Puget Sound Post

Spring Break Week - Not Much Spring

By: PugetSoundPost, 4:55 AM GMT on March 28, 2010

April 1, 10:45 PM
We are home from our San Juan Island trip and it was great - a mixed bag of weather from surprise sunshine, to clouds, sprinkles, windy, and never too warm/or plain chilly. But, beautiful sights all around. We have returned to a High Wind Watch for Friday, as a potent deep low is headed in, making landfall either across NW Washington or a bit further north into Vancouver Island, and tomorrow could bring some strong winds, even to the Puget Sound interior, but the models need to run a bit longer to really pinpoint the developing scenario. It does appear that we got off the island just in time as that area will certainly get hit hard, and the winds were picking up noticeably this evening in Skagit County as we drove home from the ferry.


March 30, 10 PM

A calmer day today than yesterday, but still it felt quite unsettled. We didn't have too much rain and the wind was less gusty, but the skies were still quite stormy looking much of the time. The high here was 55 during a little sunbreak this afternoon, low of 38, some hard, but brief, rain showers blew through a time or two. Actually it felt and looked a lot like spring, but not the spring of Easter cards - the more moody and unsettled side of spring. We are going to venture out for the next couple of days to spend some time in the San Juan Islands, and hope that some brief expected ridging will keep the trip relatively dry, and we will be able to enjoy the great beauty that characterizes the islands.

March 29 Midnight
Today was an active weather day, and a good one to just stay indoors. Rain blew in overnight last night, heavy at times, then showers kept rolling by all day, again heavy at times. Very dark and ominous clouds would scoot by, mostly to our east in the foothills and Cascades, sometimes closer to home and pouring rain as they passed. The wind was gusty all day and it was cool. Our high today was 53, but mostly it was cooler than that. Low of 39, high wind gust 24, and 24 hour rain total of .66". Some areas had thunderstorms, but none here at home. More of the same for the next couple of days - lots of cool and unstable air is moving our way.


March 27

The second week of spring has started and we are taking a step backward, beginning overnight tonight. A series of fronts are on the way to keep this coming week wetter and cooler than we have been recently. A cold front will move inland overnight and it will be rainy and breezy tomorrow, as well as cooler. Today's high was 67 with nice, but filtered, sunshine all day. Not tomorrow, however. It will probably slide back down to around 60, or less. Rain will turn to showers in the afternoon and then another front that is stronger will roll in Sunday night into Monday, giving quite a bit more rain and it will be windier too. The coast will get hit the hardest with wind but here in the interior we could see winds 25-30 or so. The snow level in the mountains will lower substantially and a good dump of snow is expected. The rest of the week ahead looks a lot cooler (lower 50's) and rain or showers off and on through the whole week. After some days recently that would be nice May days, this coming week looks like it may fit right in on the February calendar.

My high school kids are going onto spring break right now, and as probably expected and usually happens, the weather is taking a downturn. My college kids are just finishing spring break. It looks like they got the better deal!

March 27
Sunrise: 6:57 AM ---- Sunset: 7:31 PM (PDT)

Updated: 5:41 AM GMT on April 02, 2010

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First Week of Spring

By: PugetSoundPost, 7:31 PM GMT on March 22, 2010

March 25, Late Night
Back to a normal March day today - high of 56 but much of the day was in the upper 40's (such a big change from yesterday!), and RAIN! We had light rain for a long time this morning, then a little break in the action, but around 4 PM, right as my son's high school track meet was getting underway, down came the rain again. I sat in the bleachers for three hours in one spot (can't move or your dry seat is no longer dry) under an umbrella, heavy coat and gloves, and wrapped in my waterproof stadium blanket, watching the track meet in medium to hard rain most of the time! This was not my coldest track experience, but ranks amongst the top for the wettest. I felt sorry for the athletes soaking and cold, but maybe they don't mind as much as a mom who is just sitting in one place for three hours watching kids run 'round and 'round. My son was pleased with two nice PR's, however, and the day was a success. More rain can be expected over the next 12+ hours, as an upper trough moves through tonight, bringing rain showers and lower snow levels in the mountains.



