Puget Sound Post

Happy GroundFrog Day

By: PugetSoundPost, 6:46 AM GMT on January 31, 2010

We did see a frog today! Happy GroundFrog Day! Some of my family drove a half hour north to the town of Snohomish to celebrate GroundFrog Day today! To "get the jump" on the prediction made by Punxsutawney Phil on Feb. 2, Snohomish has started Groundfrog Day, designated as the last Sat. before Feb. 2. "Snohomish Slew", the frog, makes an appearance in the midst of festive celebration with a royal court, the Seafair Pirates, and other "guests", and "frognosticates" his feel for the next 6 weeks. Today was a very drippy, dreary day - so no shadow anywhere. His decision was to frognosticate 6 more weeks of "gray, moist, and breezy"! As we stood in cool, drizzly rain under the park cedars and firs, it seemed quite fitting to have a frog predict the weather for us, and likely be quite right!

As I wrote last night, very light rain did start to fall, and it did keep dripping through the night and much of today - mostly a drizzly rain, a tad harder at times, so through it all we have accumulated .21" and the high was 49, cooler than it has been lately. The sky dropped considerably today, too, with a low hanging "fr-oggy" ceiling all day. More of the same is set to follow in coming days.

January 30
Sunrise: 7:38 AM ---- Sunset: 5:06PM (PST)


Weak Weather This Week

By: PugetSoundPost, 5:14 PM GMT on January 26, 2010

Weak weather will continue this week; just as it did last week.

Not much action is occuring in our El Nino driven weather pattern here in the Pacific Northwest. Last week was very mild and dry, with clouds passing overhead as the most active part of the weather. I have to say that at times the cloud patterns were quite pretty, and different from our usual 'just solid gray' overcast. On a few mornings we had a wide variety of cloud types and configurations, and usually broken skies, albeit benign, that were the best part of the weather for the week.

Our average high temperature since Jan. 18 to present has been 55 degrees, and we actually hit 60.9 on the 21st! The average low has been 41, which was only brought down in the last three days or so with nights falling into the 30's for the first time since Jan. 7. We had zero rain for a solid week, between Jan. 17 and 24th, when we finally did have a little stronger system move in, giving us .38" rain over two days through yesterday morning.

Looking forward: our split pattern continues along, sending the bulk of the energy south into California, while we are seeing very weak systems spin off the southern branch and struggle to make it this far north. For the rest of this week we are looking at some weak troughs drifting through, a weak dirty ridge building midweek that will allow high level clouds to overspread the region, then another weak front will slowly float over us at the end of the week. Little to no precipitation is expected from any of this here in the central Sound, but the best chances occur Thursday and Friday, although the split flow will weaken further the system that is coming. Temperatures will remain mild the rest of the week, into the 50's likely.
January 26
Sunrise: 7:42 AM ---- Sunset: 5:00 PM (PST)
(Adding 2 min. 40 seconds of daylight tomorrow)

January 29, 10:30 PM
VERY light rain has finally started to fall this evening - ticked the gauge up to .01" so far! But it is the first measurable rain since Monday. Overcast all day with a high of 58. Currently it is 46 and no Wolf Moon tonight for us. Might see a frog tomorrow, however, --- more on that coming in tomorrow's edition of PugetSoundPost!

Updated: 6:23 AM GMT on January 31, 2010


January "Spring" Day

By: PugetSoundPost, 12:37 AM GMT on January 19, 2010

A pretty crazy day around here today! It started overnight with strong winds around western Washington as a deep low pressure moved up the coast from the south, and was closer to shore than expected, bringing stronger winds further inland than was forecast. Our highest gust was 32 mph at 3:00 AM. This was a weaker gust than many areas around here experienced; and saying that, the 32 is rather hard for us to attain, as this is not a windy region unless a storm is passing through. The winds were pretty gusty for several hours through the night. We ended up with zero rain - just wind. Soon after daybreak the winds died down and it has been calm ever since, but then the clouds broke up and out came the sun and up went the thermometer! The high at midday was 58.9! The low late last evening was 48! This afternoon felt and looked very much like an early spring day. We were outside a little bit this afternoon and couldn't stop marveling at how much spring seemed to be in the air and that we were so warm - had to throw open house windows and let the fresh air in! The NWS says that for the first 17 days of January Seattle is running 6.3 degrees above normal and it has been so very warm most days.

