Puget Sound Post

New Year Rain

By: PugetSoundPost, 4:46 AM GMT on December 31, 2009

Not much weather action this week so far... at least the clouds came back in which is a step closer to something happening. We had some weak sprinkles last evening that barely registered, and this evening a little breeze has come up. The high today was 49 and the low this morning was 37. We are still under two inches of rain total for the whole month, which is amazing!

We are looking forward to something a little stronger on New Years Eve and Friday, perhaps. A warm front is spinning up from the Oregon-Calif border area and should come north across western Washington on Thursday afternoon and evening, weakening as it approaches. El Nino is kicking in and we are in the middle of its typical split flow; the southern branch aimed toward northern California and the northern branch flowing into central Canada. So that leaves us in the middle and in limbo. We should see rain over the New Years holiday, however. And, on Friday into Saturday we should see more showers and breezy winds when a dying low pressure moves across our north from over Vancouver Island. The mountains should accumulate some new snow over the next couple of days, but the amounts are in question, given the weakening of each system coming our way. The extended forecast is calling for mild and lighter than normal precipitation to be in our plans. The year 2009 seems to be slipping out with little fanfare.

Happy New Year everyone! May 2010 be a wonderful year!

December 30:
Sunrise: 7:57 AM --- Sunset: 4:25 PM (PST)


Rain and Clouds Making a Return

By: PugetSoundPost, 6:38 AM GMT on December 28, 2009

Our clear and bright days are coming to an end this evening. Christmas Day was cool but very bright and sunny! Clouds are now slowly coming up from the south and with them comes the chance for light rain through Monday. Southwest Washington is already getting some freezing rain from this, with the cold air that has been trapped at the surface for many days under warmer air aloft freezing the rain as it descends. It doesn't appear that we will get freezing rain here in the central Sound area, since it is still clear and as I write it is 36, but they are creeping the forecast for it further north than expected. The system that is slowly coming is quite weak and not much rain is expected. A little stronger system is headed in on Tuesday, followed by an even stronger system late this week, but none sound like they will be too out of the ordinary for late December. Basically the weather has really petered out for us.

The last several days have brought us a lot of sunshine, under the influence of a strong ridge that has moved east, and wide swings in temperature, from a frosty low of 27 one morning to a high of 54 yesterday, all dependent on how much mixing down of the warm air aloft (a strong temperature inversion has dominated the region since before Christmas) we got when the easterly breezes popped up over the weekend. I have to say that I am not too sad to see the sunshine depart for awhile and to have the rain return. This is the season for rain and clouds and December has proven to be mighty sparse for both so far! The sunshine has been nice to get out in, we had a nice walk in a park yesterday, but it feels very out of sync with December expectations!

December 27
Sunrise:7:57 AM --- Sunset:4:23 PM (PST)


Christmas Week - Calm and Bright

By: PugetSoundPost, 9:20 AM GMT on December 23, 2009

Thursday, December 24
A beautiful Christmas Eve sunrise to start the morning perfectly. There are patches of fog in the lower valleys, but the sky is wonderfully clear and bright. We had a low of 29 this morning and it should climb into the 40's later today. There may be fog again tonight, but it doesn't appear to be thick or widespread in this area. Rudolph probably won't be needed for us!

We are under an Air Stagnation Advisory, however, with the warmer temperatures aloft in the inversion we are under trapping the cooler air, along with any smoke, etc, at the surface. On Friday there may be a little mixing when easterly winds through the mountain gaps may stir the atmosphere a bit.

Merry Christmas to everyone and God's blessings to you and yours!

Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright,
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child.
Holy Infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Silent night, holy night!
Son of God, love's pure light,
Radiant beams from thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at they birth.

Wednesday, December 23
Christmas is just two days away and our weather is making a nice turn toward at least being chilly, even if it won't be white! We received about a half inch of rain out of a system that went through on Monday lingering into Tuesday, but now it appears we are going to be drying out again with not much precipitation in our near future. A ridge is set to build over western Washington and that will clear out the skies some, along with easterly offshore flow bringing in even cooler air over the next day or so, it will chill down into the 20's at night and perhaps only the 30's to about 40 for much of the rest of the week. The ridge will bring warmer temperatures higher up, creating an inversion, which will enhance the chance of fog in the valleys in the stagnant air. This scenario can also produce strong easterly gap winds through the Cascades, which mainly affects the foothill towns, so we will see if this happens or not. Nothing much seems to be brewing weather-wise in the extended period, so Christmas week should be calm and bright for the most part! Tuesday's High:42, Low:33.

