Puget Sound Post

Under La Nina's Strong Sway

By: PugetSoundPost, 10:17 PM GMT on May 25, 2011

May 26, 9:15 PM

Some sunbreaks today improved the situation over what it was yesterday, but only in a moderate way. Our high yesterday turned out to be only 57 and we received .25" rain. It never rained very hard but it was steady for quite a long while. Now today we have battled between clouds and a longer sunbreak during the mid day hours, causing the mercury to rise to 68 with the sun. Our low this morning was 45. By later afternoon drifting shower cells increased and around 4:30 or so we had a nice little moderate squall move through. It rained harder and the wind bumped up to 22 mph in a quick little burst. The whole thing was short and we only added another .04" rain - pretty small potatoes. Anyway, the day has had multiple personalities - in other words, "spring". Now at just after 9 PM the sky has closed up for the night under a solid cloud blanket again and it is currently 51. More rain would not be a surprise this evening.

An offshore upper low is keeping us cool and showery for the next two days. More of the same is expected, with an added slight risk of thunderstorms tomorrow, but south of Puget Sound looks to have the best chance for that. Perhaps BriarCraft will see some sparks.

May 25, 3:15 PM

The intermittant breaks in the gray that I wrote about as a headline last time around in this space are all gone. To recap the last few days, we did have some scattered nice days and it was a "Break in the May Gray", however nothing was really sustained or really outstanding either. It seems that the nicer days are trying hard to take a better toe-hold, but the odds are really stacked against them as well. We broke into the low 70's here at home a few times and the sun has been out more, sometimes after morning clouds finally, reluctantly give way to the sun by later afternoon. No organized systems have come through for awhile, and that is an improvement.

Until today. By noon today the latest organized system had struck. Steady light rain is falling right now, it is currently 54 at 3 pm, and a little breeze is blowing, but nothing special. It is a very dark and gloomy day. An occluded front is crossing the region, which will be followed by a trailing upper level trough, giving rain for most of the rest of the day. This is not the end of it - a series of systems are lining up to pass overhead over the next several days. Remaining cool - 50's-60's depending on the day, and not too much to look forward to. Sunday is thought to be the best day of the holiday weekend.

I had out of town family in town over the last few days and actually it was timed just right. We managed trips to the zoo and aquarium in the nicest weather of this week - part of the morning clouds/late afternoon sun scenarios. I hadn't been to either place in a long time - very enjoyable to go and for the zoo, especially, spend some nice time outside in the park-like setting enjoying the animals and family. My husband is currently in Australia and it doesn't sound like he found great weather there, either. Downpour rains and strong winds soaking them. Who IS having nice weather these days? Not back east with all of their severe storms either! I guess we will enjoy what we have - can't change it!

May 25
Sunrise: 5:20 AM --- Sunset: 8:51 PM (PDT)

Updated: 4:17 AM GMT on May 27, 2011


Break From May Gray in NW Coming?

By: PugetSoundPost, 4:42 PM GMT on May 16, 2011

May 21, Just past midnight

Seattle hit 70 for the first time since last Nov 4! That is kind of a nice monkey off the back of everyone around here! Some very nice days of late - actually making it into the low 70's here at home and feeling nice.

I have been busy outside - "making hay while the sun shines", as they say. Cleaning out flower beds, planting flowers in the yard and in pots, cleaning up deck furniture, sweeping, and bringing us back into the land of the living a little. Lawn mowers have been busy in the neighborhood, cars are getting washed, kids playing in yards, neighbors standing in the street visiting. The shackles of winter are being thrown off in the great Pacific Northwest!

But, change is coming again and this delight is not lasting for now. Summer is still a distance away. But spring is making me content.

May 17, 8:30 PM

After yesterday, today has been another head-spinner. A much better day today than yesterday, when it never cleared and just seemed like a day more reminiscent of several months ago. Too cool, too cloudy, too breezy; especially for the middle of May.

But then today came! A mostly sunny day, warmer - into the middle 60's, although mostly not that warm, but surely pleasant and what we should readily expect for "Spring" (no, not summer, but definitely spring!)! Our low this morning was 41, so still that bit of chill in the early air. However, no complaints, as it has been just a nice spring day!

To top it off, we are heading into the next three days of what looks like a nice change for the better! Sunshine and a bit warmer still! Getting anxious! And my flowers can't wait to hopefully get planted soon!