March 24, 8:30 PM
What a nice day we had today! This would have been a nice day in April or often in May as well, but it is still March. Offshore flow and sunshine pushed the mercury up to a high of 73 here - our warmest day of the year so far. And, at nearly 8:30 pm it is still 61 outside, which is remarkably warm for us for a March evening.

But, since it is still in early spring, as expected the extra nice weather isn't going to last beyond today. Already the barometer is falling and a rainy day is on the way for tomorrow. Some rain could spread in overnight but it looks more likely to hold off until during the day on Thursday. I suspect that we won't see it this warm again for the foreseeable future, since the pattern is changing again in the next few days to cooler and wetter weather. March has been quite dry so far, but maybe that will start to change.



March 22, Midday

SPRING arrived over what was a busy and crazy weekend, and now the first week of the new season is underway. Since a week ago today we have had some rain scattered over several days, but not very much. It has only totaled .38". We had some very nice days and some unsettled days - in other words, Spring! Saturday was an especially nice day and our temperature reached a very welcome 71.9 with no wind for most of the day. It was not bright sunshine, however, as high clouds kept increasing all day and by evening a weak system was moving in from the coast. The wind picked up rather suddenly causing the tree limbs to blow around and eventually light rain came in weak showers after dark. But, for an afternoon walk on the Seattle waterfront that we took, it was a very lovely day with pleasant weather all the way around. It was very nice to get outdoors for awhile.

Looking ahead this week, about all I can write is that it is shaping up to be a typical early spring week. The days will range from partly cloudy to mostly cloudy, the early half of the week will be dry, after some remnant showers move out today, and Wednesday should be a pretty nice and warm day. After that the ridging will move east and systems will be drifting through for the remainder of the week - more clouds, cooler and chances of rain. The sun will likely peek out between the clouds and sporadic rain. Some trees are beginning to leaf out and blossoms are all around on the flowering trees. Nothing remarkable weather-wise lies ahead but also it feels nice to see a more typical NW spring pattern developing this week. And, it is nice to have sprung into spring!

March 22
Sunrise: 7:07 AM ---- Sunset: 7:24 PM (PDT)
(gaining 3 min, 29 sec tomorrow)

Updated: 6:19 AM GMT on March 26, 2010

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Rain and Wind

By: PugetSoundPost, 6:01 AM GMT on March 12, 2010

March 19, 11:40 PM
Winter has 20 minutes of unofficial time left, before the calendar page flips over to SPRING!!

March 16, 10PM
Interesting weather today with some twists from the forecast. The rain I expected around midday seemed to move very slowly and the first shower didn't come until closer to mid afternoon; after the forecast had been changing around arrival times more than once. Next, after stronger winds (g30) had been forecast last night for today, the wind forecast was greatly lowered by this morning. So it looked like the plan had changed overnight. But, then whoosh! Early this afternoon the wind suddenly picked up, somewhat by surprise, and our strongest gust reached 33 mph! The punch of wind didn't last too long and then weakened, just in time for the wind advisory to be posted, after the wind had passed, and in time for the rain to come again in showers ranging from misty to heavy at times. Ten minutes of perfectly timed rain was enough to wash out my daughter's first tennis match of the season. We have had some passing showers this evening, but it has only totaled .08" for the day so far, so nothing much to speak of with that. I think the moody side of spring showed itself today.


March 15, 10:30PM
We enjoyed the warmest day of the year today - a high of 69!! It felt great to be outside this afternoon. The sun was filtered most of the day, so not really a bright sun, but it did feel nice....

Now the change is on again. A cold front is on its way, bringing rain to our area by the middle of the day on Tuesday, followed by a cool trough near Vancouver Island that will give us breezy winds and showers into Wednesday. Tuesday certainly looks like it will be a lot different from today, but then more ridging and dry weather the rest of the week. The Ides of March were gentle on us today in the Northwest!