December 23:
Sunrise: 7:55 AM ---Sunset: 4:20 PM (PST)

"Good King Wenceslas looked out, On the feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, Deep and crisp and even,
Brightly shone the moon that night, Though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, Gathering winter fuel

'Bring me flesh, and bring me wine, Bring me pine logs hither;
Thou and I shall see him dine, When we bear them thither'
Page and monarch, forth they went, Forth they went together;
Through the rude wind's wild lament, And the bitter weather.

'Sire, the night is darker now, And the wind grows stronger,
Fails my heart I know not how; I can go no longer,'
'Mark my foot steps, my good page, Tread thou in them boldly;
Thou shalt find the winter's rage Freeze thy blood less coldly.'

In his master's steps he trod, Where the snow lay dinted;
Heat was in the very sod Which the Saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure, Wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor, Shall yourselves find blessing."

Updated: 4:21 PM GMT on December 24, 2009


Rain - Back to Normal!

By: PugetSoundPost, 5:05 PM GMT on December 14, 2009

Sunday, Dec. 20
It keeps getting warmer and warmer! Today's high was a balmy 56 and the low this morning was 44! It has been overcast all day, but the sun did peak out for a few minutes this afternoon. Light rain fell at times, but it seemed hard to notice. So far for the day we have accumulated .08" - not enough to hardly wet the ground. Tomorrow should be a little more active and I am looking forward to that. A cold front will slip in bringing an unstable air mass and colder air, thankfully. There will be a chance of snow or rain/snow mix Monday night or Tuesday, but it is not expected to make any impact. The convergence zone that will give anyone under it a better chance for snow may set up too far north to affect us, around the Snohomish/Skagit line. At any rate, it looks like showers on Monday and maybe into Tuesday, and breezier winds on Monday as well, which will be a relief from the doldrums we have been sailing in lately.

"O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, Your branches green delight us. They're green when summer days are bright; They're green when winter snow is white."

Saturday, Dec. 19
Gloom descended upon us today - a very murky day with drizzle, very low hanging overcast, and then rain, finally, this evening. Today felt like a December day. Our high temperature was 48, but that was recorded just before midnight last night, and the low was 43, so little temperature change with the stratus hanging not much higher than the tree tops all day. We have received .18" rain and just today we finally broke over one inch for the whole month! Wow! For the rest of the night we are expecting a warm front to finally push through coming up from Oregon, and then tomorrow the trailing cold front will give us more rain. A colder trough is developing for Monday, which could end up giving us a pretty low snow level Monday night - we will watch how this shapes up. So far the weather for most of the coming week is proving hard to pin down. On another note, we are very close to the extreme swing of the length- of- day pendulum. We are very close now to the shortest day and we will only lose 7 more seconds of daylight tomorrow.

"Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say, 'Rudolph with your nose so bright, won't you guide my sleigh tonight?'"

Thursday, Dec. 17
We had our 15 bean soup tonight, but I got a late start on simmering it and then everything ran late from then on, and I have to say it probably took longer than it was worth. Maybe it sort of matched the weather activity. The rain expected today has not arrived yet. The whole system seems to have slowed way down, and apparently is weakening. Now the rain is slated to move into the interior from the ocean sometime in the overnight hours, but I am not expecting too much from it. A very weak warm front moved by earlier this afternoon, but all I saw from that one was spotty light mist on the windshield, and an overcast day. This front overnight should do better than that. Friday looks showery as the front passes and leaves the area. The next bigger system will come in Saturday night. The warm weather is continuing. Our high today was 52 and the low this morning was 43. Cooler weather is coming.

"Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things"

Wednesday, Dec. 16:
I just started a pot of 15 bean soup to soak overnight to get started on tomorrow's dinner, and a bean soup sounds perfect on these rainy nights. There is a rainy breeze blowing the rain drops around this evening, but actually the rain is on its way out, heading east over the mountains. Overnight tonight and Thursday morning will see us between systems, but not for too long. Another round of rain is moving in on Thursday afternoon to spread across the region. It sure has warmed up and now we seem to be on the other extreme for temperatures. The high here today was 51 and the low was 42. We haven't seen 50 or above for quite a long time! We are all remarking about how warm it is outside! Our highest wind gust was 21 around noon and so far we have ticked .21" rain in the bucket today. The rain seemed more showery through the day than it did yesterday. Looking ahead, Friday and Saturday could possibly be dry days when another ridge sets up, followed by perhaps another warm front on Sunday. Overall the pattern is active but rather ordinary.

