Puget Sound Post

Underway

By: PugetSoundPost, 3:03 AM GMT on January 07, 2014

January 31, 6:45 AM
Rainy Week

Just after I wrote on the 27th about the sun we had, the sun left and rain returned. And now I am a bit behind on that curve too. It is raining lightly right now and 40 degrees, but after this morning it will probably fade away and it looks like a drier, cooler, pattern is setting up going forward, with some chances of showers too in the days ahead.

Since the 28th we have received 1.42" rain, with well over an inch of that in one day. This rain coming so late in the month has boosted our monthly total up to a bit more respectable total - well over 4" now, but we are still behind the average.

Looking forward to the Super Bowl on Sunday!! It has been nice to have something in this area that EVERYONE can rally 'round and support and not the usual divisive topics that just aggravate. Seahawk Fever is running at a very high temperature right now and everyone, from big corporations to neighborhoods everywhere are getting in on the fun and spirit. I think this is a good thing that comes from this event and having our team participate. Just think of all those loud, crazy fans in the stands that you see on TV and spread that fever over the whole state! Go Hawks!!!





January 27, 7:30 AM
Sunny Spell

For most of the last week we have been under a welcome spell of sunshine! At least for part of the day anyway. Often starts with a foggy morning, just like this morning, but has been clearing into nice blue sunshine by afternoon. Today should do the same, but, it will be a last day of it in this run. Accordingly, the temperatures have warmed up too. We have been consistently hitting 50+ for several days in a row now. The most spectacular was late last week when we climbed all the way to 58! Very nice and I think gave everyone an early taste of Spring Fever, but only a passing taste, soon to be washed down by a return to rainy chances (actually we need this in our diet now!) and certainly more pervasively cloudy days. Oh well. Not even February yet.

Yesterday the three of us did a rather silly thing. It was a beautifully sunny afternoon and we haven't been particularly anywhere in a long while. So to "get out and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air", we took a drive up to Snoqualmie Pass in the Cascades. The summit is about an hour's drive for us. I've heard recently that while we here in the lowlands have been under a temperature inversion and so much fog, the mountains were gloriously bright and warm for much of that time. And, I mistakenly thought the sunshine yesterday was just all over western Washington. Should have dived deeper into WU before leaving. As we were approaching the summit, we could see a deep fog bank literally just at the mountain crest but not venturing any further west onto our side. As we got to the summit, we were in it. The fog was not low and dense - our visibility was fine - but it was hanging in the air higher up and certainly obscuring the mountain peaks. I was hoping for some great photo ops of the peaks with whatever snow they have and just some nice winter scenes. Instead it was back to the dreariness that we were sort of escaping, although not really, as it was quite sunny back home! And, it was much colder than somehow we expected too. Right around the Pass it was 24 degrees and hovered in that range the whole time we were exploring the area. We had lunch/dinner in a restaurant at the summit and then wandered around in our car, looking for open backroads and photo-worthy scenery. They were skiing at the summit. Apparently enough snow for that, but overall the snow totals in the mountains are really LOW for this time of year. If this snowpack doesn't improve, it looks like low water issues ahead by next summer for us.

We were unable to really find any roads to do much with. Many of the backroads are just closed and unmaintained (i.e. not plowed) for the winter, and the few that they do maintain are reserved for snowmobiles only, but the snow is so low (many of these roads are snow covered, but not very deep, and groomed) that it really does not look like it is worth any snowmobiler's effort or interest. There were just about none out on a prime winter Sunday afternoon. So without a snowmobile or skis, there wasn't a whole lot we could do (we would have ventured up those snowy roads if allowed) and we didn't have a lot of time anyway, needing to be at an evening meeting back home. It was mostly an adventure to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Ha. We inadvertently ended up back in the clouds and fog and should have stayed right at home to enjoy it, or gone another direction. Oh well, we have seen the mountains more up close for this winter.

