Puget Sound Post


By: PugetSoundPost, 7:54 PM GMT on December 28, 2010

December 31, 11:30 PM

Sunshine Again! Yes, more sunshine, but also a bit of high cirrus clouds at times. The high today was 36, the low this morning was 21, and it is currently 26 degrees. Only a half hour of 2010 left! See you all on the flip side!

December 30,11:50 PM

Sunshine! Yes, we had a completely clear, sunshiny day! But, it was a quite chilly one in spite of the sunshine. The ridge we are under is providing lots of clear sunshine - not too expected for the end of December (a clerk in a store today was complaining about how the sun was hurting her eyes - it does mine too when it comes around so rarely in winter!) - but the offshore flow is also giving us plenty of cold, dry air. The high today was 35. Our low before sunrise this morning was 24. Yesterday's snow is still around in places. It has dropped to about 24 again currently, just before midnight, so tomorrow morning will no doubt be several notches colder. This pattern will persist until late weekend, with some warmup coming then, but possibily no further rain till middle next week!

Congratulations UW Huskies on a great win over Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego tonight!

One day is left....HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

December 29, 9:45 PM

Snow! Yes we did get some snow today! Not very much. This morning a heavy snowfall with big flakes passed over for maybe an hour or so and turned everything white, but it mostly melted off rather quickly. The high temperature today was 38 with a low of 31, which happened just this evening. Actually we had passing snow showers off and on for a few hours, then a dry afternoon and early evening. By surprise this evening brought another heavier round of snow, which turned everything white again. The streets have mostly melted off now, but snow is still around. All in all not much to really speak of today (although areas not too far east of us received up to 5 inches!), but perhaps the best kind - pretty landscape without the trouble.

The rest of the week will be cool with cold nights - dropping into the teens and 20's, so another shot of winter is here to ring out the old year.

December 28, Noon

Not much has changed since I last posted. We have had rainy spells and dry spells, some fleeting sunshine, but mostly dark and pretty dreary days. I should have written on Sunday, as that proved to be the most exciting day in awhile. By the middle part of the day the wind unexpectedly rose quite sharply - something that was totally missed in the forecast. A passing system generated fairly strong winds in the area, including us for a change. Our highest gust was 34 mph, and it was quite blustery for several hours. But that has passed and it is calm, but dark and a heavy sky today. The mountains have had heavy dumps of snow recently.

Here in the Puget Sound area we are now thinking of the possibility of a little snow, perhaps beginning tonight and off and on tomorrow. A cold upper level trough is sliding down from the NW, bringing a much colder pool of air. But the precipitation sounds mostly showery, so there is no anticipation of widespread snow - probably spotty at best. Thursday will be a pretty chilly day (possibly only the 30's), but it will be drying by then. The end of the week is murky in the forecast world. Could be benign and dry or maybe more active - models are showing both possibilities, so we will have to wait and see on that. I think it will remain a little cool (low-mid 40's mostly). But nothing much really looks to be on the horizon for us. A little snow would be nice, but otherwise all seems quiet weather-wise to complete the year 2010.

December 28
Sunrise: 7:56 AM --- Sunset: 4:23 PM (PST)
(gaining 40 seconds tomorrow)

Updated: 7:27 AM GMT on January 01, 2011


Christmas Week

By: PugetSoundPost, 4:34 PM GMT on December 21, 2010

December 25, 11:20 PM

Merry Christmas! As the day has just about ended. It was a warm one here - high of 54! A little bit of sun broke through now and then, but also rain now and then. At this hour it has totaled only .14", probably mostly coming in the late evening hours. Christmas Eve was wetter: .33".

A peek ahead is indicating the chance of lowland snow again by mid week. We'll see. The threat doesn't sound too strong currently.

Wishing everyone a wonderful remainder of the holiday season, from our house to yours!

December 23, 11:35 PM

Rain returned today. It has been a wet day throughout much of it, and chilly, although it did warm up some later in the day. High today of 49, low this morning 39, and our rainfall for today: .46".

December 21, 8:30 AM

Winter has arrived! There doesn't seem a need to have much fanfare about it; winter has been here since November. In fact November was our "most winter" so far.

With perfect timing, my family got a nice look at the eclipse late last night. It was total for the few minutes we watched, then the clouds moved in front of it, as if to say "glad you saw it, but now it is time to go to bed."