March 12, 10:10 pm
Well, another day that didn't really live up to expectations. As I expressed in the comment below, it didn't really pan out as I thought it may regarding a more stormy day with strong winds. At least in my neighborhood. We did get rain - .56" - and most of it occured in the dark of overnight, so it was a pretty good rain producer for a few hours. From midmorning on the rest of the day was pretty dry around here and the winds died down substantially after the late morning. Our high was 52 and the low this morning was 39.

March 11
A more typical January day today in western Washington - heavy overcast with low ceilings at times all day; steady but rather gentle rain through much of the day (totaling .34" so far) and cool - high of 46, low of 37 this morning. During the night last night the wind suddenly burst upon us with some strong SE gusts that rattled me awake, the highest was 32 mph, but the wind excitement didn't last too long and it calmed down.

The front that came in last night from the NW slowly sagged south over western Washington and stalled as it neared Oregon, so the rain kept up all through the day. Now a wave is developing along the southern edge of the stalled front that will move back NE, along with a surface low that will move north up the Washington coast on Friday. This will increase rain again overnight into Friday and the steep pressure gradients associated with the low will fill in from south to north through the day Friday, bringing strong winds to even the Puget Sound region during the midday hours. The mountains are getting quite a few inches of snow under a Winter Storm Warning - I think it is the most snow they have seen in quite a long time. So, Friday looks like a stormy day with rain and wind on the schedule. Spring has been set aside for the time being.

March 11
Sunrise: 6:29 AM --- Sunset: 6:08 PM (PST)
(gaining 3 min 27 sec tomorrow)

Updated: 6:42 AM GMT on March 20, 2010

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Cold Rain Maybe Snowflakes Ahead

By: PugetSoundPost, 4:38 AM GMT on March 10, 2010

March 10, 10 PM
After a cloudy start and only .10" rain overnight, the day cleared mostly out and we had a nice early spring day. Today was the first day that seemed to feel in sync with the calendar to me. Something about the sky - scattered puffy, benign cumulus covering over half the sky mixed with patches of blue, and the feel and look of the air really felt like a typical early spring day around here. The high was 53.

Now we are awaiting the next system and it is closing in on us, coming in from the NW. A deep low pressure associated with this is moving into SE Alaska, but the cold front is sliding south our way, with steep pressure gradients which will bring up the winds along the coast and north interior. We have a little breeze at the moment and the barometer is just beginning to fall, but ever so slightly. Tomorrow should be a rainy day for us, snow below the passes, and breezy. The front will move south and stall over western Washington and an interesting feature will be a wave forming over the front that will then move back north along the coast on Friday, causing an increase in rain and wind all over again. It appears to me to be something like being in a car wash where the wash mechanism moves from front to back over the car, then reverses and moves again from back to front over the same car. Looking forward to seeing how this all plays out.




March 9
A beautiful start to the day today as brief high pressure cleared the skies out overnight and this morning. Later clouds again gradually increased through the day, although they didn't seem very threatening and were slow to change. The low this morning dropped to a frosty 28 here and again the high was 51, but the majority of the day was spent in the 40's. Currently it is 39 at 8:00 PM.

A front is moving inland, but slowly and supposedly later tonight rain will push in this far. Heavier showers could mix snow down to the surface but no accumulation is expected outside of perhaps Hood Canal area. The front will pass before dawn tomorrow and then any idea of snow will just turn to cold rain showers until another brief ridge partially clears the skies for a few hours. I'm not expecting too much rain tonight. The next stronger system is heading in Wednesday night and lingering through Friday and again heavier showers could produce a rain/snow mix, or brief snow as the precipitation begins. The mountains could get a good dump of snow from this system and gusty winds could also be in the mix, as a deep low pressure is moving by offshore later this week. So, a cool and more active rest of the week seems to be shaping up for us.

