Moving Forward

By: PugetSoundPost , 4:32 PM GMT on January 05, 2012

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January 10, 8:00 pm
Cool Sunshine

The first sunshine in awhile graced our land today, but in spite of that, the pattern is beginning to change a bit again. Cooler weather is here and more could be on the way. Our high today was 47 at noon, but it cooled off pretty rapidly through the afternoon under the clear skies. This evening it is down to 34 right now, our coldest in some time.

The forecast is starting to bite off a bit on the idea that this blog has talked about a little bit lately - colder and chances of snow coming in about a week. Can't tell right now for sure how that will turn out, but our first threat of snow of the season could be starting to shape up. Something to keep our eyes on!

January 9, 9 AM
Review of 2011

We are awaiting rain today, and while it is overcast, rain does not look too imminent. The last few days have been cloudy, but dry, and rather dull in personality.

Sorry it has taken longer than expected, but I will finally give a little summary of 2011 from my perspective:

2011 In Review

Total Rain for 2011: 34.82"
Total Rain for 2010: 43.85"
Total Rain for 2009: 37.19"
Total Rain for 2008: 30.99"

Wettest Month for 2011: March (5.78")
Driest Month for 2011: August (.17")
Hottest Temperature in 2011: 92 degrees (Aug. 21)
Coldest Temperature in 2011: 19 degrees (Feb. 26)
Total Snow for 2011: about 3 inches, occuring in Feb. (about 5 inches in 2010)

The year was officially a La Nina year, which would be expected to bring more rain and cooler temperatures to us. However, the year was the second driest of the past four years (not much of a statistical sample, I agree) and not as cool overall as the year before. We had no real "cold snaps", other than a brief but unspectacular one in late February. The cooler temperatures seemed to mostly plague spring and summer. In many people's minds, summer failed to arrive this year. Rain did begin to fall as spring was arriving (March our wettest month) and held on too long into the summer. Our gardens struggled through the growing season due to too many clouds, too cool of temperatures and too damp for too long. The summer we did have arrived too late as well - September was a lovely month, but by then fall is in the air a bit gardens are "done" and vacation time is over for many of us. A switch seemed to be thrown at that point and while November brought an expected uptick in rain (5.09" as our second wettest month), for the most part fall and winter have not really produced much either. Very little in the way of "storms" and long dry stretches. December was cool, but way too dry for our good, flirting with setting dry records. Since this is again another La Nina year, we can maybe expect another wet/cool spring. I don't think anyone really looks forward to that prospect again.

January 5

January and the New Year are well underway now. I imagine that most of us are happy to be moving forward into seemingly uncharted land after life being "suspended" for the past many holiday weeks. The last couple months of the year always seem somewhat surreal. Most of our activities and focus seems to be holiday centered - special events, holiday prep of various sorts, get-togethers with others, often with people we may not see too much of otherwise, schedules we aren't used to, and more mundane, routine tasks being put off until "after the holidays". It is all fun and good while it is here, but I think we all reach a point where we suddenly feel like it is "enough". Time to put it all away for another year and we look forward to resuming our lives and ruts and moving on over the horizon to see what may lie there for us.

I am still in that process of leaving the old behind and moving forward. It has been a busy time with much going on. Christmas, but also many family activities, wedding planning, and getting the college kids back to school and settled; especially my oldest daughter who lives off campus and is so busy with life, and starting her second quarter of nursing school. I helped my mom get her Christmas stored away for another year, and now am onto my own. Progress has been made and I am happy with that, but a couple more days will be needed to finish restoring order around the house. But it does feel nice to be moving forward!

Weather-wise it has all seemed rather odd over the last many weeks. December was a weird month, basically. We did not get anywhere near the rain we should have. Only 1.83" fell for us; way below normal. For the first 2-3 weeks we had virtually no rain, but frosty fog (which at least was something happening), and just about no wind at all. We were on pace for the driest December ever, but a late surge of rain allowed us to avoid that record, but not by much. By contrast, on Christmas Day the wind did decide to blow and we recorded our highest wind in a long time - only 38 mph, but it, plus the higher winds around us were enough to cause numerous power outages that day, but not for us.

January has begun a bit more normally, however now it is running warmer than normal. We have had each day of January so far top out in the 50's, including a whopping 56 on the 1st. Rain has returned a bit better and so far we already have 1.08" rain this month - feels torential after that dismal rain production in December, which should be one of our wettest months of the year. Yesterday felt more on track for the times. It looked like Janaury ought to - a long fetch of steady rain socked us in for most of the day - .60" total - and the wind did rise again, up to 25 mph and a blustery evening. Felt nice. We need it - for nature and the water we need, and also for our souls to feel right with the world, even for only that day.

Nothing dramatic appears to be anywhere in view for weather for us. The first primroses are for sale in the nurseries. At this rate, spring doesn't seem too far-fetched. Could change.


