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Mid-Winter on Puget Sound

By: PugetSoundPost , 4:53 PM GMT on February 06, 2012

February 29, 10:15 AM
Wintry Leap Day!

Just home from the same walk I took yesterday morning. This time I took my son along and went to enjoy and photograph the winter morning in the park. And, not to disappoint us, it rained a cold rain, with snow mixed in, the whole time. Not much wildlife appeared. Guess they had more sense than we did!

Currently 35 degrees and snowing, but not sticking. Breezy and a raw winter day to usher out February.

February 28, 6:40 PM
Stormy Evening

An interesting day today- I began with a nice morning walk with a good friend through a quiet wetlands/lakeside park along the shore of Lake Washington. It was cool and refreshing, 40's, but calm and the sun tried to peek through the higher overcast. I wish I had brought my camera; I did consider it, but decided to concentrate on my friend and conversation, and that was best anyway. Our high ended up at 51, shortly after noon, and then the approaching front started to darken the western horizon as the day wore on.

By contrast to this morning it is a fun evening to be inside and just listen to the weather outside, with the flicker of the fireplace. The strong front has arrived and it is raining, but at the current 36 degrees I have seen snow mixed into the rain as it splatters against the windowpanes. An easterly wind has risen and so far our highest gust has been 23 mph. Snow is forecast to be more of a feature perhaps tonight, as well as over the next couple of days. Wednesday may be the most likely for snow, but around here, who knows. It is not supposed to accumulate, but, again, who knows. By later Thursday the snow chance will end, but apparently it is not gone for long. Early next week will also have some snow threats. Winter is not finished. In fact it is not at all finished just as close as the Hood's Canal area, where many inches of snow could fall over the next day or two. The unique geography of Hood's Canal, right up next to the Olympic Mountains, usually yields snow dividends for those folks at a much higher rate than typically for us.

February 27, 9:00 AM
Clear and Cool

The sun is beautifully shining this morning! Clear and blue skies---- but cold. Our low this morning was 25 and it is still in the low 30's. It won't be too warm of a day, in spite of the sunshine.

Saturday morning turned out to provide our only snow of the weekend. We did have some brief snow showers on Sunday morning, but nothing stuck and there wasn't much oomph behind those showers. A couple more chances of seeing snow are coming this week, as the cold air will persist and more moisture is coming. But since this is so late in the season now, I don't expect probably to really see any snow, and if we do I am not thinking that it will amount to anything.

The sun coming in the window this morning is exposing a lot of dust that I need to tend to around the house. I guess I am off now to get started on some cleaning. Fun!?

February 25

8:15 AM: SNOW!! Snow started falling here about 45 minutes ago and we are up to about an inch, and still falling. The flakes are big and so beautiful out the window, turning everything white. Love it! The forecast has been kind of around the loop on whether we may actually get any, but as of the last day or two it was starting to look like the chances were improving again. And tomorrow, Sunday, perhaps has an even better chance with a new little system moving through. Colder air will be in place by then. Currently it is 33.

Also, we are supposed to get windy today. No sign of that yet.

February 23, 7:45 AM

I haven't been around WU too much lately and now the month is slipping by quickly. The sun rose a little while ago and currently is brightly peeking over a line of clouds along the eastern horizon. A nice day perhaps lies ahead.

Rain returned over the last 10 or so days, with a couple of them being extra wet and murky. So far we are up to 2.67" for the month. That doesn't seem like much for this time of year, but actually it does seem that February is often rather "dry" and March is maybe a wetter month. Overall it has seemed more "wintry" in recent days, but nothing too remarkable for us. Just this week a good soaking of rain hit the region, especially the mountains, and some flooding has occured, but here in the greater metro area we were somewhat rain shadowed and all we got from that particular rainy day was .61". Pretty standard stuff.

A tease of possible snow for the coming weekend developed early this week, but to me it looks like that idea has all but melted away now. A colder system is coming in but it seems only the mountains will really benefit. Rain down here. Today we are in-between, and the sun should shine until tomorrow, when the rain returns again.

Life is always busy. A surprise visit and two-night stay by my college daughter over the holiday weekend was great. Her wedding dress came in much earlier than expected and we have it in hand, although the alterations still need to be done. The bridesmaids dresses are ordered and a few other things are done. But much lies ahead. So far we seem to be making good progress with little drama and I like it that way!!