Christmas Week weather this year is typical of western Washington and not too much to write about. A series of disturbances will move through the area all week, bringing periods of rain with short breaks inbetween. None of them look too "stormy", however the rain scheduled for late this week may come in heavier amounts, especially to the coast and Olympics. Temperatures will run in the 40's and then 30's at night. In summary, lots of cloud cover, possibly some breaks scattered along the week, and rain coming and going, heavier Christmas Eve and Day, but so far nothing too out of the ordinary. Unless La Nina takes a big turn perhaps in January, thus far it is not looking like too remarkable of a winter.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL ! Enjoy the season and time with those you love. Remember that Jesus came to earth as a baby, so that He could bring salvation to all mankind, through His death on the cross and resurrection!

December 21
Sunrise: 7:54 AM --- Sunset: 4:19 PM (PST)
(we will gain 1 second tomorrow)

Updated: 7:21 AM GMT on December 26, 2010


Calm and Bright Now, But Wind?

By: PugetSoundPost, 6:00 PM GMT on December 17, 2010

December 19, 10:20 PM
A bright and clear day today! A lot of sunshine, but with the few daylight hours and low sun angle, a nip was certainly in the air, especially in the shade. The high was 48, a low of 35, and now as I type a change again. Currently it is 38, raining, and the wind is blowing about 11 mph steadily, so the evening has taken a turn for the worse.

I think I may have underplayed the wind storm that hit us yesterday in my post from last night. Although it didn't seem too overwhelming here (even though it was steadily gusty for a couple of hours) there was more to the story region-wide. It turned out that power was out for well over 100,000 people in a wide swath, and some of those people may be out for a few days. And, today I heard about a large fir tree falling inbetween two houses, only missing slicing through one by a foot, from the person involved. I am sure there were many such stories around the Sound. So, the storm packed a greater punch than it seemed to do out of our window.

December 18, 11:20 PM

The storm blew through this morning, and it turned out to be a moderate one for us. After a calm night, the wind finally hit suddenly this morning, just before 7 AM, it became quite gusty in waves. Our highest gust only topped out at 26 mph, but the sound of the wind made it seem like it would be stronger than that. In foothill towns it was much stronger - reports of 70 mph in places. Wind turned out to be the main feature of this system. Rain finally moved in during the afternoon, but only totaled .07" for us, and the wind calmed down a lot even by later morning. Our high today was 48, the low this morning was 34 and currently it is 37. Another small system is set to come in overnight and there is a chance of some wet snowflakes in the next six or so hours, but I am not giving that idea much heed.

December 17, 10 AM

The weather outside is NOT frightful right now - clear blue skies and a little easterly breeze. It is 45 degrees after a morning low of 37 - our coolest morning in awhile, thanks to the clear skies, a rarity in December. This would be a good time to hit the town, which I should probably do.

There is a change on the way. For us, the big question is "will the wind blow?" Already we have a High Wind Watch posted and soon it may be a Warning. Conditions are setting up for a couple of scenarios. A rapidly deepening frontal system is forming off the coast of California today and tonight, which will be moving NE up through the ocean not too far off of the Washington coast by later tonight and into Saturday. With high pressure east of us, this will cause the easterly gradients to tighten markedly, bringing strong easterly winds to the central East Puget Sound Lowlands, primarily through the passes and gaps in the Cascades. Typically just the foothill towns will see strong winds with this type of pattern. However, there is the chance for a mountain wave scenario to develop, which takes the typical tight easterly gradient winds and amplifies them quite a lot. It is basically the rushing air shooting over the mountains intensifying as it swooshes down the steep downslope side of the mountains, forming a wave that bounces up, then slams down again (strong updrafts and downdrafts)and in this case the wave touches down again further west than just the foothills. Our area can be susceptible to a mountain wave formation. So, we can expect anything from an enhanced easterly breeziness to strong winds (gusts to 60 are possible wherever the strongest winds develop), depending how this plays out.

Besides the wind, rain is on the way for Saturday with this same front. It will bring the snow level down quite low in places, so some areas (Hood Canal) could accumulate some inches, while most other places may do well to see snow mixed in the rain during the morning. So, for now we will hang onto our hats and see "which way the wind blows".