March 9
Sunrise: 6:33 AM --- Sunset: 6:05 PM (PST)
(gaining 3 min. 28 sec tomorrow)

Updated: 5:57 AM GMT on March 11, 2010

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Northwest to Get Colder, Wetter

By: PugetSoundPost, 6:20 PM GMT on March 06, 2010

March 8, 9:30 PM
Snow flakes flew in various places today, but not here at home. You had to be in the right hit or miss place and I know of one place only a couple of miles from here, but no luck on our house. The forecast has flipped around over the last day or two, and now the chance of snow showers is back in the forecast for the next 24 hours, but it doesn't look like we will be so favored, however one never knows where the heaviest showers will drift over for sure. There isn't a lot of moisture in today's system, and one that is on the way for Tuesday is weakening and will have a hard time making it this far inland. But, if we do get under a heavy enough shower, it can pull cold air down with it and cause a brief snow shower.

Meanwhile, today was a quiet day, with a mix of clouds and sun. Early this afternoon the sun did come out rather brightly for awhile and that pushed the temperature up to our high of 51, but that warmth was short lived and is a misleading number for the day. Every time I looked at the temperature it was in the low to middle 40's for much of the day. Currently it is 33, our low so far today, and it should drop a few more degrees overnight, but a potential southerly breeze could develop overnight, limiting the temperature from falling too far, or may cause a little warm-up overnight, in advance of the next system making its way toward us tomorrow. The Cascades have a gentle blanket of fresh snow down to a low level on them today and they are pretty as I look across at them.

March 7, 10:15 pm
Our weather did change today - the clouds gradually thickened up, it was cooler, a little breeze picked up, and rain did start about 4:00 pm. It has never rained very hard but it has managed to tick .19" so far and even the light rain seems to be winding down for now, even though there is a Puget Sound convergence zone over a wide swath of north King and Snohomish counties. Our high today was 53.9 and the low this morning was 36, so a definite daytime change from yesterday's balmy day. It is currently 40.

But, the picture has changed for the coming week. Snow has disappeared from view, which is never a surprise here, and tomorrow doesn't look like it will be very wet. Possible showers but also periods of sunshine are expected on Monday. But it will be a much cooler day than we have grown accustomed to when the cold air mass coming down from the NW settles over us that is following today's front, expecting the highs to not make it out of the 40's. Another system is due in Tuesday, but as we have seen all winter, this one is splitting too, which will probably zap some of its energy for us, and the splitting is slowing it down, with most of the rain not reaching us until Tuesday evening. Beyond Tuesday the forecast seems to be quite hazy right now; the models are having trouble deciding what the end-of-the-week system is going to do, and the swing of possibilities makes a difference on some places getting heavy rain or ending up with very little. The way the season has gone, I would probably tend to favor the later solution as being how it will all play out. However, we shall see.


March 6, 10:20pm
We had a delightful day today to end our streak of above normal temperatures and sunny skies. Our high here was 62.8 and with abundant sunshine and no wind to speak of, it felt a lot nicer than some days earlier this week that were warmer. We got the yard mowed for the first time this year and spent time outside in short sleeves and now are set to drop back into winter! Colder air and a much more active pattern is set to move our way beginning tomorrow.

March 6

As I foreshadowed in this space yesterday, BIG changes are on the way to the Pacific Northwest! Today is the last day of our March Lamb weather for the next week, at least. It was cool (35) this morning but it is sunny and calm now (very light breeze from the north), for the remainder of the day. But changes are on the horizon. An upper trough currently out over the NE Pacific will send a cold front into western Washington on Sunday with rain developing for us by evening. The coldest air mass we have seen in perhaps months will push in from the NW behind the front on Monday, dropping our highs to maybe the mid 40's, and the unstable air mass will likely cause a Puget Sound Convergence Zone to develop from Seattle to Everett (we usually get in on this action)and there is a possibility of some local snowfall in the pscz by Monday afternoon and evening! I will not count on this at all at this point in time, but the threat seems to be developing, after being hinted that perhaps only the highest hills may see some snow in yesterday's forecast. At the least it looks like a big weather change is on its way. After Monday a series of fronts will roll in all week and the strongest rain maker appears set to arrive Thursday. The pattern is making its biggest change in many weeks.

