Puget Sound Post

Subtle Season Shift

By: PugetSoundPost, 12:05 AM GMT on August 23, 2010

August 31, 11 PM

A stormy day here in western Washington today. It has rained pretty much all day and so far totaled .81" and it has been in the 50's all day as well - a high of 58. A breezy wind, with a high of 20 mph, but it has stayed in the teens a lot of the time all day through this evening. A pretty potent system for this time of year. Fall is really rolling in with a stout announcement.



August 31, 10 AM

A true northwest morning today - socked in with steady rain, too-cool for August (is it still August?),and breezy. Currently at nearly 10 AM we are still at 52 degrees, have received .30" rain since it began around dawn, and can't see far out the windows, between the very low dense clouds and steady rain blurring the air and windows. Into this soup my daughter took off about an hour and a half ago, heading for India! A big adventure for her and the end of summer for us here at home.

August 28, 9:40 PM

This afternoon I decided to "officially" call ourselves to be now into Early Fall. Even though the sun did come out this afternoon and it was quite pleasant, and in spite of a couple previous days having little or no sun, and even some light rain, for some reason this afternoon for the first time really struck me as feeling like fall is beginning to settle in. The temperatures are starting to reflect this a little bit too. The high today was just 72, even with a mostly sunny afternoon,(but it remained in the 50's for much of the morning under a cloudy sky) and the low this mornng was 47, our lowest so far. There was a little chill in the air outside early this morning - a definite change from "summer mornings".

But, as we contemplate the end of summer here in the Pacific Northwest, we are at the same time preparing to send our daughter to southern India in three more days. What a change she will be in for! Hot and steamy will sum it up! Heat indexes well over 100 degrees and such high humidity! It is hard to imagine as I sit here this evening, after a nearly sight-unseen summer for us (with a few exceptions - our summer of Big Swings)and look toward the next season approaching.

August 26, 9:45 PM

Big Change today! It was a little later coming than expected, but once the clouds started rolling in, they came fast. Sunrise this morning was a bright blue and warm sky, but by midmorning clouds were coming in rather quickly and soon light rain began. The temperature fell dramatically and the rest of the day was in the upper 50's for the most part, with a low ceiling and off and on light rain. It only totaled .07" for us (much more just a little north of us) so not a soaker but a nice little rainy August day.

After the last few days of high 80's and sun (high of 89 yesterday) this was quite a adjustment. We had better get used to it, since this pattern is set to remain over the weekend and continued well below normal temperatures.


August 24, 10 PM
Enjoy Wednesday's sunshine and warmth!

A really nice day today - clear sunshine and oh, so warm! As predicted, we did warm up dramatically since I last wrote - up to 86 today! It was a wonderful day to just be outside and think summertime thoughts.

BUT, it isn't going to last, and now we are looking at another very dramatic downward swing, beginning with the first signs as early as maybe tomorrow afternoon. Wednesday should warm up and be a very nice day again - probably into the 80's - but the thermal trough that has been over western Washington will be moving east of the Cascades by tomorrow afternoon, and the flow will reverse. From offshore (thus our warmth), to onshore and the westerly pressure gradients will be ramping up by Wednesday evening to push a lot of cooler marine air over the area. We will be much cooler by tomorrow evening and by Thursday it will be a very different weather scenario. In fact, a deep-for-late-August upper trough will arrive by Thursday and there is a decent chance of showers and temperatures running 25 or so degrees cooler than today and maybe the high for tomorrow too. This pattern will stick around for a few days at least. Summer as we love it is on its way out for now and as each day passes, the chances for a grand return narrow.

August 22, 5:00 pm

The seasonal weather pattern seems to be beginning to undergo a small shift for the Northwest. The high heat we experienced early last week abruptly broke (they always do around here) and the weather has been "different" ever since. The onset of typical summer marine layer away from the brighter and hotter sunny days signaled the change in a big way, but there are other signs too. The clouds are holding the temperatures down, but it does still want to pop up if the sun does make it out from behind the clouds. The last few days have been running in the middle 70's for highs, but it usually occurs in the middle to late afternoon. The lows are beginning to take a dip we aren't as accustomed to for many weeks - two nights ago the low sagged down into the 40's for the first time in a long time (low of 48).