"Dashing through the snow, on a one-horse open sleigh"

Tuesday, Dec. 15:
Today was a typical day in December.It was dark gray all day and it did rain much of the time, although never heavy. Our high was 47 and the low was 36, so much warmer than last week. Between yesterday and today we have received .61" rain. More is coming the rest of the week.

"Christmas in the Northwest is a gift God wrapped in green"

Monday, Dec. 14
We are back to normal here in the central Puget Sound area. Dark, gray, heavy overcast, dreary, and wet! The rain has returned after a week of sunny but cold skies and that was a nice change to keep us on our toes, but now the last of the colder air is scouring out as westerly marine flow has taken over from the week of north breezes. The lowest temperature we recorded over the week was 15. The snow that was a possibility for us on Sunday never did materialize, other than some gentle light flakes in the morning. The greater Seattle lowland area was shadowed by the Olympics last night when we were supposed to get some snow, so as actually forecast several days prior then changed at the last minute incorrectly, it was areas north and south of us that got snow, leaving us in the donut hole middle. We had some very light rain and that was it.

Now today a traditional Pacific warm front is moving in and it will bring steadier rain (as opposed to the drippiness occuring this morning) later this afternoon into tomorrow, when the front actually passes. Another system will hit us Wednesday into Thursday. After today, still chilly (30's) with the remnant cold air, the highs will climb back into their accustomed 40's and the winds will pick up beginning tonight as well, but only as breezy conditions. Some areas, like Hood Canal, are expecting several inches of snow this morning, before they turn to rain eventually, and the mountains are getting heavy snow amounts. The dark days of the week ahead will certainly highlight the bright lights of Christmas, making them seem to glow even brighter! So now, I'm off to get very busy for Christmas!

December 14:
Sunrise: 7:50 AM --- Sunset: 4:17 PM (PST)

Updated: 4:06 AM GMT on December 21, 2009


Northwest Cold Snap

By: PugetSoundPost, 7:24 AM GMT on December 08, 2009

Saturday, December 12:
The cold weather is just about to end, but today was still pretty chilly: low of 21 this morning and a high of 38 again. We took a run up to Snoqualmie Falls today to see the spectacular ice formations around the base and it was about 30 while we were there, but that didn't stop a huge crowd from going out! A lovely December day - sunshine and very crisp. You can take a look at the view with some new photos I just posted from the day. Snow could be coming tomorrow, but in our immediate area it is far from a sure thing. Perhaps we will see some white! It still looks like the more northern counties are a more sure bet to see snow. By Monday our much more typical winter weather pattern will be rolling back into view again, so this nice winter interlude of cold, calm, sunshine is in its waning hours.

Friday, December 11:
The week long cold pattern continued today - our low this morning was a surprising 18; I didn't really think it would dip that low when I wrote last night. The air is moderating slowly, as predicted, and our high was 36 - the warmest in quite a few days. It is back down into the mid 20's this evening. The weekend is turning into a race - a race between warmer air, colder air, and moisture, and which two are going to meet up first? And where? There doesn't appear to be enough moisture to cause any snow around here on Saturday, other than possible flurries; our best chance comes on Sunday to see snow, but even that is beginning to look weak for us in King County. Moisture will be moving up from the south (California and then Oregon into southern Washington), but another Arctic air burst will come down the Fraser Valley again from the north, causing a pretty decent potential for snow when the two hit each other. But forecasters are now thinking most of that will happen a little further north than we are. There is still a day or two for the situation to change, and a bit of a southerly shift could change the outcome for us by quite a lot. Today we had some high and thin stratus overhead which have been the first clouds in some time, but the sun was still quite bright. That will be changing as clouds should be increasing overnight with a cloudy day Saturday, and light snow possible. Sunday may be the more exciting day to look forward to.

Thursday, December 10:
Another cold, clear and calm (high wind 5 mph) day in western Washington. This morning proved to be the coldest of all for us - down to 15. It did warm up a little more as our high was 35 at exactly noon today. It is not dropping down as quickly this evening as it has, but it is in the mid 20's as I write. We are now one third of the way through December, typically a dark and wet month for us, but so far all we have had is plenty of sunshine each day and an unbelievably paltry .03" of moisture so far for the month!! Change is beginning to stir, however, and by tomorrow clouds will move in over the whole region (already there is a cloud deck over the northern portion of western Washington) and there are still chances of snow over the weekend for all of us, although the forecast seems to be developing slowly and with difficulty. I'll see tomorrow what the new developments bring.