The forecast seems a bit changeable, but for now after another low pressure rides up the coast again tonight/Tuesday (but expected to be further offshore so not as strong of winds tonight, but still blustery) and some chances of rain, the rest of the week is not looking like anything too special - chances of showers are possible and clouds and fronts coming and going. The jet is sagging south and shunting the brunt of the energy into California (and they are excited to finally get some winter!), leaving us on the cold side of the jet, but the latest forecast is not calling for as much cooling either as previously expected, so the January spring will likely continue on. Maybe not as warm as today if the sun doesn't come out on any given day.

January 18
Sunrise: 7:50 AM ---- Sunset: 4:48 PM (PST) ( 2 minutes 16 seconds longer tomorrow)

Updated: 12:42 AM GMT on January 19, 2010


Warm and Rainy

By: PugetSoundPost, 12:51 AM GMT on January 14, 2010

January 15
More rain today: .59" for the day. It rained moderately light and steady most of the day, with the sky lifting up and down at various times, mirroring the ebb and flow of the rain. Otherwise it was a quite calm and basically drab day. The high was 48 and the low, actually occuring right now, is 42 so far. Very little temperature change during the whole day.

January 14
10:00 PM

The rain did move in and earlier than really expected - just after 11:00 AM. We had a nice and steady, but not too hard, rain all afternoon, but it has moved off for now. We ended up for today with .27", so not as much as maybe advertised. It was cooler today and little change in the temperature for the day: high of 48 low of 44 this morning. This was our first high temp. cooler than 50 degrees since Jan. 8! More off and on rain is expected tomorrow and in the days to come, with perhaps a stronger system by Sunday/Monday. My son ended up in the rain for his trebuchet launch, but that isn't the first time to have to work through rain!

January 14
9:00 AM

The Cascades are showing themselves this morning, the cloud deck is above their tops, but it is a solid overcast. Mt. Rainier is not visible at all. There was a pretty sunrise about an hour ago, but even then it looked a bit moody and the clouds have solidified more since then. We are waiting for a low pressure system with very long roots trailing all the way back into the subtropics to approach and spread possbily moderate to heavy rain over the region later today. The front will likely stall over the area through Friday, so we could be getting a considerable amount of rain to finish off the week. Both mountain ranges will get the most. I am hoping the rain will hold off until later this afternoon since my son is launching his trebuchet for a physics class outside early this afternoon. But, already on radar I see rain moving up from the SW and nearly reaching south Puget Sound. Currently we are at 46 degrees, a very light breeze from the SE and the barometer is steady. As a point of interest, yesterday tied a record at SeaTac for the date with a high temperature of 56. Here at home we recorded a high of 57 - a January oddity! Normal is 46! That was our low!

January 13:
A rainy afternoon today - after the sun peeked out for awhile midday. A low center is moving through western Washington from the SW right now, and the rain over the last couple of hours has intensified to be moderately hard. It is still warm - running in the low 50's all week, but it has also been raining quite often, and so far for the week since Sunday we have received 1.8". On Thursday a weak ridge will develop, but probably only for a few hours, so tomorrow will give a little break in the action, only to be followed by more rain by later Thursday into Friday and the weekend. An active SW flow will usher in one system after the other for the next week. I think the temperatures will remain mild, but maybe just a tad cooler than it has been, for the next several days. Today certainly "looks like January" as I look out the window - bare trees and solid gray from the ground to the sky. Color photography would be a waste today!

January 13
Sunrise: 7:53 AM --- Sunset: 4:43PM (PST)

