Puget Sound Post

Storm Season Begins in the NW

By: PugetSoundPost, 6:18 AM GMT on October 24, 2010

October 26, 10:45 PM

The heavy weather of the weekend slowly settled down today. But winter settled in a bit more. The famous "Seattle gray" lasted all day today - a socked in gray sky that reduced distant visibility a lot, with off and on light rain and very gradually subsiding winds was the order of the day. Our high only reached 48, and the low this morning was 43. We had a wind gust of 25 mph and.14" rain today. This was the first day of the season to not climb out of the 40's; so that was a little milestone and a sign of things to come. A quick ridge should warm and clear up tomorrow more than today, but rain again right after that.

October 25, 10:20 PM

The wind kept blowing today - topped out at 28 mph here at home today. But it has been quite blowy all day and is continuing even this late into the evening, although it is settling down gradually. The leaves are beginning to come down off the trees, especially with the wind today, and are swirling and scuttling across the roads and yards. A pretty sight and really makes the deep autumn season feel quite vivid now. Our high temperature was 53, the low this morning was 46, but little rain after early this morning. I can still hear smaller gusts rattling things outside tonight.

The coast has been pounded with high waves - 20-30 footers, and the mountains have been hit with snow, even a little lower than predicted. The snow level has bounced around between 3,000-4,000 feet, but low enough for some in the passes themselves. Winter is creeping in.

October 25, 10 AM

Today is a stormy day in the Pacific Northwest. The entire weekend has been. Nothing too unusual once the stormy season sets in, but it has been attention-getting after a spell of Indian Summer over the last couple of weeks. The pattern has definitely changed. The rain from this stronger storm started on Saturday and has continued off and on ever since, with only some sunbreaks Sunday afternoon. Rain is coming in on successive pulses and it has been blustery/breezy since yesterday. Currently the sky is heavy and dark and the wind is blowing in the upper teens in gusts. So far our highest wind has been 23 mph today (23 yesterday too)(and we are not in the most wind-prone area, like the exposed waters, etc), so no big wind storm, but since it is only 50 degrees out, and damp, the breezy winds aren't too pleasant to stand around in. Since Saturday we have received 1.11" rain and more is sure to fall today.

October 23

The first storm of the rainy fall/winter season is beginning to light up western Washington radar quite nicely - just as predicted. Beginning on Thursday, a succession of small waves of light rain have preceded the storm that is on its way in now. Rain started to sputter a bit around mid morning today, again, then lulled a bit, then started anew during the early afternoon hours. It was light, but persistent, and now is picking up speed. It has rained steadily for many hours now, and currently it is raining moderately hard. Radar shows most of western Washington under about the same conditions.

A deep low pressure (measured at 964 mb at an offshore bouy this evening)is tracking toward the north end of Vancouver Island. The front associated with this low is set to cross Puget Sound sometime in the hours just ahead of daybreak on Sunday. The winds will increase with the frontal passage, but the highest winds will wait until late Sunday or Monday for our area when that low moves SE and closer to us, giving us a decent pressure gradient to boost the wind. But that said, the NWS doesn't think they will be strong enough to warrant a high wind advisory - probably remain gusty and blustery. The colder air on the way will also produce the first good snowfall of the season in the mountains. However, snowfall in the actual passes looks a little tricky right now - they might be just a tad too low. But the ski slopes should start to turn white!

Today has stayed rather warm, and with the rain it has felt a bit humid. Our high today was 62, the low this morning was 47, and currently at 11 pm we have received .34" rain today, but a lot more is on the way overnight. My daughter's homecoming evening is turning out to be pretty soggy. There goes the hair!

October 23
Sunrise: 7:39 AM --- Sunset: 6:05 PM (PDT)
(losing 3 min 14 sec tomorrow)

Updated: 5:50 AM GMT on October 27, 2010


The Calm Before the Change in the Northwest

By: PugetSoundPost, 5:25 AM GMT on October 21, 2010

October 22, 9:55 PM

As predicted the last time I wrote, the weather had changed. Yesterday was much different than the day I wrote about on the Oct 20 entry. A lot more clouds, beginning with lingering fog and stratus, then incoming clouds overspreading gradually controlled the day yesterday. We managed only up to 61 with a breeze blowing. Rain did come in overnight, and the total ran up to only .12", so not too impressive.