Oh, for you serious gardeners, we just passed an old-timey milestone on the gardening calendar. My grandmother, who was a Great gardener here in western Washington with big crops, always used to say the peas should be planted by George Washington's birthday - yesterday. Anyone have their peas planted??

February 14

Hope everyone has a SWEET day!
Our weather has taken a turn toward the definite dull. The clouds are back, and a little rain now and then. In the last eight days we have .49" rain, nothing like we should expect. The highs have been in the upper 40's to 60, and each day is nearly all overcast, with little to show for that cloudy effort.

February 6, 8:45 AM

A beautifully blue sunrise this morning - clear skies and calm air is greeting us- again. Another spell of sunny and clear weather has set in for the last several days. High pressure sure does the trick on wiping winter away; if just for awhile. Our highs have been impressive - hitting 60-62 now for the last three days in a row is beginning to stir thoughts of spring, both in our yards and hearts, but there really is a long way to go and time for most anything to happen before spring truly arrives.

Since there isn't much weather-watching going on, I will instead write about our recent "mid-winter day trip", to borrow an idea from Calpoppy and advice from BriarCraft.

Last Thursday, my husband took the day off from work and just the two of us headed out on a sunny-day adventure: we took two ferries and landed at Port Townsend, on the west side of Puget Sound. The weather was spectacular for the second of February - a bit of a chill (layers felt quite good), but it was mostly sunny (clouds increased a bit as the day progressed, but nothing serious), NO wind, and certainly dry. Port Townsend is noted for its Victorian architecture, dating back to the original Victorian era, but even though that was a highly intended destination, we ended up spending most of our time in two state parks: Fort Flagler and Fort Worden. Both are near to Port Townsend. Both are original forts built just about 1900 to serve as defense of Puget Sound from any invading ships. They have batteries of big guns mostly hidden in hillsides, and are difficult to spot from the water. These two forts, along with a triplet fort on Whidbey Island, formed a triangle that enemies would have to pass through to successfully invade Puget Sound. Unfortunately, all three forts became obsolete not long after construction and never saw any real action, and were not in active duty for very many years. Now all three are state parks and are a lot of fun to just walk around - down in the inner workings of the batteries (guns and equipment long gone, but the concrete rooms and structure still remains, mostly in hillsides, or underground) and all around the old fort grounds, including old barracks (now retreat and conference centers, but still retain the original buildings and "look" of the old forts) and large, open grassy fields and areas. Also all three have magnificent views of Puget Sound from the tops of bluffs, and also beaches. Mr. PSP and I were pretty much the only people around both forts last week, so on the lovely winter day, it was a real treat to have these places to ourselves and enjoy the history and the ambience of the locales and just plain beautiful scenery. It was a wonderful day for us!

Here are some photos from the day:

This is the Point Wilson Lighthouse, next to Fort Worden. A beautiful sunset illuminates Mt. Baker in the distance.

Point Wilson Lighthouse, near Port Townsend

Fort Worden Sunset, near Port Townsend on Puget Sound

Just a tiny portion of a battery at Fort Flagler, Cascades in the distance. There are several different batteries of guns at each fort and the whole complex is very large, spreading over many acres.

One beach area at Fort Flagler

Calm Puget Sound at the Coupeville ferry dock on Whidbey Island

There are a couple more photos posted on WU in this series, if interested.

January in Review

Average High Temp: 45
Average Low Temp: 34
Highest Temp: 54 (Jan. 31)
Coldest Temp: 25 (Jan. 16 and 19)
Coldest High Temp: 29 (Jan. 19)
Highest Wind Gust: 38 mph (Jan. 21)
Number of days with precipitation: 20

Total Precipitation for January (rain plus snow melt): 5.03"

Total Snow Accumulation: 10 inches

February 6
Sunrise: 7:29 AM --- Sunset: 5:17 PM (PST)
(gaining 3 min. 3 sec. tomorrow)

