Puget Sound Post

Spring, Northwest Style

By: PugetSoundPost, 3:26 PM GMT on April 26, 2011

April 29, 8:30 PM

April is just about complete and I think it will feel good to move to May.

The last half of this week has been quieter, in my neighborhood at least, than I expected earlier. Rain has pretty much bypassed us, but the clouds have been persistent, even if not solid all the time. The sky has been quite "spring-like" - changing frequently, ranging from dark and ominous to at times a puffier, more harmless looking sky. Thunderstorms never materialized here, nor rain for that matter, but I know it hit other places. We aren't warming very much yet, but when the sun breaks through it is finding it just a little bit easier to warm us up. I see that today did bump up to a high of 64, (yesterday only reached 58) and the low this morning was 39 under a mostly cloudy day. This evening gave a nice crisp view of the Cascades, showcased by fresh, clear air. Fresh snow adorning their crest. Mt. Rainier stayed hidden.

An interesting thing did happen yesterday. The thunderstorms that never happened here, did scoot around in various parts of the region. This caused a well-defined funnel cloud to develop up north in Skagit County. This is pretty rare, but not unheard of in western Washington. It never touched the ground, but created a lot of interest from those who saw it.

The weekend holds promise of improvement, especially on Sunday. I think everyone will be happy to see that by now. But, again, it will be short-lived. More unsettled weather after that next week. This has really turned into a crazy spring/April. We could be headed toward a record cold April for us, I will have to keep an eye out as to whether we win that dubious honor or not.

April 26, 8:30 AM

It has been awhile since I wrote much in this space. Time has marched along, we are well into the heart of spring now, and some regions of the country I imagine are starting to see the "end of spring" in their views. Well, not so here in the Pacific Northwest. Some may argue here that we are still waiting for spring to begin.

If we look around we can see some tell-tale signs that spring did come - blossoms on trees, which are gradually giving way to leaves now; however many trees are still bare. Daffodils have been blooming and now tulips are showing their colors around town too. Nice red ones in a garden in our front yard. Always a delight to see them arrive. Birds are chirping merrily outside the window in the trees.Lawns need mowing, dandelions are increasing their numbers unfortunately. I've had an azalea bloom and just saw a couple buds beginning to open on one of our rhododendrons, but if you look too fast you would miss them. A wild, baby rabbit was spotted hopping through the yard over the weekend. We have likely, hopefully, left frost behind; but that is not for sure. Yes, it is spring here in the state. But in spite of all these wondrous signs that mark the season's definite arrival, the persistant gray, cool, blanket that has overdraped us for such a long time is slowly sucking the breath out of spring.

The weather has remained much the same for weeks and more accurately said, months, now. Last week was beginning to show very slow improvement and felt like we were beginning to come out of it a little bit, culminating on Saturday when the glories of heaven shone down upon us - such a wonderful day. Sunshine, 72 degrees, no wind! Wonderful! But even by Sunday that was over and gone. The tease complete. Gray returned and some light rain came with it, and ten degrees cooler. However just a sweater was good enough to make it through Easter. By yesterday, another major step down. We lost another ten degrees, but in reality it was more like 15 degrees. Another dark and dreary day with heavy overcast brought a new system sweeping through and steady rain all afternoon, totaling .44". That matched the temperature too, as most of the day hung at a steady 44 degrees! Our high was warmer than that, 51, but that is so deceiving. The wind bounced up to 22 mph, so actually it was one of our crummiest days in awhile now.

Today is another heavy-sky day and dark. Not much temperature movement - our low was 43 this morning and it is currently 44; not a lot of change is expected today. The forecasters say a weak high pressure may keep us pretty dry today, but sunshine is not in the offing either. Another cool and damp feeling day. But this may be fair-weather compared to tomorrow. A stronger and even colder system is bearing down on us from the Pacific. A pretty wet system for Wednesday/Thursday coming in, colder yet, a Winter Storm Watch for the mountains again, and even here in the lowlands, the snow level may fall to below 500 feet in the early morning hours! I hope the birds have well-insulated their nests!

While giving blood yesterday, I overheard someone say that we had come out of winter and had a bit of spring recently, shot into summer on Saturday only, and now we are back into fall weather again. That sort of seemed to sum up the pattern nicely.

April 26
Sunrise: 6:00 AM --- Sunset: 8:13 PM (PDT)
(gaining 3 minutes, 8 seconds tomorrow)

Updated: 3:32 AM GMT on April 30, 2011


Sun Breaks

By: PugetSoundPost, 6:42 AM GMT on April 12, 2011

April 23, 5:00 PM

What a glorious day!! I don't have time to really do a proper update on this, having been away from it for awhile, but I really wanted to publish something about our weather today! So nice! Clear sunshine and we have reached 72 degrees today!! First time to break 70 this year! Our lawn mower is roaring outside, the window is open, sleeves are rolled up, no wind, and it is still 68 this late in the afternoon!! We had a low this morning of 36, so a bit of chill we won't think about right now. Just a wonderful day, started out by watching University of Washington crew races on the Montlake Cut, we have planned out a summer job to replace our deck, and now I must move onto planning Easter dinner dessert! I have much more inspiration to do so given the day.