I did take this photo yesterday. It is on the eastern side of the Pass and crest (the drier side), so a bit below where the heaviest snowfall would be at best. But, this is just down the road about a half mile from where they usually are doing so much snowmobiling. In a more typical year, this area would be under feet of snow. Not so far this year. It was better in other nearby areas, but still way below normal. This dry fall and winter is very evident in the mountains. Right after this photo we headed for home. Once we were a short ways down the western side we were back into sunshine. My best photo ops were of the late afternoon sun on the patchy snowy peaks along the interstate as we whizzed by. Not really a dream photographic outing. No place to stop and so no photos. Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. But it still was nice to get out of town a bit and see something different.








January 24, 7:45 AM

I wish there was more to write about regarding our weather! Not much is happening. Variations in the amount of fog/clouds and now a nice new spin is the addition of more sunshine in the afternoons. So I can write about that. We have had more sunshine lately that has been very pleasant. Yesterday was clear and brighter for much of the day and it reached 50 degrees for the first time in awhile. Today may be even a bit warmer. A pretty sunrise will be giving way to mostly sunshine sooner than usual. No rain till maybe next week. It has been such a long dry spell this winter. The days are noticeably lengthening and the sun has a bit more strength and brightness. We have moved a month away from the Solstice and it is noticeable now.

I am trying to get back into the swing of home projects that were pretty much put down when the holidays started rolling in, my son was leaving, etc. Things are a little more settled for the moment and I am getting back into sorting things and trying to eliminate "stuff". My first focus is on sorting down my Christmas decorations. I have too many and too many boxes, so I am taking the time now to go through them carefully and make meaningful decisions to lighten the load. This has been put off a few years and this time I don't want it to slide another year. It is some easier now as I look at it more objectively than I probably would in the height of the season. I'm more anxious now to just "get rid of stuff".

Oh, signs of spring are already appearing! My tulips are poking up out of the ground already. They won't bloom for a long while, but they are stirring. And the way time flies it really won't be "long" and they will be displaying their pretty little faces.



January 18, 12:40 PM

A cloudy day but the sun is trying to break through a bit. There is less fog today, sure has been foggy lately. That is kind of the theme of this season. So far that has been our only real weather "activity" this fall/winter. In honor of that, I will put up a photo I took yesterday. My son and I took a little trip through the countryside yesterday later afternoon. We followed along the Snoqualmie River, in the fog. It was dense fog in places, yikes. And cold and drippy standing out in it. Very January.




My oldest son is gone now; he safely made it to Nicaragua, although we have heard only that he made it and no details. He has a lot of work cut out for him ahead. Life is already different around here, even though he has been gone a lot (in and out, including trips) from the house for a long time. But a whole new mindset for me.



January 13, 7:20 AM
Changes Again, and Some Are Big


The weather pattern did change and rain came in. We did have a few wet days and one that was extra stormy, on Saturday. Anyone who saw the Seahawks game on Saturday got a glimpse of it. We had an inch of rain that day and a lot of gusty winds, along with at least one nearby thunder clap. Since last Tuesday we have received 2.39" rain, with a good portion of that coming on Saturday. Now we are heading into another drier pattern for the rest of the week. I am thinking that January is going to come in below normal for rain, continuing the string of months since October that have been this way. A persistent ridge of high pressure offshore is really bottlenecking us.

A very busy week ahead as my oldest is leaving us for a year+. And, not in a small way. He is moving down to Nicaragua! It is time for him to do something like this and move beyond our house (he has been busy with things forever, but always living here) but funny how after this long wait, it isn't a move across town. He will be managing a missions project for our church in a small village. It is more of an administrative position, being the "man on the ground" there to coordinate the transition of control of a school we (our church) started several years ago, among other things, to local control. The challenges are great but he has a skill set that matches the task and this is a good opportunity for him. It is an exciting time and also that crazy time of saying good-bye and also making sure he takes the right things and is ready to go. I am feeling like we are behind and need about one more week that we don't have. He leaves Thursday night. He just got $600 worth of shots on Friday! And yesterday I had the whole family of our kids and SIL gather (7 of us) for a studio family photo to be taken. I can see that getting us all together in one place again could well be years away - others are beginning to scatter widely in a few months too. So, for today and the next couple, a lot to do around here.