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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26. polarbytes
1:59 PM GMT on March 01, 2012
My wife's cousin lives not too far from your location, I think, and on a hill to, but the walks around her house (I've only been there in the summer)
are so pleasant. We love to come down to the Great Northwest, maybe we should do it sometime in the winter to escape. We had another 8" yesterday which was a surprise as they had forcasted only 1-2". We will be shoveling the roofs again this weekend for the third time this winter; we're such wimps for complaining, I know.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
25. sandiquiz
5:06 PM GMT on February 29, 2012
Hi there,

As you said in your header ... "Winter is not finished" - definitely not: we have a frost warning out for the weekend and maybe snow again next week. The poor spring blossoms and flowers will get a shock. They have begun to enjoy the warmer weather of the last two weeks.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
24. PugetSoundPost
3:00 AM GMT on February 29, 2012
Hi Polar! Your snow totals are amazing and if they are amazing for you folks, I can just imagine for the rest of us! We have not had any real accumulation, so far, over the past few days. We did get about an inch on Saturday, some flurries on Sunday, and now it is threatening again overnight and over the next couple of days. It is possible a little will stick, maybe. It is getting late in the year for us to really have significant snow; however I do remember the first week of March quite a few years ago dumping 9 inches on us here at home in one storm! Our seasonal totals of snow vary a lot - from an entire winter never seeing a flake, to some winters seeing several snowfalls totaling a foot or two cumulatively. We aren't really "snow country" here and it can be a struggle to occur. I hope you can get your snow load under control easily and make life easier for you!

WTS- Snow falling in front of street lights is great fun to watch, I agree! So glad you have some new rain! Life without rain would be dull, indeed. Wish you could teleport into the NW tonight! You'd love it!

Yes, Jane, I've fallen for an engineer, and a good one at that! LOL! Good for you for teaching computer skills! Not my strongest gift! I think all of that happened in this world when I wasn't looking sometime.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
23. JanesVacation
9:30 PM GMT on February 28, 2012
Hi Puget, We seem to have quite a bit in common. My husband is an engineer, too. Nice guys those engineers!

Our daughter arrived on Friday night and we are having a wonderful 2 weeks together. She is such a joy to have around and we like to do so many of the same things. Her job allows her to work remotely, so as long as she has Internet and a phone she is good to go. I work as a part time computer teacher and librarian - so I have a bit of a flexible schedule as I travel between local schools.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
22. WatchinTheSky
4:53 PM GMT on February 28, 2012
Snow for you! Excellent! Would be awesome to watch. We did get to enjoy vicariously here last night. All the local TV news were up in Julian filming the snow. Looked wonderful falling past the streetlights as it accumulated.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
21. polarbytes
3:38 PM GMT on February 26, 2012
Well, I guess I'm glad for you,LOH! But, are you sure you want it after your nice spate of beautiful weather? Up here, we were all beginning to think an early spring was on the way since temps have been so mild and very little snowfall this month, but, oh well, no such luck. Heavy snow forcast for today 8-12" by the time it's all done and current temp is 20. BTW, we still have over 44" on the level but nothing like the mts, where in some locals they have a snow depth of 300"! Alyeska ski resort has recorded 725" for the season so far.

So anything we can do to help you in your quest for snow we here in ak are more than willing to do. Anyway, enjoy your day and your snow!! And drive safe coming down off of your hill.

ed: we finished up with 23" of snow through yesterday but it's snowing again now. How much do you get? It's getting really hard to find places to put it and I've scheduled a front loader to come and try and push some up it back. We're not like Valdez and so this amount is above normal for us, we normally don't have 60" on the level!!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
20. JanesVacation
11:58 PM GMT on February 24, 2012
No peas planted here either, we would have to clear the 5 inches of heavy wet snow we received today! Love your grandmothers style, gardening is one of my favorite things to do. All is brown here now, crocus will show themselves about mid-March.

Love, love, love anything to do with weddings. My niece is getting married in July and I just saw her bridesmaid dress and shoes today. Our daughter and other niece were married in 2010 - so weddings are common lately in our family! All the girl cousins will be married, with just the boys left, we don't foresee anymore wedding happening for awhile...but you never know. Niece is graduating from college and then getting married right away (at the age of 22). Seems rather young. How old is your daughter?