Happy Easter to all! He is risen, He is risen indeed!!

April 14, 11 PM

Raw Rain
What a fine January day we had today! Heavy and low sky, breezy winds, cold rain. Pretty well sums it up. The high temperature is quite misleading (51) because once the rain set in, midday, the temperature hung at 42 for hours, and a steady breezy rain dropped .53" on us, mostly during the afternoon and early evening hours. It was a really crummy day to be outside, and just plain raw and wet.

I guess it is time for a scenery change. Soooo, tomorrow my family is headed out for the weekend. We are off to our nephew's wedding in Idaho - a different climate. Today snow showers were reported there. It looks like a few steps down from our weather situation ahead for us.

April 13, 11 PM

Backward Step
Yesterday didn't last. We took a big step backward today. Heavier, darker clouds controlled the day, and the cool showers made the day actually quite a bit cooler than yesterday (high of 52, but mostly 48-49 through the day)and most definitely feel too chilly today. A bit of wind and the damp air made me basically cold anytime I was out. The kind that makes you suddenly shiver and just want to get out of outside. Rain showers threatened or happened all through the day and evening, a heavy but brief shower passed over just a little while ago. At this point we have .16" rain today; and thrown in for good measure was a little bit of thunder late this afternoon. Another cool system is incoming tomorrow. It is currently 39, so cold showers tonight!

April 12, 10:30 PM

A Pleasant Surprise
A much nicer day today than yesterday. By some surprise it was a quietly pleasant day. Filtered sunshine most all day, after a frosty start (low of 34), but the strengthening April sun warmed us to 60 even through the hazy, thin, high clouds. Little wind today and it was just nice to be outside. I managed with only a sweater today, but NO coat and did not even regret the decision. Yesterday I was waffling much of the day while out and about. I tried to get along with only a sweater, but was surely glad I had thrown the coat in the car, actually pretty certain it would stay on most of the time. But today was a different story and although nothing too dramatic, it was just a nice, quiet, April day.

Now I am off to the airport to pick up my traveling son due in soon from San Francisco. Rain is coming in, too, overnight and he will likely wish to be back in California!

April 11, 11:30 PM

I'm not sure exactly what to write tonight. The weather has been kind of that way lately. As I write, our Mariners are an inning short of their 8th loss in a row. Somehow that also kind of symbolizes spring so far too.

Today was an interesting mixed bag of weather - a day that seemed to hold some potential to bring on spring enthusiasm - the sun came out rather nicely during the middle of the day and as a bonus, the Olympic mountains were on clear display for awhile, coming out from under their usual cloudy blanket. Snow capped and rugged - nice to see them.

I had a nice outing to a park on the shore of Lake Washington with my mom this afternoon, but we sat in the car, enjoying a front row seat to the view of the lake and Seattle on the distant horizon. The sun was shining but we did not venture out into it. The wind was whipping up quite briskly over the open water and the lake was covered in white caps. The car thermometer registered 52 degrees, and with that wind, brrrr to stand out in it too long. But, the scene was pretty and the sun on the water was a tease of possibilities. The sky was a definite "spring sky" - a mix of cloud types and colors with wide patches of blue sky. To the north lurked dark, threatening rain shower clouds. And the "spring wind" blowing. By the time that I got home late in the afternoon, sprinkly rain was falling, the sun was gone, and it was even chillier.

Currently it is 39 degrees. The rest of the week promises more of the same - below normal temperatures and off and on rain. Once in awhile the clouds scatter around a bit and the promise of spring wakes us up, but I don't think we are truly awakened from our winter slumber yet. We are tossing and turning a bit more, getting closer to throwing the covers off and just waiting to welcome spring.

April 11
Sunrise: 6:27 AM --- Sunset: 7:52 PM (PDT)
(gaining 3 minutes, 21 seconds tomorrow)

Very Unusual Update:
Well, unbelieveably I have to make a HUGE correction on my first paragraph! Triple unbelieveably, the Mariners came back from down 7-0 in the 7th inning to WIN 8-7 in the bottom of the 9th! We did NOT lose 8 in a row, so head-spinning things can happen once in a blue moon. Does this mean the weather will improve dramatically too??

Updated: 12:06 AM GMT on April 24, 2011


And Now Its April Rain

By: PugetSoundPost, 6:05 AM GMT on April 03, 2011

April 7, 9:00 PM

Our split personality reversed itself today. Fog developed last night and persisted throughout the whole night. I know this because I was waiting for my son to get organized and pack for a trip, eventually driving him to the airport at 4 AM. It was a cold morning - low of 33, and we had showers of rain/snow mix along the way. I heard, early this morning, that there were even a few accidents due to icy roads in the Federal Way area. Even after the sun rose, the fog hung on in our area all morning, gradually thinning, but above the fog rested an overcast sky, so no grand illumination when the fog did fade away. Nonetheless,a good amount of clearing did occur and by afternoon the sun did come out better, with dark clouds lingering around the edges, as well as overhead at times. With the in-and-out sun the mercury climbed up to 51, and we accumulated .07" rain.