Today, Friday, has been dry, but clouds of various varieties have been moving through much of the day; but not all of it as there were some pretty sunbreaks this afternoon. I spent time up north by Puget Sound today and it was a nice afternoon in the golden sunshine, a bit of chop on the water, and clouds scuttling by. It was breezier today - a high of 17 mph here. The high temperature was 62. Another system is on the way and should spread a little rain again overnight.

The bigger story is the developing deep low pressure (around 960 mb) system that is on the way - set to move ashore Saturday night into Sunday. The low itself will track just north of Vancouver Island, but the cold front associated with it will be a strong punch into western Washington, beginning later Saturday through Sunday. This is the storm to kick off the fall storm season for us. Quite a bit of rain, cooler air, and gusty winds are expected, with Monday potentially being the windiest day in this area. We'll have to watch the development of this system.

October 20, 10:25 PM

Another in our string of glorious October days has ended and the string is ending soon too.

Just a fabulous day today - a little fog this morning that was patchy and soon gave way to wonderful sunshine for the rest of the day! A walk along the Sammamish Slough this morning was so delightful - calm, beautiful fall color, although it is not overpowering color, golden sunlight filtering through the trees and air, a gentle fall of leaves coming down here and there, and picture postcard scenes of fall tranquility along the placid stream.

Our high today was 67, so the sun did warm us up nicely, and the low this morning was 42. To truly illustrate how much it really is the calm before the change, the high wind today for us was 0 mph!! Not a breath of wind all day! The last couple of days have been barely above zero.

But, all good things come to an end. The ridge that has been keeping everything away from us will be moving east tomorrow. That will open the doors to a BIG change. Fronts are lining up to move in and it will all start sometime later on Thursday; beginning weakly at first, gradually building up momentum, and by this weekend we will see much stronger weather in the area. Rain and blustery winds are expected later Saturday into Sunday. Colder air is on the way and the mountains, and even passes, are likely to see their first good snowfall of the season over the weekend.

I suspect that by this time next week the landscape will look much different than it does right now - autumn will start to have the feeling that it, too, is beginning to pass.

October 20
Sunrise: 7:35 AM --- Sunset: 6:11 PM (PDT)

Updated: 4:53 AM GMT on October 23, 2010


Frost on the Ground, Fog in the Valley, Sunshine All Around

By: PugetSoundPost, 3:47 AM GMT on October 18, 2010

October 17, 8:45 PM
This morning brought our first frost of the season, giving a nice white cover to the ground, when the temperature dipped down to 34! And, with the fog that also appeared early his morning and didn't remain too long, mainly in the valley below us, and then crisp sunshine the rest of the day, a delightful October day had dawned! It is truly the middle of autumn now and with the fall colors on display around town we seem to be at the height of the season from all sensory perspectives.

We are in the midst of a dry run that has lasted now a couple of weeks, with only a little rain in the interim. Quite a lot of sunshine and this is going to continue for a little longer. A ridge is building offshore that will move east across us over the next three days or so, and with the exception of some clouds from fronts clipping us on the their way by to Somewhere Else, we should continue with our nice days. It is getting cooler, with highs only in the upper 50's over this weekend, including a 59 for today, and the nights took a big dive. But they should warm up some and the days may reach back into the 60's again, at least early this week. Rain and a pattern change are looming off in the distance, but for now, we need to enjoy these days as the gift they are. I have a busy week ahead and nice weather makes that all the easier.