May 16, 9:40 AM

Today is a giant step backward again. Solid, heavy overcast, too cool (49 currently, low of 47 this morning), breezy (high gust of 18 mph a little while ago)and threatening rain, which is only supposed to increase in chance this afternoon.

Rain would not be a surprise, given the weekend we had. Wow! It rained a lot for any season here, let alone in the middle of May. As I wrote over the weekend, Saturday turned into quite a crazy day. It started out rather nice, stayed surprisingly nice most of the day, giving us a rare decent day for our boat outing on Puget Sound, but rain moved in during the late afternoon/early evening. By midnight we had 3/4 inch of rain, which kept coming into Sunday, finally stopping by midday on Sunday, but not really clearing either. Yesterday's high only reached 54 degrees. Our storm total at home was 1.3". And as usual, other places had considerably more rain. All of it record-setting. The NWS reports that by Sunday evening 1.78" rain fell officially, which is the monthly average for all of May. So, not very May-like around here. In fact, if not for the newly minted green leaves on the trees, looking out the window I'd say it was a typical February day.

Last Friday was a nice break in the action. Sunny and warmer than we have been used to. I used that day to run to a couple of nurseries and finally bought some flowers for the yard and deck. Unfortunately I ran out of time and none have been actually planted or potted yet. Not likely to happen today, either. Just last evening my daughter finally (we have not rushed, "you know, the weather") planted pumpkin seeds indoors. They will probably shoot up and be begging to move outdoors before we know it. Then what? They won't be happy to move to the cold, soggy garden.

A break may be coming, however. This cold trough that is driving our weather today and tomorrow, may give way to a nice little ridge offshore beginning about Wednesday. Hooray! Sunshine and warmer days are currently predicted for Wednesday-Friday (showers again after that). In fact, perhaps ABOVE normal temperatures are possible!! Officially Seattle has not reached 70 degrees since Nov. 4, 2010, and that long streak may be in danger of ending by later this week. Wouldn't that be wonderful??

May 16
Sunrise: 5:30 AM -- Sunset: 8:40 PM (PDT)
(gaining 2 min, 27 seconds tomorrow. We are now well below our peak of fastest gaining daylight per day)

Updated: 7:01 AM GMT on May 21, 2011


Lots of Rain Tonight

By: PugetSoundPost, 6:51 PM GMT on May 02, 2011

May 14, 9 PM

An interesting day! Most of today has been pretty nice. And we took advantage of it quite well! For a family celebration, my husband and I, along with some in-laws, took a tour boat out into Puget Sound, to Blake Island, and enjoyed a NW Indian style salmon dinner and cultural show at Tillicum Village. We had never done this before, even though this has been a Seattle attraction for decades. Very enjoyable! The boat ride was great fun with beautiful views and great to feel the salt air blowing through our hair and across our faces. Nice weather for the trip on the boat, on the beach on the island, and time on the Seattle waterfront. The high at 3 PM was 71!

But, change was lurking as well. The clouds were on the increase and the humidity was on the rise, and by the time we were driving home, very dark clouds were on the horizon. By early evening the rain, unusually moving from SE to NW, set in. It is raining steadily and with some punch. We are expecting a lot of rain overnight, thunderstorms are a possibility (but I do not think our chance is too high), and the day has taken such a big U-Turn today - hard to believe. I surely am glad we made it through our adventure before it all changed!

UPDATE: 11:30 PM Just this evening we are up to .72" rain and it is still coming down.

May 11, 4:45 PM

Rainy day today! It started lightly showery this morning, then picked up speed this afternoon. Heavy clouds, cool (high of 56, currently 50) and so far we have accumulated .27" rain. BUT, the trees are nicely leaving out and there is scattered spring color showing in yards. AND, yesterday gave us a nice afternoon - sunshine and pleasant. Showers on the horizon again for the next few days.

I've had trouble with photos today. I posted 5 of them and only one has survived some kind of problem on this site that managed to magically delete the other four from WU. No trace of them. We will see if they reappear or I repost. Anyway, this photo shows the scene pretty nicely of the crew races on the Montlake Cut we attended last Saturday. More details are given in the post I wrote on May 7 below. In this photo the races are complete and all the boats from many races return together to the dock, forming a parade back through the Cut. Quite a colorful spectacle!
UPDATE:It looks like we will end up with .36" rain today, at least to this point (10 pm)

May 7, 11:40 PM

While I wait for a cake to cool enough to move onto the next step, I will write a little bit here. It has been a crazy day, and this is a good way to wind it down.

