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 July finishes as 2nd warmest on record at Sea-Tac July finishes as 2nd warmest on record at Sea-Tac
If it seems our seemingly days-on end of 80s this past month is a bit unusual, you would be right.

This July goes down as the 2nd hottest on record at Sea-Tac Airport if you count by average temperature (high+low divided by 2) or 4th hottest if you just want to count high temperatures.
Weather Why you don't see Eastern Wash. wildfire plumes until the afternoon Why you don't see Eastern Wash. wildfire plumes until the afternoon (Photo Gallery)
Local social media posts have been perking up each afternoon noting tall plumes of clouds over the Cascades. What you're seeing are smoke and the "pyrocumulus" clouds created by the wildfires burning in Eastern Washington. The heat from the fires is its own engine for creating rising air that cools and condenses into clouds.

But why don't we normally see those clouds over here until the afternoon?
Weather 5 years ago today, Seattle baked like it never had before 5 years ago today, Seattle baked like it never had before (Video)
Those of you who were around here 5 years ago today were likely trying to find some place -- any place -- for relief from the heat.

July 29, 2009 remains the hottest day ever recorded in modern Seattle history, be it Sea-Tac Airport or the Downtown Federal Building, with a reading of 103 degrees. Some spots, like Boeing Field and the NOAA station at Sand Point, were even hotter, reaching 105 degrees. Everett hit 100, Bellingham hit 96, and Vancouver, WA took the heat prize with a 108 degree reading!
Weather Long range forecasts maintain generally warm pattern through February Long range forecasts maintain generally warm pattern through February (Photo Gallery)
For much of late winter and spring, the message has been the same by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center: Expect a warmer than normal summer.

So far, July is delivering, with several days of 80s and 90s around the Pacific Northwest, and even a few triple digit days east of the Cascades. Seattle is just one spot in the region, but it's a whopping 3.0 degrees above normal so far and through Sunday, is tied for the third-hottest July on record at Sea-Tac Airport (Average temperpature (high+low/2) so far: 68.6° -- record is 69.5° in 2009; 2nd is 68.8°.)

And the forecast for this week brings a return of more warm-to-hot weather to finish off the month and potentially cement the month as 2nd warmest on record.

So what about August? Those same long-range forecasts suggest more of the same. And September. And October. And November. And...see a theme developing?
Weather By the numbers: Wednesday's record rainfall By the numbers: Wednesday's record rainfall (Video)
After the first three weeks of July began generally sunny and warm-to-hot, things changed in a hurry on July 23rd as a potent storm rolled through Western Washington, bringing a record amount of rainfall to the Puget Sound region.

Here are some of the statistics from the storm:
Weather Northwest wildfires take 'shine' out of Midwestern sunshine Northwest wildfires take 'shine' out of Midwestern sunshine
The wildfires raging across Washington, Oregon and Idaho are not only bringing a dense, smoky haze to much of the area just to the east of the Cascades, but its effects are being felt over 1,000 miles away across the Upper Midwest.

Jonathan Yuhas, a meteorologist with KSTP-TV in Minneapolis, noted that skies over Minnesota have taken a "frosty haze" to them ever since the wildfires have erupted here in the Northwest.
Weather How to celebrate 12 straight days of 80s in Seattle? In song! How to celebrate 12 straight days of 80s in Seattle? In song!
With a late surge of warm air Thursday, Seattle managed to reach 80 degrees again -- the 12th day in a row with highs at 80 or warmer.

It's the second-longest such streak at Sea-Tac Airport, tying a streak in August of 1967 and coming up three days short of the all time record of 15 set in 1977.
Weather Seattle's break from heat wave comes with a price for Central Washington Seattle's break from heat wave comes with a price for Central Washington
Many of us in Western Washington are breathing a sigh of relief that our days-long stretch of 80-90 degree weather is coming to an end.

But one region's relief is another region's pain. The process that is cooling down Western Washington is wreaking havoc in Central Washington and the firefighting efforts over there.
Weather Forget Kevin Bacon, Washington had 50 degrees of separation Wednesday Forget Kevin Bacon, Washington had 50 degrees of separation Wednesday
It was the hottest of places; it was the coldest of places.