My son made it to San Francisco today for a conference for several days. He sent home a photo of visiting Fisherman's Wharf this afternoon, and sunshine was the first thing I noticed in the photo!

April 6, 10:15 pm

A day with a split personality roared in today. The first half+ of the day was markedly better than I really expected. More sunshine (not total blue, but enough to think about sunglasses), and warmer than I thought would happen (high of 55) and nicely calm.

BUT, then came the afternoon, and for us, the later part of the afternoon. Not unexpectedly, but perhaps slower than I thought, the dark clouds that had been in the periphery for a few hours prior (and I think dumping rain in those areas, but left us in the clear for a long while) began to creep closer. By 5:00 rain was imminent, and building up steam, a large cell arrived overhead, bringing hard rain, some frozen elements in the rain, and a couple of loud claps of thunder! The temperature dropped significantly and then we settled under heavy, rainy skies. Even a tree-top height fog crept in for awhile. Some areas not far away saw snow in the heavy showers - not sure that we had snow, per se, but it was frozen precipitation (not exactly hail, either) for a little while. My daughter was slated to umpire her first softball game tonight, right as all this hit. Cancelled for today.

At this hour, we have totaled .26" rain, had a high wind gust of 21 mph, a low wind chill of 18 degrees this morning, and the current air temperature is 34. Clearing is gradually on the way tonight, and the next two days could be calmer and a bit warmer too.

April 5, 10:30 PM

An interesting day today, but not very comfortable. Quite amazingly, we had zero rain here today, but there was some around. I heard that south of us, specifically in the Kent area (and many other areas, no doubt north too) they had downpour showers at times today, while we basked in cloudy, but dry weather all day. Another rain shadowing day with a narrower shadow than earlier days.

The bigger story today was the wind. It has been blustery and breezy all day, and the chilly air made it pretty crummy to be outside all through the day, and even crummier late this afternoon and currently into the evening. Coats didn't seem to be making a big enough difference. The highest wind was 26 mph, just a couple of hours ago as a little disturbance is moving through, but it was often in the 20's mph most of today. As our high was only 52, but mostly in the upper 40's till the cool of the evening dropped it further, the windchill is still running in the 20's and 30's. Brrr! Especially for April! Our low this morning was 41.

Tomorrow has the chance to be even more stormy - rain showers, cooler air yet, chance of thunderstorms, hail, and even a chance of snow in heavier showers by Thursday morning. We'll crank up the fire even higher than it has been running rather steadily for a long time now! Feels good!

April 4, 9:30 PM

A drizmally day today. It rained, but not nearly as much as I expected - someday I will learn not to expect whatever is forecast, especially anything quantitative. The rain was slower to move in, and weaker, and in opposition to the forecast, we were rain shadowed apparently rather extensively. So far for today we have only .33" rain. It was cool - topping out at only 47 degrees, with a low of 41 this morning. As the daily pattern has been, it was a pretty heavy overcast all day, and light rain fell for hours. Snow level is around 3,000 feet today, dropping to 2,000 feet soon, and quite a lot of new snow in the mountains.

I was looking through a catalog of outdoor furniture this evening, touting summertime fun on the deck, and I noticed that all the photos were featuring sunshine filled yards! I don't think this catalog applies here, so off it went to the recycle bin.

More cool showers on the way for a few more days this week, and possibly some thunderstorms on Wednesday, due to even cooler air incoming and providing some instability. Actually I am looking forward to any thunderstorms. Not likely to happen. See first paragraph of this commentary.

April 2,

March ended like a lion, rained all day, and April is just giving us the next verse of the same song. April 1st was a wet day, ringing up over a half inch, and hanging around 50 degrees during the day. Today has been drier, but not dry. We are up to .77" for April so far. The sun did come out at times and brightened things up, then passing rain showers reappeared.

Sunday should give us a drier and sunnier day - we will have to run outside and look - but even by Sunday evening another significant rainfall event will arrive, probably stalling over us on Monday for the threat of more river flooding. It is cooler than normal, still. Our high today, with the brief sunshine, was 56, low this morning was 39, and currently it is 42. The pattern may change in about a week. Will it, I wonder?

I have some tulips getting ready to bloom. Looking forward to that!

March in Review

Average High: 55
Average Low: 38
Highest Temperature: 68 (3/24)
Lowest Temperature: 32 (3/7)
Coolest High Temperature: 44 (3/1)
Highest Wind Gust: 37 mph (3/10)
Wettest Day: March 10 (.80" rain)

Days of measurable rain: 25
Total Rain for March: 5.78"

April 2
Sunrise: 6:45 AM --- Sunset: 7:39 PM (PDT)

Updated: 4:12 AM GMT on April 08, 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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