Puget Sound Post

Unsettled and Wet

By: PugetSoundPost, 3:28 PM GMT on March 28, 2011

March 30, 8:30 PM

Rivers are flooding and more will before this flood event is over but I have to say, not much happening around here. The forecast was quite spot on. Rain shadowing here in central Puget Sound has cut us off from the Main Event. But, we haven't been dry.

Not a great day today. Breezy for the first part of the day and off and on rain. Quite stable today temperature-wise. Our high around noon was 50, now at 8:30 PM it is still 49, and the low this morning was 45. So not much excercise for the mercury. Our highest breeze gust was 21 mph. And, so far today our total rain is only .22" ! More could fall later tonight, but right now radar is showing a great big blank space over the southern half of western Washington. All the action is currently north of us. However, the rivers being most watched for flooding are in the central Cascades, north of Mt. Rainier. A lot of rain has fallen in the mountains.

Another day with little desire to spend much time outside. The next week will continue with the cool and showery/rainy regime that doesn't bear much resemblence to spring, at least the spring everyone wishes for. But, sad to say, I guess it is Spring in the Northwest. My tulips are coming up and will try their best to light up the season.

March 29, 9:40 PM

A quick note tonight about our incoming weather: RAIN! A long, warm plume of moisture originating in the tropics is on its way into Western Washington. Wednesday into Thursday look to be WET region-wide, and rivers are likely to flood, hence the flood watch was posted over most all of this half of the state. The latest forecast is trending toward the central Cascades producing the most risk for river flooding, although all the mountains are set for a lot of rain. Due to shadowing off the Olympics, I am guessing here in this area we won't see too heavy of rain, but for nearly April it will maybe still be quite a good rain producer.

Today was a lousy day. Even though the high reached 54, most every time I looked at a thermometer it was in the upper 40's. Heavy overcast and sporadic rain all day. It felt colder outside today than many previous "colder" days and it has been hard to shake the chill. Photos of sunny places are looking better and better each day!

March 28, 8:30 AM

After a few days late last week that topped out over 60 degrees and had various amounts of sunshine, giving us our first real strong hints of spring, the season has pulled back again. Rain returned over the weekend and yesterday, especially, was chilly (upper 40's, slow to warm eventually to a high of 55 here) and the widespread rain was much more winter-like in appearance than typical "spring".

Now today, with higher pressure over us keeping the rain mostly at bay, but not the clouds, we are in a few hours of lull, but another system is coming in overnight tonight for another round of rain through Tuesday. Then, a much more potent system is due on Wednesday, basically a late season Pineapple Express, with a long moisture fetch reaching into the tropics is expected to stall over Western Washington into Thursday and dump substantial amounts of rain, especially in the mountains, but for us too, and potential flooding is to be watched for. Not too much lure to be outside this week, it appears, in spite of my youngest daughter's spring break this week. Well, too bad.

We have a few flowers to plant into pots, so perhaps today will be our best shot at getting that done under mostly cloudy and cool skies, rather than under rainy skies. Oh, my kids did run out a couple of days ago and plant some onion starts in our garden, so the garden is underway!

March 28
Sunrise: 6:55 AM --- Sunset: 7:32 PM (PDT)
(gaining 3 minutes, 27 seconds tomorrow)

Updated: 3:36 AM GMT on March 31, 2011


Broke 60!

By: PugetSoundPost, 3:49 AM GMT on March 24, 2011

March 23

For the first time since last November, our temperature broke through the 60 degree barrier today and here at home it reached 66! It has been a LONG time since we have been this warm and it surely did feel nice!! Warm sunshine was so welcome! I believe the official temperature is a little bit lower, but still above 60. Spring is here! However, considering our low this morning was a nippy 35, we have to temper our enthusiasm for the happy change just a bit. Gusty easterly winds (high of 22 mph) rumpled the day just a bit too. And, another spirit dampener is that it won't last and dampness is on the way, as soon as overnight tonight. Unfortunately clouds have been on the increase all day and showers could spread over us tonight and into tomorrow and Friday. More clouds. Cooler. Today was a tease, but nonetheless we are happy to be teased and think about better and more glorious days ahead; sometime.