Average High: 44
Average Low: 32
Highest Temperature: 53 (12/28)
Lowest Temperature: 25 (12/13)
Lowest High Temperature: 38 (12/12)
Wettest Day: Dec. 27 (.44")
Highest Wind: 38 mph (12/25)
Days of Measurable Rain: 20

Total Rain for December: 1.83"

Note:A comment about the days of rain: of the 20 days listed above, six of them were fog induced - enough fog to measure .01" in the bucket. Not really rain. And a few other days were barely above the .01, so really there were very few "rainy days". Usually in December it is hard to find a day when rain was not measured at all. Officially, normal rainfall in December is well over 5 inches for Seattle, and often it realizes a lot more than that. Soon I will add some comments about 2011 as a whole, but this is enough to digest for today.

Sunrise: 7:56 AM --- Sunset: 4:31 PM (PST)
(gaining 1 min. 19 sec. tomorrow)

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7. polarbytes
3:09 PM GMT on January 09, 2012
PSP, had a phone conversation with my brother in Portland yesterday. He's no lover of snow and cold so he is just elated with the recent dry and warm winter, so far. I put him in his place by telling him that his time was coming, maybe by the middle of this month or at the end? And I see today that you guys have cooled down to a more normal temp as has Portland. We are currently very cold, but after yesterdays major dump of snow, clear for at least the next day, but more snow is on the way for the middle of the week. BTW, Valdez now has 88" of snow on the ground, and some of the mountain passes have nearly 200" of snow on the gound and over 550" so far this winter. I know your mts could use a little bit of that so here's hoping. Anyway, enjoy your week.
Member Since: February 10, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 108
6. PugetSoundPost
5:42 PM GMT on January 07, 2012
Thanks for coming by Polar! I always enjoy hearing from you! Thanks for the possible head's-up on a possible pattern change. We need one! I have kind of been waiting/wondering if "the other shoe would drop" sometime before long. Actually just yesterday I saw some whispers of a possible cold air intrusion for us coming in the long range world. But at this time it was too inconclusive for the forecasters to elaborate much on. A shot of cold air would be a nice change and a welcome bit of winter for us. It sounds like you are really getting hammered and a true Alaska winter! Stay warm and dry!
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 196 Comments: 1093
5. PugetSoundPost
5:26 PM GMT on January 07, 2012
Thanks, Briar, for the nice comments and thoughts. Yesterday was a great day of progress on my tasks around the house. One son is in Canada and everyone else cleared out early, so I was able to get started early and was determined to work hard. Our house is pretty much returned to "normal" now, the Christmas linen laundry is done, my little Christmas village scene in a bay windowsill has "moved forward" into a January snow scene that I will keep up for a few weeks, bills are caught up, and some little-bit-better than "lick and a promise" house cleaning has been done, in places. Not all of this was done just yesterday, but I sure wish that every day was as productive as yesterday was!

It is drizzly here this morning and I guess more of a rain may be in store for later today. It has cooled - only 38 right now and I am ok with that.

Hi Cal! Wedding dress shopping is complete! My daughter picked out a dress over break. My two daughters and I only went to two shops, and one of them twice, and since she saw very nearly the same dress in both shops and loved them each time, the choice was made - and to top it off, it was $300 cheaper in the second shop, so that was wonderful too. The dress was a big goal for over break, since her time is so limited we were determined to find something, which was hard to work in amongst all the Christmas festivities. It is very good that we did get that done, as she likely won't have it in her possession until August!! Wow! What a long process - a long order process then alterations. Actually that wasn't too surprising and this caused us to hurry and find a dress. Now this afternoon I am going out with the bride and groom and photographer shop! Oh! The wedding is Sept. 1, so the dress will be ready none too soon!
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 196 Comments: 1093
4. polarbytes
3:20 PM GMT on January 07, 2012
Enjoy your respite because things might be changing for you by the middle of the month, at least if what the weather service is telling us up here. We are supposed to be starting a regime change by then with a return to more dry and warmer conditions. I can tell you that the last half of dec and the first part of Jan, things have been wild and wooly! Very cold,
-55 in some parts of the state and more snow than can be shoveled in other parts. Snowing again here and 4 above after an ovenight low of -9. Forcast is for 6-12 inches by tomorrow morning. With much more in Valdez and Cordova where they have had record snowfall.
Member Since: February 10, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 108
3. calpoppy
3:33 AM GMT on January 07, 2012
How is the wedding dress shopping going? It can be both fun and frustrating. :)
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 70 Comments: 4619
2. BriarCraft
12:14 AM GMT on January 07, 2012
Nice blog entry. It's nice to know where your head is at and what you've been up to. It helps us get to know you better and that's always interesting. Good weather commentary, too. And I'll look forward to your planned comments about 2011.

Weather here today has just been a calm, steady mist/drizzle (a bit more than mist, but not really qualifying as drizzle), but enough so that the cats have stayed inside since completing their morning inspection outdoors.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4696
1. WatchinTheSky
9:22 PM GMT on January 05, 2012
Hi PSP! It looks like you have a day or so before the next wave comes in. I have let go of the notion that we might get a wet winter like last, summers are not quite as nice as the weather we are into now. Afternoons are mostly 80s and the humidity is way down, generally in the 20-30% range because of the high pressure and slight easterly flow. It's messing up my cleanup plans for the backyard, the 'soil' in my yard turns very hard when dried out - not good for weeding or cultivating.

Sounds like lots of nice events coming up for you this year - here's hoping you smooth sailing!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 143 Comments: 2985

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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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