And, rain is creeping back onto the scene - drifting in on cat's paws. Over the past very few days we have had some light rain in short episodes, barely perceptible and not even registering measurement, but now overnight last night and this morning, a bit stronger trough moved through, so far dropping .06" rain. Not much by anyone's standards, but it feels like a start. The clouds have lingered all day, with some sunbreaks, only allowing a high of 74, however mainly in the 60's today. This is not some kind of summer shower rain, but the clouds and sky have a more quietly somber look that portends more of the same will be following before too much time passes.

Even so, we are expected to rebound some over the next three days as high pressure again rebuilds, bringing warmer and sunnier days - could reach the 80's again by Tuesday/Wednesday, so all is not lost, or changed forever. But, in my opinion, the subtle early shift of seasons is underway, and is further evidenced by the forecast for the end of the coming week showing much cooler again, showers possible over several days as a stronger upper trough approaches, and we will again swing to below normal temperatures.

August 22
Sunrise: 6:13 AM --- Sunset: 8:08 PM (PDT)
(losing 3 min, 13 seconds tomorrow)

Updated: 6:17 AM GMT on September 01, 2010

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NW Heat Wave and Back Home Again

By: PugetSoundPost, 7:11 PM GMT on August 14, 2010

August 18, 9:15 AM

The heat wave has broken - it started eroding in earnest late last evening. The wind shifted to the southwest and the big marine push was underway. The trough that had been offshore for several days had slowly moved east. Breezy winds were bringing in much cooler air and this morning the marine layer is in place overhead and likely to stay for some time. It is currently 60 at mid morning. No sun so far and so very different than the last several mornings.

Yesterday, Tuesday, did end up to be another hot day and it topped out at 93 again; warmer than had been forecast. Yesterday was our 4th day in a row with highs above 90 - a nice little spell of summer. My son leaves for a month in Ecuador tonight, so the cooler, cloudier day may make the packing easier.



August 17, 7:00 AM

Another bright sunny morning today! We need to hurry and enjoy it, because tomorrow won't look the same. Today is our last very nice day, but even today should be cooler than it has been, which may make it the nicest day of all! Yesterday was cooler than Sunday. Our high on Monday was 93. Today is expected to stay in the 80's. Then the marine push will really start to kick in, and by tomorrow morning our familiar marine layer should be taking its usual spot in our skies. The change from then on will be dramatic, as in just another couple of days we should fall to below average temperatures again. So, have to get out and enjoy today!


August 15, 10:40 PM
Our high temperature today at home was 99.0. A very hot day for Puget Sound! It is still in the 70's at this late evening hour. It has been nice to sit outside this evening - the house is too hot.



August 15, 8:15 AM

It is HOT! Our heat wave continues today and it is expected to perhaps end up hotter than even yesterday - when our high at home was 96! The area is under an Excessive Heat Warning until late tomorrow. Currently it is 71 at 8 AM, which for us indicates a very hot day ahead. Since nearly no houses around here have A/C, it is always a challenge to "beat the heat" when it does happen. As an ironic twist, we currently have no hot water! We have to wait until Monday to be able to rectify the problem, in spite of a guy being here yesterday. So, we are pretty much "camping" at home and 'enjoying' the extremes of hot and cold!

August 14

The heat is moving to the Northwest! A heat wave is upon us now and we are under a heat advisory through Monday. Temperatures across western Washington should easily reach into the 90's for the next three days or so, and although we usually have a short spell of this each summer, we are not really used to it or prepared too well. So, we will just muddle through and enjoy the rather rare heat! Currently at noon it is 92 here at home.

A strong upper level ridge just off the coast, as well as a low level thermally induced low at the coast, is allowing dry offshore flow to bring the hot continental air to the east over the mountains to really heat us up here on the west side. "Perfect" conditions for wild fire is also setting up, so that is something to watch out for, even here in western Washington.

We (with 3 of our kids) have just returned from a great trip to Stehekin, at the northern tip of 50 mile long Lake Chelan and in a remote corner of North Cascades National Park. It is only accessible by boat (a passenger only ferry from Chelan) or float plane (we took the boat) and is a wonderful, but remote, tiny little village situated on the cliffs and shore of Lake Chelan in the North Cascades. We had a great time on short hikes, renting bicycles and biking through the Stehekin Valley (watched a bear next to the gravel road), enjoying the wild Stehekin River, and watching the meteor shower in the terrifically clear and bright mountain sky. At times we saw 2-4 meteors nearly at the same time! It was hot (about 90) but dry and with the forest shade, it was a tolerable heat to be out and active in. Wonderful trip!