I started the day out with some of my family by attending the Opening Day of Boating Season, an annual tradition that goes way back in Seattle. One of the main events are crew races through the Montlake Cut (connects Lake Washington with Lake Union, which eventually through locks drops into Puget Sound), featuring the UW team, as well as varied invited teams, ranging from local rowing clubs with rowers covering the ages, as well as a variety of college teams, mostly from the NW but not all. The culminating race, the mens varstiy 8's, featured the # 1 ranked college team of Univ of Washington, plus this year Stanford and Cambridge, England. It turned out to be a pretty lopsided win for our home boys! Go Dawgs! We also watched part of the boat parade and I had no idea that fire boats could shoot water so far!

Weather-wise, our cool spring is continuing rather steadily. It has been cloudy all day (a few minor sunbreaks) and cool (50's), a bit of a breeze (not too much), and we have had showers at times, mainly later today/evening. We stayed dry at the races this morning, but it felt good to have on a heavy sweatshirt, plus a jacket over that. Yesterday was much like today, cool and cloudy/showery. So far 6/7 days of May have had measurable rain.

Happy Mother's Day to All Mother's!

May 5, 10:00 AM

Yesterday passed without me getting a chance to write, but it was a quite noteworthy day. Easily the nicest day of the week, it was a great day to be outside. The sun was up and out early, and although a chilly start (low of 37) and it did not rapidly warm up, by the middle of the day and into the afternoon it was a very pleasant day. Along with Briar, I went outside too, and managed to weed a long section of semi-rockery garden, after a nice long walk along the Slough earlier. A few days ago we trimmed bushes along the same area and it was nice to get the bottom of the bed cleaned out. A little sore today from all that :( I also visited with a neighbor, also weeding, and that was a first in a very long time. All of the hibernators are venturing out into the air! It was a perfect afternoon for doing that work - short sleeves were nice but it wasn't too hot either. Our high in the early afternoon was 67. Not much wind, and just a very delightful spring day!

Alas, we can't hang onto that weather, although it may be trying to come around a little more often than before. Anyway, by early this morning the heavy clouds were back over us, and it has rained a few hundredths. Only in the 40's at mid morning (not much change all morning) and I have no urge to go out and do anything in the yard. Which is good, since soon I have to go take my mom out for the day. More light rain is expected over the rest of today (probably light showers at best) and for the next few days as well, with successive systems on the way. They do seem to be weakening, so just enough steam to cloud us completely over, keep us cool, and drip some drops now and then.

May 2, Noon
May has arrived with a breath of fresh air yesterday. A lovely spring day dawned on May Day, with peaceful sunshine and a high temperature of 68 for us. It was a welcome improvement over our record-cold April. We did indeed set a record in April, and one that most of us aren't too excited about. April turned out to be the coldest April in Seattle on record, and records date back to 1891. And, it was 7th wettest over all those years. I doubt anyone around here who experienced our April really is very surprised by the record.

So now it is May. We had a very nice day yesterday, but also still "spring". It was a nice day but not overly hot, and when an intermittant breeze blew through there was a little nip in the sunshiny air, but still it was a very nice day.

A different day today. A new system has rolled in bringing rain with it. We have been in the middle 40's this morning during the rain, which is easing off now. But rain is in the forecast and breezy winds, showers tomorrow, a lull day on Wednesday (probably dry) and then more showers possible the rest of the week, and stronger systems next weekend. Temperatures in the 50's the rest of the week as well. So just as March rolled into April with little change, April has slid into May with little change. However I do think we are making incremental steps upward, even if slowly, toward summer.

April in Review

Average High: 57.8 (My avg. high is 5 degrees warmer than officially for the record; perhaps due to my inaccuracies in thermometer placement and also 25 or so mile difference in location.)
Average Low: 38.2
Warmest High Temperature: 72 (April 23)
Coldest Low Temperature: 32 (April 8)
Coldest High Temperature: 47 (April 4)
Warmest Low Temperature: 47 (April 10)
Highest Wind Gust: 26 mph (April 5)
Wettest Day: April 1 (.58")
Days of Measurable Rain: 21

Total Rain for April: 3.41" (officially about an inch more fell to rank this April as the 7th wettest on record)

May 2
Sunrise: 5:50 AM --- Sunset: 8:22 PM (PDT)

Updated: 6:36 AM GMT on May 15, 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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