When all the weather action dove south to our friends in California over the past week, relative calm settled over us. One end or the other of the west coast gets the action, it seems. Since my last posting a week ago, we have only seen .32" rain total, temps have run in the middle - upper 50's, and generally it has been quite quiet and rather ordinary.

In the meantime I have been busy at home - cleaning up after our big painting project and fighting the Battle of a Broken Refrigerator. Briar - I see you have replaced a freezer. Our whole refrigerator (only 8 years old) suddenly went kaput last Wednesday, and a new one arrived this Monday. Not a happy situation for several days in between, but we muddled along. I ended up throwing most everything out and consider this a good opportunity to "reset" and start fresh; happy to lose some of the things in there that were taking up space and needed to go probably long ago. It has been a busy time with a lot of activity on all fronts in the house. I did manage to run out and pot up some early spring flowers (nursery plants) of primrose, mini daffodils, and some hyacinth blooming and yet to bloom. My first spring flowers all in one pot now. I usually don't do this so early in the season - I prefer to wait a bit longer and start more long-lasting flowers for the summer season, but my daughter and I couldn't resist the temptation while looking at flowers. Adds a wonderful little patch of spring on our deck and does lift the spirits. And, to add to all this, a friend brought me another batch by surprise today, mostly pansies, so another pot will have to be brought out of winter hibernation and soon we will be quite the spring display! Woo-hoo! After this nice surprise, we did take a nice walk along the Sammamish Slough (a wonderful bike/walk trail) and in our 60+ degree heat today, it was a wonderful 2 mile trek, Mt Rainier was beautiful, with the rather high slough running swiftly and lots of waterfowl dotting the banks, cutting through nice farmland. Too bad I forgot my camera. And, to top it all off, my son mowed our lawn for the first time this year ( first time since last fall sometime) so spring does seem to be in the air! Too bad we regress beginning tonight.

March 23
Sunrise: 7:05 AM --- Sunset: 7:25 PM (PDT)


Rainy Wind

By: PugetSoundPost, 5:17 AM GMT on March 10, 2011

March 16, 8:00 AM

A little blue sky this morning, although patchy. A breeze is blowing, it is 40 degrees, and the clouds above are scuttling by as if anxious to move onto another locale. I can announce that it is dry! At least for the time being.

Yesterday, Tuesday, was an interesting weather day. Not nearly as much rain fell the previous overnight as I had expected; not sure exactly why. The early part of the day actually was rather dry, although overcast the whole time. But by afternoon the next feature started to ramp things up, and the rain rose over the horizon again. And, besides rain, thunderstorms rapidly moved across the area as well. I had to drive into Seattle right then and Boom! A few lightning strikes and at least one LOUD clap of thunder (along with a few further away) rocked the car and doused us with frenetic hail showers as well. Back home, it poured rain very hard, in sheets blowing along the ground, gusting up to 34 mph, and caused quite a commotion while the storm lasted. Showers continued off and on the rest of the day and evening, finally totaling to another .45" of rain for the day.

Now today, Wednesday, it seems like we are maybe beginning a little decline in activity. Showers and more thunderstorms are possible today, with the cool unstable air mass over us - definitely has the look of an unsettled day today - but the trend may be for gradually quieter days (but not totally tranquil) upcoming, at least through the next several days. My oldest daughter is home from college for about one + day, so that will give us something different and fun to think about!

March 14, 9:00 PM

Boy, it rained hard at times today, especially in the morning hours! Lots of rain. The stats for today are: 58/39, high wind of 26 mph, and as I write this: .65" rain for today. But, this is not our total. We had a few hours break, with some mild sunbreaks this afternoon again, after this morning's system that dumped hard on us, and now the next one is already here. Steady rain has set in for the night with the latest cold front already reaching the open door. Several trailing features will come in behind the front, bringing more rain, gales to the coastal waters, lots more snow to the mountains, and breezy/windy weather to us in the interior over the next couple of days. There is even a chance of a stray thunder clap tomorrow.