August 14
Sunrise: 6:03 AM --- Sunset: 8:22 PM (PDT)
(losing 3 min. 4 sec. tomorrow)

Updated: 4:15 PM GMT on August 18, 2010

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Back Home

By: PugetSoundPost, 3:10 PM GMT on August 02, 2010

August 9, 11 pm
We are in the midst of a cloudy and cool spell. Since Saturday we have received .30" rain, in light showers, some longer lasting than others, and the sun has not really appeared in lasting measure since last Thursday. It looks like more of the same tomorrow (Tuesday) and then perhaps some warming and clearing later in the week. We are running below normal for temp - about 70, a couple days ago it stayed in the middle 60's for a high. Seafair this year was rather bombed out by the weather, but it didn't deter everyone. Evening is settling over us noticeably earlier now, and another sign that summer is beginning to quietly fade. We are heading east of the mountains tomorrow and hope for some nice warm sunshine!



August 5, 7:15 AM

An uncharacteristically humid morning here today. It has been uncomfortably so all night. Currently 91%/63 degrees as given by WU nearby. A risk of thunderstorms is in the air, and the sky has that "look" but the main threat is a bit east of us, in the Cascades. We did have some sprinkles fall earlier this morning. The past two days have been nice - less morning marine layer and very nice afternoons - highs in the mid 80's. Today will probably be the end of this nice spell. By Friday the tables will start to turn - more marine push,the weekend likely won't break out of the clouds, and highs only in the 60's. Seattle's BIG summer event this weekend - Seafair (featuring shows by the Blue Angels and also hydroplane races) doesn't look like it will cause a major rush to buy sunscreen.




August 2

I've left the delightful tropical breezes and sun of Hawaii and am now back home in the good ol' Pacific Northwest. It was a wonderful two weeks that so unexpectedly came - and so enjoyable to spend time in the sun, surf, and sand; as well as on the vibrant sidewalks of Waikiki. We were able to carve out some time away from work for my husband so that we could do a couple of extended things - including a nice drive around Oahu, beach-hopping between picture postcard Hawaiian beaches, and also a full day of snorkeling in Hanauma Bay. I managed to control most sunburning that day (did much better this time than 4 years ago!) but, alas, was not completely successful. But, snorkeling among the fish and sea turtles is an amazing and wondrous experience! I had hoped to post more photos while there, but a variety of computer issues made it hard and it didn't happen as planned. On our last morning we also quickly made the hike up to the top of Diamond Head and the view from there was spectacular! But, all things end, and now we are home. I still must fully unpack and catch up on the house and pick up the life I so abruptly left in the middle of July, and now it is August. Hard to believe.

The weather here was not very inspiring to return to. So far it is especially disheartening because this is the center of what is typically our best weeks of summer. The last part of July and first part of August are what can usually be counted on the most to be the most reliably sunny and clear days of the year. But since our return, all we have really seen is clouds and gloom. The marine layer is heavy and pronounced each morning, with some afternoon clearing. Yesterday, however, was a strange day. It appeared to be cloudy all day, but in reality we were just under a heavy smoke haze from wildfires in both British Columbia and eastern Washington. The sun burned a golden glow all day that cast a rather eerie light, and by late afternoon it was just a red ball in the sky. The haze was thick and never cleared, reducing distant visibility greatly, so the day was strangely muted. This morning features the marine layer again and the rest of the week looks the same. Highs in the mid 70's are forecast.

August 2
Sunrise: 5:47 AM ---Sunset: 8:41 PM (PDT)
(losing 2 min. 44 sec. tomorrow)


July in Review:

Average High Temp: 79
Average Low Temp: 54
Highest Temp: 96 degrees on July 8
Coolest Low Temp: 48 degrees on July 6
Coolest High Temp: 65 on July 12
Highest Wind Speed: 15 mph on July 21
Days above 90 degrees: 4 (the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 26th)
Wettest Day: .33" rain on July 12

Total rain for the month: .45"

A big thank you to my daughter for keeping the weather data recorded at home while I was away!

Updated: 5:55 AM GMT on August 10, 2010

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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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