Scott Sistek

KOMONews.com / Weather

Scott Sistek
Scott Sistek
KOMONews.com / Weather
Scott is not only the staff meteorologist for KOMONews.com, but is also a content producer for the entire KOMONews.com site which helps keep him busy during the five days of the year when Seattle's weather is uneventful.

Scott also is the author of the Partly to Mostly Bloggin' weather blog both here at KOMO and at our sister station in Portland, KATU.com.

The blog was recently honored with a 2nd place finish in the regional "Best Specialized Blog" category in the 2009 and 2011 Society of Professional Journalists annual awards.

Scott graduated from the University of Washington in 1994 with a degree in Atmospheric Sciences and started at KOMO two days later as Steve Pool's weather producer.

Scott took a three year hiatus in the late 90s to go work for the company that created KOMO's weather software (remember the green weather wand?) but missed KOMO's unique lunchroom coffee blend of java and grounds and came back to KOMO full time in January 2000 as both a staff meteorologist and a news web content producer. (Yes, he was 9 years ahead of the hybrid craze!)

These days, Scott writes the weekday afternoon weather forecast on KOMONews.com's weather site, as well as original content for his weather blog and weather and science-related stories for the home page.

Scott's also a published author. He co-wrote the book "Somewhere I Was Right" with Steve Pool -- a fun look at the zaniness that is Northwest Weather. You can find more information about the book at www.stevepool.com.

He was born in Port Angeles, but considers himself a "child of the Northwest", having lived in several places along the Pacific Coast through childhood as the son of a Coast Guard search and rescue pilot, before returning to the Seattle area in 1990. He's a big Mariners' fan -- that's how he met his wife Michelle -- and loves fantasy baseball. (He welcomes any drafting tips or hot prospect information you might have.)

He's also the self-proclaimed "Spokesperson for Seattle's rain fans" -- Scott's not too happy when it gets close to, or above 80 or when the rain stays away too long -- something that he shares with thousands of Seattleites who might possibly constitute a silent majority.

Scott's not on TV, but you can occasionally hear him on KOMO 1000 News when the weather is ornery, or even sometimes see the back of his head when Steve is live in the weather center (or, it might be an intern. No, Scott doesn't change his hair color every day). He did land a starring role in the movie "Life or Something Like It", which was the Angelina Jolie movie filmed in KOMO's newsroom, as "Head Behind Computer Monitor Number 12" for six seconds in one of the newsroom scenes.

He's married with two young daughters..

Recent stories by Scott Sistek

Weather Watch: Time lapse video of gorgeous Mt. Rainier lenticular cloud Watch: Time lapse video of gorgeous Mt. Rainier lenticular cloud (Video)
They're sometimes mistaken for aliens, but really, it's just a sign rain might be on the way.

Luke Meyers just recently published this time lapse video of a rather strange-looking lenticular cloud over Mt. Rainier last March. It's a good illustration of how they form -- the clouds look stationary but there's quite a bit of movement in them as air rises just enough to saturate, then dries enough as it sinks to "go invisible" again.
Weather 'Tis the season for brilliant 'fire rainbows' 'Tis the season for brilliant 'fire rainbows' (Photo Gallery)
NOTE: Story orignally posted May 8, 2013

The first week of May is probably better known around here as the Opening Day of Boating Season but did you also know it's when we kick off the fire rainbow season?

Fire rainbows, or more officially (and more boringly) known as "circumhorizonal arcs" are caused by ice crystals in the thin, distant clouds being at just the correct angle to refract the sunlight into the colors of the prism.

Ron Glowen, now of Arlington, Wash., just sent me these photos that were taken in June of 2006 while visiting his hometown of Spokane.
Weather Snohomish storm chaser gets 1-in-a-million shot of tornado, rainbow Snohomish storm chaser gets 1-in-a-million shot of tornado, rainbow (Photo Gallery)
Not sure I've ever seen a photograph that captures the beauty and power of weather in one singular shot.

Snohomish's Benjamin Jurkovich, part of the JWSevere Weather Chasing Team has been out storm chasing in the Midwest for the past few weeks and he's had his share of twisters, super cells, and other images that define Tornado Alley in the spring.