Wed., December 9:
The cold weather still continues for us and it has been quite stable this week with not too much variation. The skies have remained clear and calm, allowing the nocturnal radiation to really let whatever little bit of heat from the short day and low angle sun accumulates to just be lost into space. Our highs both Tuesday and Wednesday were 33, and the lows here at home have been 17 and then 16 this morning. Many areas have gone down into single digits. Things have pretty well frozen up outside. Our hummingbirds are still showing up in the cold and dark mornings and they, along with the other wildlife we have close to our house, have to be COLD out there all night! We will slowly moderate the rest of the week, but snow is still a possibility this weekend. Models are having a tough time with the blocking ridge breakdown and just how the flow will develop, so we could see snow and/or rain beginning this Friday, or maybe nothing at all! We have not had any icy road problems since the atmosphere has been so dry, but the upcoming transition could prove messy for awhile. As I am posting this our temperature is 22.

Tuesday, December 8:
The deepening cold has nicely settled over western Washington and I have to say it is fairly bracing to go outside this evening! Here late in the evening it is 19 F. and it will just chill further as the night wears on. A blocking ridge is off the coast, creating a steady northerly flow, and lots of cold air is filtering down out of the Arctic. The winds that were forecast over the weekend failed to materialize for us in our immediate area, but the cold filled in anyway. Up around Bellingham they did see pretty strong and very cold winds, which should be subsiding by now. This pattern is set to remain intact for the next 2 to 3 days, gradually moderating a little bit by the end of the week. Tuesday morning will probably be the coldest of this cold snap and this is the coldest we have been all during 2009. Overnight tonight a little shortwave will cross the area, creating a brief thin cloud cover, which may keep the minimums a tiny bit warmer than otherwise, but we are expecting to drop well into the teens and some places, like the interior of SW Washington may see single digits tonight. This cold weather is not common for western Washington, but it seems like each year we do get some type of prolonged cold weather, but this is colder than it gets in some years.

This morning our low was 19. Around 5:30 this morning I brought in our hummingbird feeder, which was frozen solid, and in an hour or so it thawed enough for the first very hungry hummer of the early morning to have a drink. No doubt he was very happy to have something that wasn't frozen after a miserable night out on a branch! The high today under a lot of bright sunshine (the mountains were glorious today!) was 34 and Tuesday should be pretty similar. This cold snap will ease a bit by the end of the week, but then we are looking at a chance of accumulating snow in most all lowland areas. This usually happens as we move out of a cold period, when the warmer, but wetter, marine air begins to push in, the transition often begins as snow, so we shall see if this pans out around Friday. Meanwhile, I am trying to make a lot of headway on Christmas, and I still need to finish off our Christmas tree and other decorating! This cold weather does help the Christmas spirit!

December 8:
Sunrise: 7:44 AM --- Sunset: 4:18 PM (PST)

Updated: 8:32 AM GMT on December 13, 2009


Fair Days of December

By: PugetSoundPost, 5:22 PM GMT on December 02, 2009

December is off to a fine start here in the Puget Sound region! Clear blue skies and lots of sunshine to begin what typically is a pretty dark and dreary month, so we have to soak in as much as we can while it is here! High pressure is soaring above us and providing us with this delightful, although a bit cool, weather. Yesterday was a beautiful day and today is already off to the same start, and tomorrow should be as well, all giving us a little extra spring in our step as we enjoy the clear beauty of the region.

November was pretty stormy around here - with well above average rain (about 2.5 inches above normal for the month, and we are even further ahead for the fall/winter rain season) and repeated wind events over multiple days - and not much sunshine, so this change is a nice one. I wonder if we are sliding into the expected El Nino event, which tends to dry the Pacific Northwest and shunt the rain energy south into California? Not too much is forecast to happen for the next week. However, saying all this, there is a little cold front and upper level trough expected to arrive late this week, giving us a chance of precipitation Friday into Saturday, perhaps falling as snow late Friday and Saturday morning, as it is chilly and supposed to get even chillier. This morning our low was 29 under the clear skies and it is slow to warm up much, and with north flow aloft and a southward sliding Arctic air mass coming down from the Yukon and spilling some of the air into western Washington this weekend, we could get cold enough for a little snow to fall. But the amount of moisture available won't be great and the chances of precipitation are somewhat limited and would probably be light. The trend is for cooling temperatures - looks like 30's-40's during the days and dropping more into the 20's at night in the next few days.

November Rain Total: Our total rain at home for November was 8.46"

December 2:
Sunrise: 7:37 AM --- Sunset: 4:18 PM (PST)


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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

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