January 8, 7 AM

Changing Pattern

Anticipating a pick-up in the weather activity beginning today on through the next several days. The offshore ridge that has kept us dry and dull for so much of fall/winter has temporarily moved east, so the door has opened for westward moving systems to zip in off the ocean and over Washington. We need to take advantage while we can.

We started it all yesterday with that half inch of rain, but tonight a stronger, windier front will come ashore. Then another one, although weaker than tonight's, will arrive tomorrow, then Friday into Saturday looks to possibly feature the strongest of the bunch, with a deep low pressure making landfall along the coast at some point in our greater region. Exactly where will make big differences on the impact we have, but it looks like wind and rain are coming.

I will add a recap of our 2013 weather into this section, before more time passes and it fades further behind us. It is funny how quickly the old year becomes "so last year". Here are a few highlights from my data collection on the year:

2013 In Review:

Highest Temperature: 94 (Sept 11)
Lowest Temperature: 15 (Dec 7 and 8)
Wettest Month: January (6.27" rain)
Driest Month: July (.02")

Total Snow for 2013: 2.75"
Total Rain for 2013: 32.79"

Just to compare rainfall totals, here are the yearly totals for the past few years:

2013: 32.79"
2012: 49.13"
2011: 34.82
2010: 43.85"
2009: 37.19"
2008: 30.99"

2013 was second driest during this stretch of years. Quite a swing from last year! It did feel pretty dry this year, with long stretches of really nothing. At this time of year we always wonder what will this new year bring? We just don't know, and often that is a good thing.




January 6, 7 pm

The second week of the new year is upon us and so I'd say that 2014 is well underway. Life is returning to some normalcy for anyone with kids. Although mine are beginning to fade from the school calendar leash, I do have two starting winter quarter at university today. Only two quarters to go for one of them, two+ years left for the other. Mr. PSP returned to work today after an extended break and it has been a busy one. We accomplished a lot over the last 2-3 weeks at home on a lot of different things. Some highlights include purchasing a new sofa set for our living room! The old set was 17 years old and well worn! It is so wonderful to have something new! And it reclines - figured at this point of life something comfortable and practical is just what the doctor ordered. Of course bringing in the new set required us to clean our carpet too - something we waffled a bit on wondering if we had enough time, etc, but once the old set was out, the carpet was screaming to be cleaned. By then it was the very last minute, so we rented a machine and did it ourselves. With all of this, plus putting away Christmas decorations, the house has been torn up and disorganized lately. It is better now, but not really finished. I think I need a new boost of energy to tackle the rest, perhaps tomorrow. I think all of the holidays, projects and off-kilter schedules have caught up to me and today has been a bit slow for us.

Does anyone out there watch Downton Abbey? We do and were happy to have the new season kick off last night. A nice break and change of pace for something fun to watch that makes you care and be interested.

The weather has not been anything much to write about. Another spell of fogginess last week, giving way to cloudiness, then sunshine over the weekend, which gave way to quite frosty mornings. Now rain is on the way for the rest of the week, at times, but it doesn't sound like too much excitement with it. Today has had increasing clouds and it has been chilly. The high was 40 but during a mid afternoon walk with my neighbor it was in the upper 30's. The dark and chilly air surely does feel like winter. It is well underway.

December in Review:

Average High: 42
Average Low: 31
Coldest Temperature: 15 (Dec 7th and 8th)
Coldest High Temperature: 32 (7th)
Warmest High Temperature: 53 (1st and 23rd)
Wettest Day: Dec 22 (.50")
Days of Measurable Precip: 17

Total Snow: 1" (20th)
Total Rain for December: 2.03"


January 6

Sunrise: 7:56 AM --- Sunset: 4:33 PM (PST)
(gaining 1 min 25 sec tomorrow)

Updated: 2:47 PM GMT on January 31, 2014

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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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