October 17
Sunrise: 7:30 AM --- Sunset: 6:16 PM (PDT)
(losing 3 minutes 19 seconds tomorrow)


Columbus Day Storm Remembered

By: PugetSoundPost, 3:47 PM GMT on October 12, 2010

October 16, 8:40 PM

Just returned home a little while ago from an all day Autumn Outing. We just took a loop trip over Snoqualmie Pass, then across Blewett Pass (including going over the Old Blewett Highway, and a couple of off-the-beaten path roads that branched off those roads up onto high ridges that started to resemble trails)where we had a picnic off the back of our car with a wonderful view of the Cascades all around us. From there we struggled through heavy Leavenworth traffic while they were having a festival, and then took some back roads over mountains behind Lake Wenatchee, and back home via Stevens Pass. A wonderful trip and day, admiring wonderful fall color and blue skies the whole way.

It was a chilly day, however, in spite of the blue sky. Most of our trip was in the 40's, in the mountains, but late this afternoon we were dipping into the middle 30's, with the low being 34, with frost on the roadside. So, winter is creeping closer in the Cascades. There was even a remnant dusting of snow from a couple of days ago on the highest peaks near the summit of Stevens Pass, which itself is over 4,000 feet.

Back home in the lowlands, it was cool here, too, but we did top out at 58 early this afternoon, after a low this morning of 38; our coolest yet.

October 13, 9:30 PM

Glorious October day today! We started the morning the coolest we have had so far - low of 40 with patchy fog in the valley below, but did it ever turn into a wonderful day! Blue sunshine that made the autumn colors start to announce themselves with a louder voice, and a trip across Lake Washington (three times today)was soooo spectacular - the calm water, Seattle skyline, Olympics, and Mt. Rainier all vying for Most Beautiful today. The high reached 70 this afternoon. I brought in all my remaining tomatoes (a fairly even mix between red and green, but a lot of them) and sent the plants to compost. The garden and yard flowers are gradually being cleaned out.

October 12, 8:45 AM

The following is a copy of the blog post I wrote one year ago today, remembering the devastating Columbus Day Storm of 1962 that hit our region and the whole western Pacific Northwest. I thought it might be fun to re-post that little recap and be reminded again of what is possible in this area.

Forty eight years ago today, October 12, 1962, a remarkable storm tore through the Pacific Northwest. The Columbus Day Storm was an extratropical cyclone with original roots from Typhoon Freda that caught the West Coast from San Francisco to the Canadian border off guard with devastating results. Winds reached between 113 mph and 170 mph throughout the state of Oregon, and here in Washington we reached winds of 78 mph in Olympia, 100 mph in Renton, and 98 mph in Bellingham. "High Wind" minimum criteria (minimum of 58 mph) for the National Weather Service was met from San Francisco all the way to Vancouver, B.C. With little technology compared to today's forecasting abilities, no one realized what an explosive situation was rapidly developing just off the Pacific coast. In the end, 46 people lost their lives, hundreds were injured, 50,000 homes were lost, 15 billion board feet of timber was flattened that was worth about $750 million. Record rains did tremendous damage all along the coast as well. It still stands as the most powerful extratropical cyclone recorded in the lower 48 states during the 20th century and thus far into the 21st, and only category 3+ hurricanes in the eastern US can rival the wind magnitude of the Columbus Day Storm of 1962.

My grandparents were living on Lake Sammamish during the storm, under a dense stand of mature Douglas fir, and my grandmother was quite frightened that a tree would come through the roof. Luckily this didn't happen! They took shelter in the daylight basement of their home and rode out the storm, only to have lost power for 1-2 weeks thereafter. The storm made a huge impression upon them, and on the entire family, and certainly the whole region. This storm reminds us of what can happen, even here in the Pacific Northwest where extreme weather is not a common occurance.

Today does not remind anyone of that storm. A delightful autumn day on tap - highs in the 60's, low this morning of 45, and calm winds under mostly sunny skies.

October 12
Sunrise: 7:23 AM --- Sunset: 6:26 PM (PDT)

Updated: 3:44 AM GMT on October 17, 2010


Spiders, Pumpkins and Tomatoes

By: PugetSoundPost, 3:40 PM GMT on October 04, 2010

October 9, 11:30 PM

It is raining hard right now. Today has been a rainy day, ranging from misty rain to heavy. So far we have totaled .71" for the day, mostly coming in the later part of the day into this evening. Our high was 64 today, so a warm rain, expecting to cool down tomorrow with the passage of a cold front after this current warm front.