December 17
Sunrise: 7:52 AM --- Sunset: 4:17 PM (PST)
(losing 19 seconds tomorrow)

Updated: 6:22 AM GMT on December 20, 2010


Winter Days in Western WA

By: PugetSoundPost, 5:04 AM GMT on December 15, 2010

December 14, 9:00 PM

The Pineapple Express is now long gone, leaving a lingering aftermath in many places. But the weather has moved on, and to typical western Washington winter weather. Not extreme, but volatile during these December weeks.

A strong cold front came ashore yesterday, and the leading edge provided some of the heaviest rain I have driven in for quite some time; although it was a quickly moving shower right during the evening commute hours. Things calmed down for the evening, only to catch everyone by surprise in the middle of the night (around midnight to 1 AM time frame) when a potent squall line developed when the cold air coming in with the new front smacked into the residual warm, moist air from the Pineapple Express. A skinny, but strong band of showers and thunderstorms raced across the western part of the state from west to east until it hit the Cascades, at 65 mph according to the NWS, setting off bursts of strong wind, heavy rain, and plenty of lightning and thunder. This was not forecast and only when it showed up on radar at the last minute did people start to catch on. It was an exciting few minutes to watch out the window - lots of down trees and limbs (not near us), power outages occuring in the distance when we saw the transformers explode, our lights only flickering but not going out, and the rain lashing the windows. The squall line passed over us shortly before 1:00 AM but I don't think it was as fierce here as other places.

Today has seen more of the same, but perhaps a bit toned down from yesterday. A lot of instability produced heavy showers, followed by a little sunshine, followed by more rain, then a windy afternoon as the trough passed. Our high wind was 32 this afternoon. Cooler air has filtered in, dropping our high to only 47, which is a big drop from the high of 57 yesterday - which sparked those t-storms last night. So, all of this is a long way of saying that actually our weather pattern right now is pretty typical of active December weeks. Most anything can happen, usually in the realm of cold rain (40 this evening), wind, low snow levels that usually stay in the mountains, and good chances of stormy conditions. After a little lull over the next couple of days due to some weak ridging, more of the described weather could be rolling in this weekend.

December 14
Sunrise: 7:49 AM --- Sunset: 4:17 PM (PST)


Pineapple Express Weekend in NW

By: PugetSoundPost, 10:41 PM GMT on December 10, 2010

December 12, 10:45 PM

Storm Report: The rain this morning continued steadily and moderately hard all morning into the afternoon, finally easing over time until it stopped middle to late afternoon. Much of the afternoon was quite murky with very low hanging clouds and the steady drip of rain. The high today was warm, 54 degrees, after a low of only 48 this morning.

Our rain total for Sunday: 2.70"
Storm total from noon Saturday through Sunday 10:45 PM: 3.77"

The Pineapple Express has exited our region now, leaving behind a big mess in many areas, with some record flooding (Stillaguamish River) and many other rivers, streams, basements (including my brother-in-law's) and storm drains flooding as well. Most rivers sound like they will crest overnight. The mountains had a heavy snowfall, followed by warming and drenching (many inches) rain.

Monday is expected to be a calmer, drier day for most of it, but by evening the next system, although cooler with less rain, but still vigorous, begins to impact the area. Many people are looking forward to a chance to dry out a bit. This was our biggest rain event in two years, something to be expected with La Nina. We have had snow, now major rain with flooding. What next?

December 12, 8:15 AM

Our Hawaiian gift is continuing to give! Since 11:30 last night, we have added another 2.03" rain! The wind blew up to 21 mph, and the current temperature is 53. Still raining. I've heard there are a lot of landslides around and of course flooding is only ramping up.

December 11, 11:30 PM
Update: The first 9 hours of non stop rain brought a half inch of rain. The next 2.5 hours of non stop rain brought the next .50 inch of rain! We are at an inch plus a bit more for the day.

December 11, 9:10 PM

The rain reached our house a little before noon today and it has rained steadily, but light to moderate ever since. The accumulation of only .52" in 9 straight hours of rain attests to the light nature of the rainfall. I am sure it is raining a lot harder in other areas, perhaps primarily south and maybe west of us. The temperature is beginning to slowly rise, and tomorrow is supposed to be quite a lot warmer - into the middle 50's. We have stayed in the lower to middle 40's all day today.