Updated: 7:33 AM GMT on January 16, 2010


Rain and Wind Returning to Northwest

By: PugetSoundPost, 6:39 AM GMT on January 11, 2010

We are still running very warm for January - today was 11 degrees above average. Our high was 55 again - low of 41, also well above average. And it is still 50 degrees as I write this at 10 pm. But, there is change in the air! Clouds have been increasing all day and light rain has settled in over us this evening; and this is only the first shot fired. The stale pattern began to change recently when the ridge that had been closing us off from systems started sliding east, and now the first wave of storms is coming ashore that have been poised to strike. A strong cold front is beginning to be felt and should be increasing the rain overnight, along with windier conditions. High pressure over the northern Rockies and low pressure near the Queen Charlottes is causing a steep easterly pressure gradient, so once again strong winds are likely to develop in places in western Washington - such as the coast and gaps in the mountains. Here in the Kirkland area we should see breezier winds develop overnight, possibly 20-30 or so (forecast winds for our zone are a bit higher, but we seldom see the top end of the forecast) and a decent rain should ensue. The Olympics look to get a lot of rain (7+ inches, Cascades a little less), raising the rivers again. After a little lull early Monday, another shot of wind should develop later Monday as a surface low passes by off the coast. So, all in all, the weather is changing this week and rain and wind is heading back in for the first half of the week at least. The end of the week could see a brief ridge again.

The weekend was pretty stellar for January - highs of 55 both days and calm sunshine yesterday! It seems like all the warmth from everyone east of the Cascades across the USA has been pushed and squeezed into the far west coast and left everyone else with bare cupboards!

January 10
Sunrise: 7:55 AM --Sunset: 4:37 PM (PST)


January Heat in the Northwest

By: PugetSoundPost, 6:12 AM GMT on January 06, 2010

El Nino sure makes the weather topsy-turvy in January! We have been very unseasonably warm over here - far from the headlines of the bitter cold in the east. Since right about Christmas, and even more so since New Years, we have been above normal in temperature and especially in these first few days of the month. The highs have been close to or above 50 degrees each day this month so far (average is about 43), with little change from high to low each day. In fact, our low temperatures have been higher than the average highs for these same dates! A west coast ridge has been in place, keeping us warm, and it doesn't look to be moving on any time real soon. We have had some rain this week that has managed to push in over the ridge but it has been mainly weak, with the exception of Monday. Today was murky all day with a low ceiling, but warm and although the air felt moist, it rained very little.

Meanwhile, high pressure NE of us in Canada is sagging south and beginning to cause steeper easterly pressure gradients across western Washington, especially north in Whatcom County as cooler and drier air flows out the Fraser valley, giving stronger winds up north. The dry offshore flow over the Cascades, combined with the typical El Nino split flow pattern out in the Pacific, is going to make much precipitation difficult to move into our area, so it looks like weak chances of rain, but stronger easterly breezes, and with more clearing with the drier, colder continental air, our low temperatures will start to fall back down where they belong over the coming days. Frost could once again make a return by Wednesday night and onward. That actually sounds a lot better, as early January should feel like winter!


Stormy Northwest New Year

By: PugetSoundPost, 10:44 PM GMT on January 01, 2010

Happy 2010 to everyone! Our New Year storm ended up packing a little more punch than I had originally expected! The rain did come yesterday and by this morning we had totaled .45 inches of rain. It rained pretty steadily through the afternoon, a heavy misty rain, and by later in the evening it was a harder steady rain. The folks celebrating the New Year at the Space Needle last night got pretty wet, but it didn't deter the fireworks (as seen by my family from the comfort of our television!) As the warm front passed the temperature rose, so the warmest part of the day was in the 10 pm hour. The steady rain gave way to showers, but during the overnight hours they increased in intensity, too, and we had a series of squally cells pass through, giving hard rain for short periods, and gusty winds, with 25 mph coming in a sudden, but short, burst just after 5:00 AM. Along with this we even had some lightning and quite distant thunder! Now as New Years Day has progressed it has been drier but we still are under a heavy overcast with more rain approaching and the winds have been blustery. The high today has been 52 and the low this morning was 43.

Showers should continue through Saturday since a surface low and upper level trough are passing north of us coming in off the Pacific into British Columbia. Another warm front may affect us by Sunday afternoon, so periods of rain are forecast for the weekend. Temperatures will stay pretty mild and a bit above normal.

Here are some stats for the year at my house:

Total rain in December: 2.10"
Total rain for 2009: 37.19"
Total rain for 2008: 30.99"
Wettest month of 2009: November at 8.46"
Driest month of 2009: July at .41"
Interesting record: Hottest Day ever recorded in Seattle:
At our house it reached 110.6 on July 29, 2009. The all- time official record for Seattle was set that day at 103.
The all time warmest low was also that day. 71 here at home.

January 1:
Sunrise: 7:57 AM --- Sunset: 4:27 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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