Our ground outside is quite saturated and soggy. You don't want to step off the pavement, or risk losing your shoe. A pesky intermittant leak (not the roof, thankfully) has reappeared over the weekend, but another temporary repair job, and mostly a shift in the wind away from the east while it rains hard, has stopped it for now. Still content to just be indoors. But everyone's gardening elsewhere does make me think about the future......

March 13, 9:30 PM

Another day, another system. A gray, rainy, blustery day. We have seen rain come in spells over the day, totaling .48" but I don't think this is the end of it. Radar is showing another rather heavy band of precipitation just across Puget Sound due to hit our area not too much longer from now. But, I don't think I will still be around to write about it this evening. Sleep is calling!

Temp extremes today: 51/41, high wind gust of 21 mph.

March 12, 9:15 PM

Added another .51" rain today. Steady uniformally falling rain all through midday today. High of 48, low of 41, and a lot of cloud cover; except for some short-lived sunbreaks late this afternoon - before another round of rain moved overhead for awhile. The Cascades have been especially clear, when not socked in with clouds, these last few days. A nice treat to see the snowcapped mountains so beautifully clear - no haze in the air.

Right now we are in a short lull until the next system, set to be stronger than today's, hits the target of western Washington, beginning overnight. More mountain snow, more rain down here, and breezier conditions through Sunday. Today has been a nice day to stay indoors and continue some of my house painting/renovation wrap up, which is pretty much done!

March 10, 10 PM

Another .80" of rain in the bucket today, most of it falling overnight last night. The wind did come in today, as expected. It was pretty blowy much of the day and our high wind reached 37 mph. It warmed up, however, to a high of 58, so the march of time in the month of March is beginning to show up on the thermometer a bit.

A break in this quite active period is coming on Friday for awhile, but by later on Friday the next system rolls in with rain and wind, and then even a stronger system comes in on Sunday, and continuing beyond that will more; every 24 or so hours a new round will begin. La Nina arrived, finally, and I guess better late than never!

March 9, 10:10 PM
Update: Already .25" rain has fallen just since I last wrote an hour ago and this round of rain started. That gives us 1.00" for today, and the rain is still going strong outside. It sounds nice against the windowpanes.

March 9, 9:15 PM

As I sit down to write this, the second system of today is bearing down on us; and in fact, the rain has already begun. The warm front rain shield associated with the next strong storm has moved in from the SW and the leading edge has just reached us. Heavy rain is not too far away from us, according to current radar.

Earlier today we had a decent cold front sweep through and at times it rained hard in brief bursts. Around noon today it just poured and the blustery winds swept the rain into a sharp angle. Just today from that front we have received .75" rain; and now, after a break of only a few hours when the sun came out, the next in the rapid-fire series is beginning to affect us. Quite a turn-around in weather since those drab days earlier in the season!

This incoming system is set to be the strongest of the week. A high wind advisory has been posted for us for tomorrow and a high wind watch in more exposed places, such as the coast and north of us. A deep surface low is going to be moving NE not too far off our coast into southern British Columbia on Thursday, and with it will come rain via a cold front tomorrow and winds, especially through the middle of the day. Once again, we could see 30 mph winds tomorrow.

Beyond Thursday, a break on Friday will lead to more systems over the weekend, and well into next week, some packing bigger punches than others. Quite a span of many storms in a short time! It has warmed up into the 50's for us for several days in a row now, but it depends on the visibility of the sun whether it really is in the 50's for any given part of the day.

The barometer is falling nicely and our break is over. I wonder how much "weather" we will end up getting from this storm?

March 9
Sunrise: 6:34 AM --- Sunset: 6:05 PM (PST)

Updated: 2:59 PM GMT on March 16, 2011


March, or January?

By: PugetSoundPost, 4:45 PM GMT on March 02, 2011

March 8, 10 PM

I will dash something off tonight with a little update of our weather since last week.