But this one he got near Wiley, Colorado Saturday afternoon might be the most unique in his portfolio -- a tornado at the same time as a rainbow.
Weather A few easy tips that can save your life on the water A few easy tips that can save your life on the water
As sunshine and 70s become more common this time of year, so do the spontaneous trips out to enjoy the warmth out on the water. And with that comes the busiest time of the year for water rescuers.

Sadly, May is the month with the highest amount of water-related fatalities in the Northwest and this year is no different.
Weather Full moon teams up with Space Needle for dramatic photographs Full moon teams up with Space Needle for dramatic photographs (Photo Gallery)
SEATTLE -- The full moon made quite the appearance Sunday night and local photographers were at the ready.

We received a few photos with the moon lined up with the Space Needle.

But the photographers didn't have to "luck" in the shot. Did you know there are tools out there to help you be ready for these kind of amazing photos?
Weather Stevens Pass has earliest snow meltout in at least 34 years Stevens Pass has earliest snow meltout in at least 34 years
STEVENS PASS, Wash. -- The paltry snowpack at Stevens Pass this winter is now officially melted out.

While there is still a dusting of snow around some parts of the pass area, the measuring station there measured less than 2 inches of snow water equivalent on the ground Tuesday -- the official definition of when the snowpack is considered melted out, according to University of Washington research meteorologist Mark Albright.
Weather Smoke from Siberian wildfires turns Northwestern sunsets a fiery red Smoke from Siberian wildfires turns Northwestern sunsets a fiery red (Photo Gallery)
The scenes have almost felt like they're out of Hollywood imagination -- brilliant red sunrises and sunsets the last couple of days around Western Washington.

Why so red? It's a byproduct of the massive wildfires that recently burned a large area in Siberia.

The atmospheric winds are aligned this week to carry the smoke across the Pacific Ocean and into the Pacific Northwest.

First up, to get an idea of just how much smoke is in the atmosphere, look at this visible satellite image taken on April 14 of the southeastern Siberia area where the wildfires got out of control:


Credit: NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Adam Voiland.

Where did the smoke go? This graphic is a model trajectory tracing back the air pattern across the Pacific Ocean over the past week. Note the air from the wildfires makes somewhat of a bee line toward Seattle (with a brief stop for a loop-de-loop in the central Pacific:)



Amazingly the smoke is still quite intense when it gets here -- check out this high-resolution satellite image from Saturday and note the haze over Washington and British Columbia:
Weather Weather blog: Hot, dry summer now the prohibitive favorite Weather blog: Hot, dry summer now the prohibitive favorite
Just like a song that has the same verse over... and over.... and over...

and over....

Here comes the fresh 90 day forecast from the NOAA's National Climate Prediction Center and the story...is the same. In fact, it might be even more declarative: May is going to be hot and dry. Late spring is going to be hot and dry.

The summer is going to be hot and dry.

The autumn will be... warm.
Weather Weak tornado touches down outside of Bremerton? Weak tornado touches down outside of Bremerton?
Monday was another stormy day around the Puget Sound region, but it appears it was a bit extra-stormy on the Kitsap Peninsula.

Elaine Lunyou-Blankenship's husband snapped this photo of what appears to be a weak tornado that touched down west of Bremerton Monday afternoon around 4:15 p.m.
Weather Lightning leaves a rather twisted scar on Olympia tree Lightning leaves a rather twisted scar on Olympia tree
I have to admit even being a weather geek, I hadn't really thought much about how lightning strikes a tree, but this photo taken by Barbara Engelhart got me wondering how this particular lightning bolt chose its path to the ground.

"We had an interesting lighting strike here in Olympia on Wednesday afternoon," Engelhart wrote to me. "It sounded like a bomb went off or propane tank explosion. After looking around our property I came across one of the fir trees that had a spiral pattern on it and bark and wood gouged out."
Weather UW: 'Warm blob' in Pacific Ocean linked to weird weather across the U.S. UW: 'Warm blob' in Pacific Ocean linked to weird weather across the U.S.
As Seattle sits on a streak of four of the past six month setting records for warmest on record, a new University of Washington study pins the "blame" (or "credit" depending on your opinion of endless 50+ degree days in winter) on a large and persistent pool of warm water that has been entrenched in the Pacific Ocean off our coast.

The waters have been averaging about 3-7 degrees above normal and researchers at the UW say it's been a major factor in the West Coast's recent warm stretches, and in turn, the winter to remember (or forget) across the East Coast.