Our state had quite the dichotomy Wednesday afternoon, courtesy of an intense heat ridge in Eastern Washington counterbalanced by a chilly fog bank along the coast.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, the temperature in Pasco was 107 degrees. Contrast that with Forks on the coast which was... 57 degrees. (Some of the buoys offshore were even a little chiller like Destruction Island at 53 degrees). That's about 265 miles apart for the 50 degree swing.
Weather Hot days, chilly waters make for some strange sights Hot days, chilly waters make for some strange sights (Photo Gallery)
They weren't a throwback to the tall-sailed pirate ships of yore or a maritime version of a Star Trek Borg, but those who were on the western shores of Puget Sound this past weekend might have had to rub their eyes a bit while gazing out toward Whidbey Island.

Weather conditions were just right to create mirages on the water that turned simple container cargo ships into what looked like...perhaps a 1980s video game rendition of space invaders?
Weather UW Prof: Sunday's sensational sunset a 'trifecta' of perfect conditions UW Prof: Sunday's sensational sunset a 'trifecta' of perfect conditions (Photo Gallery)
It's been the talk of the town this week, the amazing sunset we had Sunday night across the Puget Sound region.

A lot of people have been asking what caused such brilliant colors: Wildfire smoke from Eastern Washington? Lucky cloud formations?

Yes, and yes, according to University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences professor Cliff Mass. And, add in some evaporating rain for good measure.
Weather July 10th among Seattle's ''Final Four'' of original heat records July 10th among Seattle's ''Final Four'' of original heat records
July 10th has somewhat of a badge of honor in Seattle weather records -- it's home to one of the last four original record highs for Seattle.

Sea-Tac Airport's first year as the official weather records were in 1945, and of course, every temperature recorded that year is a record high and a record low. Those records fall and adjust higher/lower as the years pass and our weather goes through its expected peaks and valleys.

Now after 69 years, you'd expect those records would have been replaced, and almost all have but there are still four that have withstood the test of time and today is one of them.
Weather Sunshine 6 days a week in winter in Seattle? Earliest records said so... Sunshine 6 days a week in winter in Seattle? Earliest records said so...
Sure, Seattle has quite the rainy reputation, but did you know when records first began being kept in Seattle, there was nary a drop to be found?

In fact, the very first observation in Seattle noted in official record books was: a sunny day!

In February!

(I guess the pessimist would say it had nowhere to go but down.)

I stumbled upon this little fact while researching my blog for Monday about the intense heat wave of 1870. In looking for where exactly in Seattle those observations were taken, I found this incredibly thorough 52-page report on the history of weather observations in Seattle, written and prepared by Glen Conner of Scottsville, Kentucky for the Midwestern Regional Climate Center. Conner's excellent research is the source of this blog's information.
Weather Seattle heat wave of 1870 puts 2009 to shame Seattle heat wave of 1870 puts 2009 to shame
What if I told you that 144 years ago today (Monday, July 7) it was 100 degrees in Seattle?

And then what if I told you it wasn't even the hottest day of that week?

University of Washington research meteorologist Mark Albright has some of the very infant weather records from Seattle that began in 1870 and noted that it was quite a toasty July back then.
Weather Who's excited? July 3rd marks start of ''Dog days of Summer'' Who's excited? July 3rd marks start of ''Dog days of Summer''
Well, I know one four-legged friend who is excited the calendar has turned to July 3rd!

That's Astro above in the photo there who is apparently psyched about the start of the "Dog Days of Summer", which begin today.

The term originated in southern Europe, when back in ancient days, observers along the Mediterranean Sea used to follow Sirius, which is the brightest star in the nighttime sky and part of the constellation known as Canis Major, or "The Big Dog," when translated to English.
Weather Seattle nearly sets new mark for temperature whiplash Seattle nearly sets new mark for temperature whiplash
Talk about flash in the pan...

Seattle's 94-degree "heat wave" lasted all of 24 hours this week, as a thermal trough quickly built up then was shoved east of the Cascades before it even had a chance to buy a postcard.

I was actually quite surprised that Seattle reached 94 after only reaching 78 degrees the day before. Usually Seattle needs a better springboard the day before to reach into the 90s the following day, although there are a handful of dates it reached 90+ while being in the 70s before.
Weather June ends with some peculiar weather statistics for Seattle June ends with some peculiar weather statistics for Seattle
As we turn the page into the first of our two summer stalwart months, June ends with a few interesting Seattle weather statistics in its wake:

* The temperature didn't reach 80 for the month -- just the fourth time in Sea-Tac history that May has reached 80 degrees but June did not. It's the only time May has reached 85 degrees (May 1) and June then didn't reach 80. (Not to worry, July 1 easily got that 80 degree reading out of the way -- and 90+ too while it was at it.)