the clouds to burn off by afternoon, it never did here in central Puget Sound. So, although it was calm and dry, it was a rather dull and gray day, however the fog was gone. Not as much vibrancy to the fall colors on a day like today. The high was 57 today, which seems more typical, and the high wind was only 7 mph, so pretty quiet all the way around.

Tomorrow should be another quiet day, and then rain returns on Wednesday, an in-between day on Thursday, then Friday looks wet again, then something possibly stronger coming in from the Gulf of Alaska on Sunday or Monday of next week to look forward to.

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Rain, Rain

By: PugetSoundPost, 5:57 AM GMT on October 17, 2009

It has rained most all of today. As I write this we have received 1.07" rain today and it is still going strong. A drive in the car this evening to head over to UW in Seattle was a bit of an adventure. Lots of standing water on the roads, some power outages along the way, poor visibility in the dark, big splashes hitting from all sides, and a driver with only a permit behind the wheel! We made the trip ok and my daughter got some good driving- in- the- rain experience. It has been warm all day,with the high reaching 61.8 and currently late in the evening it is still 59. The rain is expected to last through tomorrow. The rainy season has arrived!

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Calm Between Storms

By: PugetSoundPost, 2:57 AM GMT on October 16, 2009

After the last few stormier days, today was quite a change here in the Seattle area. The clouds parted by midday and the sun came out to warm us clear up to 69.9! I started the day with too many layers on (low this morning 48) and had to shed some in the sudden heat. Not to let us "suffer" too long, the clouds did re-thicken and light rain sprinkled over us by late afternoon, but it did not last too long. However, now the trend is going downhill and rain is again coming ashore on the NW Olympic Peninsula coast. By tomorrow the rain should be steadily falling and it could last into Saturday or Sunday. Rivers may start to rise by the weekend, but the hope is that it is so early in the rainy season that they won't flood. After seeing the photos and comments of the snow and storms in the NE USA, our calm day today (high wind 7!) was delightful!

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Pacific Northwest Day

By: PugetSoundPost, 4:58 AM GMT on October 15, 2009

Today was a plain old Pacific Northwest day, with rain that dumped .75" on us, and wind that made falling leaves scatter across the roads and fields like mice in a barn full of cats. A trough passed through today that had some punch to it and let us know again that the fall storm season has arrived.

I spent the late afternoon and early evening standing outside at a cross country meet and it was quite gusty! The wind gave a distinct chill! Heavier coats are coming out! We lucked out that the steady rain of much of the morning and midday had stopped, but the wind picked up and made watching the runners a challenge for the fans, although the clearing sky with broken clouds in the setting sun was fun to watch. But, I'm glad to be back in the house. Tomorrow should be a lull in the action, but then on Friday it is likely a lot more rain will arrive. High of 65, low of 48 today.

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First Storm of the Season

By: PugetSoundPost, 4:12 AM GMT on October 14, 2009

The first big storm of the season blew through western Washington today! It is connected to the big storm that slammed California today and the deep low that moved north along our coast. After a slow start this morning, it did work its way through the state. The winds picked up as the day went on and from midday on it has been pretty gusty, as evidenced by most of the geranium pots on my deck blowing over and rolling around. Our highest wind speed was 24 mph, which seems to magnify as it whooshes through all the trees nearby. Unfortunately I just read a report that someone was killed today; down around Randle, when a tree fell on their car as they were driving, and two others have been injured by falling trees and branches. This is the hard part about rooting for strong weather to hit and I feel badly when people are hurt by it. Damage and injury are always the hazards from winds around here with all of our trees and the winds were quite a bit stronger in other areas of the region, as they usually are. Our lights blinked a little bit, but nothing serious.

Rain was not a factor today, and it wasn't forecast to be either. We got a whoppin' .02" today! It did warm up, though, as the flow turned southerly, and the high was 61. Again I see on current radar that rain will be making its way over our house as a new front behind the low comes in before too long and it is supposed to be wetter tonight than so far today has been, and the rain will continue through tomorrow, but it will probably be showery. So, now summer feels pretty far behind us now- once we start to get the rolling parade of systems coming in off the ocean.