Actually it has been rather quiet for a few days, after that storm I wrote about below. And, by a miraculous happening, I did guess the high wind for that storm right on! Our high wind was an even 30 mph. Since then some rain, and a little step up in temperature, although we are still below normal overall this month.

Today began another changeover to another active pattern, but not too much to speak of today. A high of 52, low this morning of 38, and a breezy afternoon brought a gust of 27 mph, with only .09" rain today. Apparently beginning tomorrow a stronger system is set to arrive, followed by another on Thursday and then again Friday. Wind could be spinning up in the next couple of days, along with heavier rain, and heavy snow in the mountains. The next week features a whole series of systems. Except for longer days, there isn't much in the way of spring showing up yet.

March 2, 8:45 AM

It is hard to believe that March has arrived- wasn't it just New Years?- and also by looking out the window. There is nothing outside to hint at any coming of spring. In fact, it is much more reminiscient of January. We have semi-unexpectedly (after all, this is La Nina's year)switched gears since those halcyon days of January. Looking back, I mark the turning point on February 12, when a strong storm rolled through, bringing high winds and the return of the missing rains. Since then the weather has been much more active and dramatic than it was in all the weeks prior since nearly back to Christmas. The last half of February seemed to herald a stronger kick from La Nina, which I have written about here as perhaps starting to fade out a few weeks ago; and as if to spite those words, immediately ramped itself up here in the Northwest.

We had the cold snap bringing record lows, and less dramatic but still noticeably colder rainy days, the off and on snows of last week, a few bouts of windy weather, and in general just a lot stormier over a sustained length of time than probably we have seen all winter. The mountains just received their biggest snowfalls of the winter - up to 4 feet since last Saturday.

Now March is here, and yesterday was more-of-the-same. It was a dark, heavy gray day, high of 44 (low of 33) and drippy rain off and on all day. Places south of Seattle even saw some snow yesterday morning, while we were hovering mostly in the upper 30's with rain. Although the day wasn't particularly "stormy" I would say that March came in like a lion, or at least a lion cub.

Here we are on the 2nd day of March, and we are awaiting a strong storm, after yesterday's fairly quiet, but dreary day. A strong low pressure system (sub 970 mb center) is moving south to north just offshore alongside the Washington coast today. It will bring storm force winds to the coast and wind advisory (which was hoisted less than an hour ago) levels here well inland from the coast, and rain. So far this morning there is a breeze blowing, but no sign of stronger winds yet. My guess is we may top out around 30 mph. The sky is heavy and it is lightly raining. A warm front moved through yesterday, so it is a bit warmer today, but still in the 40's, and the cold front trailing the low will drop us down cooler again. Cool showers continuing the rest of the week, and another system is due on Friday.

As I look out the window I think the wind is beginning to strengthen just a bit more and the rain is coming down harder now. My kids went to the Seattle Flower and Garden Show this past weekend and surprised me with some tiny phlox starts (more like sprouts) that need to be planted right away. I am far from the flower planting frame of mind (no spring in sight) and all my spring flower planting gear is still in winter hibernation, but I will need to get going on this one planting. The flowers will be lovely eventually; if the squirrels don't get to them first.

FEBRUARY STATS (From my House):

Average High Temp: 47
Average Low Temp: 33
Warmest High Temp: 57 (2/12)
Coldest High Temp: 34 (2/26)
Coldest Low Temp: 19 (2/26)
Warmest Low Temp: 44 (2/4)
Highest Wind: 37 mph (2/12)
Wettest Day: .64" (2/14)

Total Rainfall for February: 3.52" (compared to 2.61" Feb 2010)

Total Snowfall for February: about 3"

Comments about the stats: This February was well below the averages for temperature compared to Feb. 2010 (and well below climatological averages for the month), and higher in rainfall. However, we are still running below normal officially for rainfall for the year of 2011. La Nina seems to be giving us mixed results this winter thus far.

March 2:
Sunrise: 6:47 AM --- Sunset: 5:54 PM (PST)
(gaining 3 min, 26 sec. tomorrow)

Updated: 5:59 AM GMT on March 09, 2011


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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