I see that 16 rivers are under a flood warning in western Washington. The precip that began as snow in the mountains will turn over to rain with those rising temperatures and swoosh the snow and newly falling rain right down all those rivers. Sandbagging and moving belongings is the order of the night in many communities. I wish them all well at any time, but so close to Christmas (which unfortunately often happens) would make all that so much harder.

Having said above how moderately light the rain has been all day, currently it is picking up speed and raining noticeably harder and it looks to stay that way for awhile based on radar.

December 10, 2:40 PM

I've been out of the loop this week due to illness but the weather did change toward a wetter pattern this week. We have had rain most days of the week, which was a change from the first week in December that was so dry and calm. It has been warm - several days well into the 50's.

The temperature won't change too much, but the rain is just about to ramp up significantly. A Pineapple Express is bearing down upon us - a long plume of moisture with roots in the sub-tropics is arcing across the Pacific and aiming for the Pacific Northwest. While today is the lull for the week, beginning on Saturday a strong warm front will move up from the south across western Washington and will bring a lot of warm rain. By Saturday evening and through Sunday we will be WET. A cold front will cross down from the NW later Sunday into Monday, lowering the snow levels in the mountains again to reduce the mountain runoff, but before that happens flooding could be underway. Flood watches are up for most of western Washington, since the initial precipitation will fall as rain in the mountains, before the snow level drops again by early next week. Heavy rain is expected throughout the lowlands as well, giving the potential for urban flooding as well. Several rivers are quite likely to flood and others are under threat. The weekend ahead could be interesting!

December 10
Sunrise: 7:46 AM --- Sunset: 4:16 PM

Updated: 2:56 PM GMT on December 13, 2010


All's Quiet in Western WA

By: PugetSoundPost, 4:05 PM GMT on December 02, 2010

December 6, 10:40 PM

Not much has happened weather-wise since I last wrote. Very nice days, warmer than expected - highs in the 40's and even over 50, lows in the 30's and frost one morning. The sun has been out quite a bit, no wind for us,starry nights, and a very calm beginning to December.

It has been a busy few days, as it is for everyone right now. We just got our Christmas tree this evening and have it in the house but no decorations, hung some Christmas lights outside this afternoon - racing darkness and didn't quite finish the job. The weather for both jobs was good and actually we were also racing a bit with that. There is a change underway.

Already rain is approaching from the SW and with a series of features swinging by soon, the rest of the week promises rain, and even a threat of flooding coming in a few days. Tranquility is just about over.

December 2

Dense fog has settled in over us in just the past hour. It may have the potential to hang around well into the day, perhaps into this afternoon. Currently it is 37 at 7:30 AM.

A weak trough is approaching us from the west that won't move into us here in the interior until tonight. There is the possibility of showers with this feature late today, but they don't look too impressive. By tomorrow a weak ridge will move ashore that will turn the flow to a weak NE low level stream, eventually partially clearing our skies, but cooling us a little as well. So other than possible light, disorganized showers late today and maybe lingering awhile into Friday, at least until Sunday our weather is looking very quiet and calm and cool. Highs right about 40 and lows right about 30 are expected for a few days.

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

November Stats:

Average High Temp: 49 degrees
Average Low Temp: 37 degrees
Warmest High Temp: 73 (Nov. 3)
Coldest High Temp: 29 (Nov. 24)
Coldest Low Temp: 13 (Nov. 24)
Highest Wind: 28 mph (Nov. 15)
Wettest Day: 1.08" rain (Nov. 1)
Total snow for month: About 4 inches over 2 days

Total Rain and Melted Snow for November: 5.01"
(This is slightly below normal for the month, and well less than the over 8 inches we received November 2009)

Post Script:
Some comments about November: Other than our cold/snow snap last week, and a moderate wind storm mid month, not much really happened here in November, which is typically a much more volatile month for us in western Washington. Eastern Washington, however, by comparison would have a much different report. They sustained two major blizzards dumping a lot of snow. (Spokane, a "snow city", set a record for their snowiest November ever: 25.9"). The cold snap dove temperatures down to at least -10 F as well in SE Washington. And that half of the state also was hit by a powerful windstorm, with winds close to 100 mph in places. What a difference a mountain range makes!

Updated: 6:41 AM GMT on December 07, 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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