October 7, 9:45 PM

Change is underway today. We started out the day with clearer skies than the previous days, and it wasn't the same in other ways either. The sun was nice this morning, but it has been breezy all day - high wind of 16 mph and steadily blowing all day and even now - and then increasing clouds this afternoon. It seemed to want to be warm today, rising to 69 after a start at 48 early, but the breeze and then the clouds tamped down the warmth and it ended actually being nothing like yesterday. Rain is moving closer and should arrive sometime tomorrow, and Saturday for sure.

October 6, 9:40 PM

Such a beautiful day today! Just about dawn this morning fog settled over us and hung on till mid morning - not as long as yesterday. Our low this morning was 43, so it had a chill to it. But then the sun broke through and nothing but clear blue skies the rest of the day! Glorious fall day! It warmed up to 70 and that felt hot this afternoon. No wind and just delightful to be outside.

Change is coming and it was good to be able to enjoy today. The clouds are rolling back in on Thursday as the flow switches back to onshore and with that will come some pretty wet fronts set to strike Friday and over the weekend. So, today was truly a gift that may not return for who knows how long. The clock is ticking.

October 5, 7:50 PM

Another foggy start to today but a beautiful finish to the day! It was chilly this morning - our coldest yet at 42. It hung in the 40's with the fog for quite a long time this morning. But by noon the sun broke through and the skies cleared and it was very wonderful sitting outside on the deck for awhile in the late afternoon sunshine. Our high ended up being 66 today, the same as yesterday. Just a wonderful autumn day in the Pacific Northwest.

October 4, 8:40 AM

A pretty morning, this morning as I write, with some scattered high clouds and the sun climbing up in the eastern sky over the mountains, which are obscurred in distant stratus. Calm and serene describes the day so far.

We are in the midst of a dry and calm pattern, that with the possible exception of some weak showers this afternoon, should continue until the end of this week. It has been one week since our last measurable rain. Since then we have enjoyed some foggy mornings with afternoon sunshine and the temperatures reaching to the upper 60's or about 70 for highs. We are moving into middle fall now and the changes are noticeable. More color in the leaves, more leaves are dropping, but the Big Drop has not happened yet; and the air feels different, even in the sunshine.

Along with fall around here comes Spider Season. Wow! The spiders are out in full force around the yard right now. It is very hard to do much yard work without being entangled in huge webs at every turn and reach of the arm. They have built up quite a fortress of webs, pretty much shoulder to shoulder across open areas large and small and I pity the poor insects trying to navigate the mine field! It has made picking our tomatoes hard, and we are still getting nice red ones, although the peak of the season is past. I hate to knock down the webs, but must here and there just to get to the tomatoes. My daughter brought in a real nice pumpkin harvest - we have quite a few now to display outside. Our green beans are done and the plants are now gone too, but we still have some peppers trying to finish up. It hasn't been a very good pepper year. Last year was a bumper crop. The carrots got a second wind recently after languishing badly all summer and seem now to actually be growing, so we will let those go a little longer. By surprise we have one nice eggplant from the one plant we planted late as a "for fun" plant to test. Some of our flowers around the yard also got a second wind and have perked up putting on a nice fall display as a last effort. The petunias have long run their course, but we are enjoying snapdragons especially, and also a few other varieties keeping color in the yard. We have not had any frost yet so until then we will have some life outside adding a cheeriness to the fading season.

October 4
Sunrise: 7:12 AM --- Sunset: 6:41 PM (PDT)
(we will lose 3 min. 24 sec. tomorrow)

September Stats

Average High Temperature: 71.1
Average Low Temperature: 53.3
Highest Temperature: 85 (Sept. 3)
Coolest Low Temperature: 44 (Sept. 22)
Coolest High Temperature: 59 (Sept. 23)
Warmest Low Temperature: 62 (Sept. 27)
Highest Wind Speed: 21 mph (Sept. 19 and 20)
Wettest Day: 1.13" (Sept. 18)

Total Rainfall: 4.44"

Updated: 6:30 AM GMT on October 10, 2010


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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