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Breezy October Morning

By: PugetSoundPost, 4:32 PM GMT on October 13, 2009

A pretty sunrise this morning sent everyone off to work and school. The Cascades are showing their tops, so the cloud deck is rather high, but it is not completely solid. There is a pretty pink patch of sky in the distance over the mountains. Mt. Rainier is gone so far today.

It is shaping up to be a pretty typical NW fall day - breezy NE winds, cool - currently 51 after a low this morning of 46, and probably a threat of rain, although it is expected to be quite light. I see on radar it is creeping northward and has reached the South Sound. Time to put on a jacket and do some errands!

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Remembering the Columbus Day Storm of 1962 and Something Else is Brewing?

By: PugetSoundPost, 5:02 AM GMT on October 13, 2009

Welcome to the second installment of this new blog!

Forty seven years ago today, October 12, 1962, a remarkable storm tore through the Pacific Northwest. The Columbus Day Storm was an extratropical cyclone with original roots from Typhoon Freda that caught the West Coast from San Francisco to the Canadian border off guard with devastating results. Winds reached between 113 mph and 170 mph throughout the state of Oregon, and here in Washington we reached winds of 78 mph in Olympia, 100 mph in Renton, and 98 mph in Bellingham. "High Wind" minimum criteria (minimum of 58 mph) for the National Weather Service was met from San Francisco all the way to Vancouver, B.C. With little technology compared to today's forecasting abilities, no one realized what an explosive situation was rapidly developing just off the Pacific coast. In the end, 46 people lost their lives, hundreds were injured, 50,000 homes were lost, 15 billion board feet of timber was flattened that was worth about $750 million. Record rains did tremendous damage all along the coast as well. It still stands as the most powerful extratropical cyclone recorded in the lower 48 states during the 20th century and thus far into the 21st, and only category 3+ hurricanes in the eastern US can rival the wind magnitude of the Columbus Day Storm of 1962.

My grandparents were living on Lake Sammamish during the storm, under a dense stand of mature Douglas fir, and my grandmother was quite frightened that a tree would come through the roof. Luckily this didn't happen! They took shelter in the daylight basement of their home and rode out the storm, only to have lost power for 1-2 weeks thereafter. The storm made a huge impression upon them, and on the entire family, and certainly the whole region. This storm reminds us of what can happen, even here in the Pacific Northwest where extreme weather is not a common occurance.

Now onto our current weather situation developing. The weather took a definite turn today - away from our recent calm and delightful fall days. High clouds continued to roll in and thicken all day today and a cool, stormy-feeling NE breeze kicked up this morning, and along with a slowly falling barometer, all indicating that the weather had shifted and that a storm is brewing. It was a lot cooler today with the high only 52 - down 9 degrees from yesterday, and the sky was a graywash. We now are under a Wind Advisory for tomorrow, although the strongest winds look to be coming through the gaps in the Cascades into the foothills and also on the coast, where gale warnings are posted. A sub 970 mb low will track north off the Washington coast tomorrow, bringing us here in the interior some rain and gusty winds. So, as the action slowly picks up overnight, we'll await the results tomorrow!

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Welcome to a New Blog

By: PugetSoundPost, 5:00 AM GMT on October 12, 2009

Tonight I (a suburban mom of four) am launching a new blog intended to document Puget Sound Lowlands weather, most specifically on the east side of Lake Washington, in the Kirkland, Washington area. I love observing the weather and anticipating whatever next may be coming our way - keeping closely tuned into forecasts and observing how they actually pan out in our area. This has been a lifelong passion and I'm excited to share with others who may be interested in Western Washington weather too!

Today has been a perfect mid fall day - some sun through a thin layer of high clouds, and pleasantly warm and calm. The high was 61 and the high wind was only 8 mph, so a lovely day to work in the yard and to move it toward winter. This is necessary because in spite of the calm day, our first big blow of the season appears to be bearing down on us, only a couple of days away. I'm looking forward to it after a long dry spell (summer and fall to this point!) and not much action in our weather.



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About PugetSoundPost

Weather has been a lifelong passion for me; while my husband and 4 kids all in college and beyond, one now married, have patiently gone along with me!

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