BTW- daughter and son-in-law are in Chile because he is working as a visiting professor there and finishing up his PhD in mining.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
19. PugetSoundPost
7:09 PM GMT on February 24, 2012
Hi Briar - Fun to hear of your cats and walking in the mud. Cats are so particular about their situations - cleanliness and the weather. They like to be comfortable! I can perfectly picture them walking in the garden and the surprise sudden sinking! Nothing is happening in our garden either and won't for a long time, although my son does have some pepper seeds started and sprouted indoors now. I kind of wonder if gardening for my grandmother's generation - early 1930's and onward for her - was such a different time and circumstance (she was rural - down in your neck of the woods) that they were much more conscious of "starting on time", whether the soil was really ready or not, because for one, they had far fewer outside distractions than we do, and also they were much more dependent on large and successful crops as true food sources. Times were hard and everyone was much more self-reliant anyway. The garden was less of a hobby and more of a necessity, even though for her it was both - she always loved gardens and flowers everywhere.

Looks like an active weather weekend ahead, and now the snow showers look to be more seriously back into the forecast for us! It looks like rain is not very far off now, and the wind will pick up eventually. Winter is still in the air!
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18. BriarCraft
7:02 PM GMT on February 23, 2012
No peas planted here. Not this year or any year. Right now, my garden has puddles and the mud is so soupy even the cats can't walk there. A couple have tried. Birds hop around the garden in search of bugs and grubs, always a temptation to the cats.

Something funny to behold is when a cat goes walking across a muddy surface and all of a sudden sinks in up to his elbows. Eyes get as big as saucers. Then put it in reverse and back up ever so carefully, putting feet exactly where they were placed before.

Muddy little tigger tracks all over the deck and across my office, where the cat door is located.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
17. PugetSoundPost
3:58 PM GMT on February 23, 2012
Hi Briar! We had a pretty rainy day on Tuesday - the clouds were nearly down to the ground most all day, so a very dark and wet day, with gusty winds at times, but no power outages around here. The storm this week didn't really materialize into much for us - just a pretty typical wintry, wet day. We got .61" rain. The wind did bump up to 30 mph yesterday morning, but soon the wind settled down. Looks like the chance of snow has nearly disappeared. Not surprising. As I wrote above, in the old days gardeners would be stirring up their garden ground by about now. Anything starting to happen in your big garden yet?

Hi WTS! Yes, February has turned wetter during this second half - pretty dry to begin the month. Sometimes February is remarkably dry for us for some reason, then the rain may return more heartily in March, right when we are starting to wish to be outside more, of course. This month may turn out ok rain-wise and not be one of those extra dry ones. More rain is coming beginning tomorrow. So February wraps up your hopes for rain for the season?
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16. WatchinTheSky
7:40 PM GMT on February 22, 2012
Looks like you are getting all our rain plus yours! And wind, too.
We will close out Feb with about .5" instead of our typical 3". On to summer....last season's rain just a fond memory.
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15. BriarCraft
6:24 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
I think this new storm is going to hammer Seattle much more than Portland this time. Once again, I think I'm going to be on the fringes. Hope you don't lose power in the high winds predicted for some areas.
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14. PugetSoundPost
8:00 PM GMT on February 17, 2012
Hi BC - I would LOVE to be at the coast storm-watching! We'd probably have to head to the Oregon Coast this time. Too bad. Except for one week of snow, this winter has been very dull. Wish we could travel a bit more to chase whatever action there is around!
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13. BriarCraft
6:52 PM GMT on February 17, 2012
Looks like the storm coming in tonight and tomorrow will miss us to the south. The fringe might brush me a little, but you should have it calm. There's a weather advisory for Kelso, 30 miles south of me, but no advisory here. Also, I see they're predicting 25 foot seas. This would be a great time to be in a motel overlooking a rocky stretch of coastline.
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12. WatchinTheSky
5:23 PM GMT on February 15, 2012
Hi PSP, hope you had a nice Valentines - maybe a little champagne and strawberries! Looks like no more snow for you or BC lately :)
We are finally getting a little inclement weather here, though half way through our wettest month and we have barely had 1/2 an inch - about 1/3 of normal. Maybe we can catch up a little by tonight.
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11. BriarCraft
6:55 PM GMT on February 14, 2012
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10. JanesVacation
2:39 PM GMT on February 11, 2012
So glad I stopped by to see your beautiful pictures. And, thanks again for sharing your robin picture with me. I still haven't seen one despite the fact my sister sees them throughout the winter and she lives only 5 miles south of me. (We say they don't travel this far north!)