We need to get our grass cut today for our first mowing of the year, and then it looks like spring will be put on hold for the coming week!

March 6
Sunrise: 6:39 AM ---- Sunset: 6:01 PM (PST)

Updated: 5:41 AM GMT on March 09, 2010

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In Like a Lamb in the Northwest

By: PugetSoundPost, 8:11 PM GMT on March 01, 2010

March 5, 5:45 PM
The day is winding down, but it has been a nice, early spring day. The sun was pleasant, filtering through some scattered and weak high cirrus, giving us a high temperature just after noon of 59. This morning's low was a crisp 37 - cooler than it has been for awhile. Unfortunately I was indoors all day cleaning out cupboards, but through the window it felt like spring. The bigger story is a change coming our way, beginning Sunday. More rain, but mainly much cooler weather is on the way! We could even run a few degrees below normal next week, which would really be a novelty! I'll update more on this tomorrow.

March 3, 8:50AM
A rather dreary looking start to this day, but it is dry, other than perhaps a stray drizzly drop. By surprise yesterday beat the heat record set the day before, by zipping up to 66! It was another mostly overcast day, with a front slowly approaching, but also the wind picked up to be breezy in the afternoon (high of 20) and this tamped down the warm air feeling (also, that high temperature did not last too long) and I was surprised to see how warm it had been. The rain finally came, but how lame it was - a total of .07" in the last 15 or so hours. We could see some sprinkles today, but they might be hard to spot.


March 2, 8:15AM
Yesterday, the 1st, proved to be our warmest day of the year so far - hit a high of 64.5! It was a lovely day, however the high overcast remained in place all day, so the sun was thinly veiled and to me the day did not seem as warm as the thermometer indicated. But it was a good day to throw open some windows for awhile and stand outside listening to the birds sing.



March 1:
March has arrived and it is certainly arriving very meekly, just as we would expect a lamb to do! There is a high overcast, just about even with the summit of Mt. Rainier so the rest of the Cascade crest is out in the clear, but not a bit of wind and a very pleasant 59 degrees as I write at nearly noon! It should easily make it into the 60's as we are leaving winter further behind in our wake.

We are under high pressure, with an easterly pressure gradient, so there is a possibility of easterly winds which would tend to push the temperature higher, but so far absolutely zero wind here today, but the cloud cover will dampen the temperatures just a bit too. This pleasant day will erode late today with a weakening cold front moving toward us from the SW, but only light rain is expected on Tuesday, and it will be a little cooler. This system is going to struggle to make it inland, battling splitting forces and an offshore flow. The timing of its arrival continues to be pushed back, so that doesn't bode well for much impact when/if it arrives. There is another chance of showers during the later half of the week, but the pattern doesn't really look conducive for this and I wouldn't be surprised if the idea is dropped soon. The upper flow continues to want to split any systems approaching us and is sending the strongest energy south into California. There is no reason to see this change in the next several days. A little fun fact from the NWS is that the average temperature at SeaTac airport for Feb. was .2 degrees cooler than January, something that has occured 14 times since 1945.

Here are monthly stats for February:

Average high for the month: 56.0
Average low for the month: 38.9
Highest temperature recorded: 62 (recorded on 2/6)
Lowest temperature recorded: 30 (recorded 2/18 and 22)
Highest wind for the month: 26 mph (2/4)
Rainiest Day: 0.40" (2/14)

Total Rain for February: 2.61"

March 1:
Sunrise: 6:49 AM ---- Sunset: 5:53 PM

Updated: 1:45 AM GMT on March 06, 2010

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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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