I can tell you love where you live as much as I do. Not everyone shares that feeling of "home."

10 degrees with an inch of snow overnight last night. WE have seen so little of the white stuff this year. It doesn't bother me much now that we are reaching the middle of February next week. March is usually just a wet month for us.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
9. BriarCraft
7:37 PM GMT on February 10, 2012
Thanks for providing some ferry info on my blog. I have a hunch that during tourist season and around holidays one might need reservations. This time of year and on a weekday, you practically had the ferries to yourself.

I used to have a motor boat and used it to explore the islands in the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Everything looks so much different from the water and it was great fun. Then gas got expensive and priorities changed and the boat was sold. I'm looking forward to the chance to see Puget Sound from the water. I'll bet it's gorgeous all the way.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
8. Buckey2745
4:56 PM GMT on February 10, 2012
Here we go again! I think from now on I'm just going to pay attention to your weather to know what we're getting out east. Everytime you have a cold spell, we're warm, etc. A little snow tonight and then our coldest air of the season coming! Hope you're having a great winter!
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7. BriarCraft
10:00 PM GMT on February 09, 2012
Oh, what a wonderful day you must have had! I would imagine the ferry rides were fun, too. Whenever I go to the Olympic Peninsula, it's just a long drive. You've got me thinking it might be fun to go out of the way to Seattle just to be able to take a ferry one way. Did you reserve space in advance or just drive up and take a chance? You've got me itching to head out on another day trip. There's just so much to see and enjoy.
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6. sandiquiz
9:37 PM GMT on February 09, 2012
And, how are you faring in the English winter, Sandi?

It hasn't been too bad, until now, but it is snowing right now and the forecast is for freezing rain and minus 10 before midnight.... so I will come back tomorrow and tell you how I am faring! lol

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5. calpoppy
9:04 PM GMT on February 09, 2012
How fun for just the two of you!!! I love Port Townsend, last time I was there it was a beautiful day, with the bluest sky. My girlfriend and I camped at Fort Flagler once. Clam digging and trying to protect the hot dog buns from racoon raids, a lot of fun.

Enjoyed your pictures, your winter is definitely a turn around from last year.

Hows the wedding planing going? We have a wedding on 8/31/12 to attend and another (my niece) sometime in fall or winter.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
4. polarbytes
2:31 PM GMT on February 08, 2012
What wonderful photos that brought back such pleasant memories of a trip there a few yrs ago. We took the blackball from Victoria to port Angeles and then drove to PT to stay in a friends B&B.We also really enjoyed both forts. And PT is such a neat town!
We up here are also sunny with relatively mild air in place, highs have been near 30 with lows not much colder.Hope it cools down some for the Xcountry ski meet this weekend. FWIW, I posted a few pics in the main weather photo page. Enjoy the rest of your week,
a welcome respite I'm sure after all your snow a few weeks ago.
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3. PugetSoundPost
3:08 PM GMT on February 07, 2012
Thank you WTS and Sandiquiz! It was a great photography day when we went on our excursion. It was so nice to just be outside and out of our home rut for a day.

It looks like rain is coming back into view for us after a long absence. The weather has been glorious -our highs have been 60-63 for the last four days in a row now and lots of sunshine. At this point it is probably going to be hard to regress to what February should be like, but I think it is coming around again. Rain chances pick up even by tomorrow. I hope some rain makes it down to Southern Cal! And, how are you faring in the English winter, Sandi?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
2. sandiquiz
9:06 PM GMT on February 06, 2012
I am so glad you had a lovely outing.... the photos are wonderful, especially the first one! The way the sun is catching the snowy mountains is glorious!
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1. WatchinTheSky
8:12 PM GMT on February 06, 2012
Hi PSP! Great photo of the lighthouse and Baker. Looks like you are out of the rain for a day or two and temps are up a little? Am hoping we get a little rain, at least, tomorrow.
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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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